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Invest Grand Bahama Leads Delegation To #1 Call Centre Event In North America

The Invest Grand Bahama Unit of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited lead a delegation, comprised of executives of itelBPO Solutions, to the 17th Annual Call Centre Week, which represents the industry’s largest conference and exposition in North America.  The companies joined forces to represent the Ultra-NearShore solution in terms of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), as exemplified by itelBPO’s call centre presence in Freeport, Grand Bahama. According to Derek Newbold, Senior Business Development Manager at GBPA, Call Centre Week 2016 provided an exceptional opportunity to showcase the Island of Grand Bahama with its close proximity to the US mainland, great cultural affinity with North America, strong education and professionalism, and competitive price-point, which makes for an unparalleled new offering in the call centre industry.

The event boasts more than 2,200 elite customer service professionals and 1,200 organizations in the Banking & Finance, Technology, Retail & Manufacturing, Healthcare and Telecommunications industries.  The attendees and exhibitors, representing North America, The Caribbean, Europe and Africa, come together each year to be exposed to cutting edge technological solutions and new transformational skills that will impact contact centre customer experiences. Representatives from Fortune 100 and Global 500 organizations, including Coca Cola, Wells Fargo, Samsung SDS America and Verizon Enterprise were keynote speakers offering insight into best industry practices and new technologies.

“GBPA attracted itelBPO to Freeport about two years ago, and has been diligently working to grow the industry ever since.  The BPO industry holds significant potential for Grand Bahama and the Bahamas, in general. Hence, it was important for us to partner with itelBPO, pioneers of the industry here in Grand Bahama, to showcase our jurisdiction as one of the newest options for nearshoring. However, we realize that in order for us to achieve measurable success, our jurisdiction’s key differentiator must be to deliver an impeccable customer service experience, supported by a self-replenishing skills pool,” Newbold explained.

In May of this year, GBPA in partnership with itelBPO introduced a Contact Centre Education Initiative to all high schools in Grand Bahama.  The purpose of the initiative is to provide certified training in customer service, written and verbal communication, problem solving, motivation, leadership, interpersonal skills and creativity to twelfth-grade students on a yearly basis.  The certified students will then become a part of a talented skills pool for possible job selection in the contact centre industry. 

In the last year, the Contact Centre Industry has experienced significant growth in the Caribbean and Central America.  The industry boasts $18 billion in revenue in the United States and more than $1.5 billion in the Caribbean.  While there are a number of benefits to support Grand Bahama’s value proposition, its geographical location remains a major selling point as regards to nearshore ICT activity. 

Present at this year’s show from itelBPO Solutions was Sebastian Tickle, Head of Business Development and Michael Daley, Bahamas Country Director.  According to Tickle, the show was a great success and they are extremely encouraged by GBPA’s efforts to promote and market the BPO industry. 

“Altogether, it was a great show this year. Invest Grand Bahama showcased the Bahamas destination, combined with itelBPO’s well-established call centre presence in the Bahamas.  This attracted much interest from industry peers and prospective clients alike,” stated Tickle. 

 itelBPO is expanding in Freeport and according to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Yoni Epstein, the capital investment into this new facility will be in excess of half a million dollars and the new offices will rival what is known to be a tech hub in Palo Alto, San Francisco. 

“itelBPO Solutions has taken a new approach in its delivery service centres, which has been raising the bar in the call centre industry, and we are now bringing this to The Bahamas,” Epstein remarked.

President of GBPA, Ian Rolle, pleased with the industry’s growth thus far, stated, “Our city possesses a robust, stable telecommunications infrastructure, the appropriate physical facilities, competitive utility rates, a highly educated population and an accent that lends itself to the US market.  Grand Bahama’s unique economic zone and proximity to North America help to position the island as an extraordinary centre for contact centre business and investment.“

ABOUT GBPA


The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) gave GBPA responsibility for the development, administration and management, and provision of services within an area called the 'Port Area' (230 sq. miles). GBPA was mandated by this Agreement to build a deep water harbour, an industrial community and required infrastructure for the City.

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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE


GBPA has achieved an astonishing amount since its inception in 1955.  When first created it was a Grand Bahamian business conglomerate charged not only with land and commercial development but also with all the regulatory and administrative functions of the Freeport/Lucaya.

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THE WAY FORWARD


Firstly, I wish to thank Joan Albury and the Counsellors for this platform enabling us to share with the Grand Bahama community, the outlook for our island! 2015 marks the 60th year of the birth of Freeport and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement; 60 years of a partnership between The Government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority. I'm here to raise hopes for 2015 and to lay a few popular myths to rest - For those who don't know me, I am Sarah St George.

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