The Caribbean’s largest homegrown contact centre, itelbpo, has designed the region’s first COVID-ready BPO facility. The state-of-the-art building will open in Kingston in June 2021, while itelbpo’s facility in Saint Lucia, will be upgraded this month with a second building and outdoor Lunch & Wellness centre, both designed and built around COVID safety protocols and requirements.
With development presently underway, the impressive structure is an 80,000 square foot facility – the largest of any single itelbpo facility to date – with the capacity to adequately accommodate the company’s growing network of employees. The building is located on Molynes Road in Kingston.
Already granted Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status, it is a purpose-led building specific to COVID-19 risk mitigation. It is a move to adapt to the changing business environment while remaining true to the company’s objective of filling 5,000 additional seats in 5 years.
itelbpo Founding Chairman and CEO, Yoni Epstein, explained that “it will enable safe scalability as we maintain the trust of both existing and new employees and clients. The company has been agile and nimble amidst the COVID-19 crisis and this is just another opportunity for us to stay ahead of the game.”
The Global Services Sector (formerly referred to as the BPO sector) attracts an estimated investment spend of US$700 million per year and employs over 40,000 people. St. James has traditionally been the centre of BPO activity on the island, but Kingston, with its strong pool of educated talent, offers expansion opportunities for continued growth of the sector. “We expanded our Kingston facility over 3 years ago and began making long-term plans to establish a larger footprint in the capital. After COVID hit, we went back to the drawing board and redesigned the approach to our new facilities, both in Kingston and Saint Lucia, to meet COVID safety requirements,” Epstein further explained.
itelbpo has taken a deliberate and proactive approach to sustained business resiliency and remains resolute in its commitment to employee comfort and safety through this new project.
“The facility is being structurally designed to the specifications of established COVID-19 guidelines. These include a built-in HVAC system, general seating arrangements to allow excess space for social distancing between employees well within 6 feet distance of each other, two (2) feet directional walkways so team members & guests won’t come into contact with each other while traversing the building or production spaces and cubicle partitions at a minimum of 36 inches, which is higher than normal, just to name a few,” added Epstein. “Given that we have built it to spec with the COVID-19 virus in mind, we can actually operate onsite at a safe capacity while protecting the health and wellness of our team.”
The building is under the development of Chalmers Commercial and is a joint venture between Musson (Ja) Ltd and Mayberry Investments. This is itelbpo’s newest venture following its geo-diverse growth that saw the opening of its 6th location in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, last June, and regional expansion into Canada a few months prior.