Haiti Attracts International Investors to BPO Investor Forum

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti: December 1, 2017 – The Center for Facilitation of Investments in Haiti (CFI), in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), AHTIC and Avasant successfully concluded the BPO Investor Forum on November 30, 2017 at Hotel Marriot in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. The Haiti BPO Investor Forum saw the participation of prominent investors and BPO service providers and buyers from United States, Canada and Latin American & Caribbean region. The Haiti BPO Investor Forum was preceded by the Haiti BPO Job Fair, the largest youth career conference organized to date in Haiti. The Job fair saw over a thousand youths from top educational institutes across the country coming together to better understand the BPO sector.

The Haiti BPO Investor Forum was organized to capitalize and take cognizance of the growing interest on Haiti as a BPO destination within the global BPO service provider and investor community. Haiti is fast emerging as the most promising Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) destination in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region. A unique combination of abundant Multilingual Skills, Talent Pool, Geographical Proximity, and Cost Effectiveness makes Haiti the next generation nearshore destination for global BPO firms. Haiti is also a perfect nearshore supplement to established LAC locations owing to a range of unique linguistic and geographic benefits, making it ideally suited as a spoke to established nearshore hubs.

The BPO Investor Forum highlighted the opportunities available in Haiti’s BPO sector to the international investor community. The event also facilitated discussions between the prospective investors, domestic BPO service providers, and representatives from Government of Haiti and AHTIC (ICT Association of Haiti).

Tessa Jacques (Director General, CFI) opened the forum by extending a warm welcome to all the participants of the forum. She expressed the willingness and preparedness of CFI and the Government of Haiti to facilitate and provide an open investment climate for BPO investors to set up operations in the country. She also emphasized on the availability of scalable, multi-lingual talent pool in Haiti that investors can look to leverage.

One of the highlights of the event was the launch of the Haiti Digital Services Program (DSP), an online platform (www.haitidigitalservices.com) which brings together all the key elements of BPO service delivery in Haiti – human resources, training, incentives and physical infrastructure to a single location. The Haiti DSP is a dedicated online platform developed to provide end-to-end support to the BPO sector in Haiti. A key feature of the platform is the Haiti BPO Skills Registry, a comprehensive database of pre-screened youths employable in the BPO sector in Haiti. The key objective of the registry is to assist service providers to have ready access to a large skill pool and achieve easy scalability. The skills registry assesses and classifies applicants on range of criteria including educational qualifications, linguistic skills, IT skills etc. to create skill specific applicant profile. Such levels of skills assessment will help prospective employers to get process specific, high quality resources at short notice. The Haiti Digital Skills registry is also expected to provide a range of BPO specific online training, assessment and certification programs in the future. Further, the platform also brings together critical sector information ranging from real estate, sector incentives, domestic partnership opportunities etc. thus assisting in a faster investment decision making process.

Anupam Govil (Partner, Avasant) initiated the investor discussions by highlighting the untapped potential of Haiti’s BPO sector. He described the readiness of the BPO sector in Haiti to provide a range of services such as digital services, technical support services, transaction processing, collection services, etc. He also commended the strong and sustained support offered by the Government of Haiti for development of the BPO sector in the country.

success-strategies-for-growing-BPO

Panellists discuss ‘Success Strategies for growing a BPO Firm’. From left, Yoni Epstein, CEO- iTel BPO-Jamaica, Jon Browning- CEO, Strategic Sourcing Advisors, Global BPO Solutions-US, Duquesne Fednard- CETEMOH-Haiti and Bill Colton-Global Telesourcing-US/Mexico

The event also had two informative panel discussions on ‘Success Strategies for a growing BPO firm’ and ‘Future for the BPO Industry in Haiti’. Jon Browning, CEO, Strategic Sourcing Advisors and one of the panelists described how buyers and service providers are increasingly moving beyond mature outsourcing destinations like Philippines and India to nearshore destinations in Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) region. He added that Haiti can take advantage of this trend owing to its ability to scale, and suggested that the country could be an optimal service delivery location for mid-sized BPO providers looking for a nearshore extension of their operations.

The Haiti BPO Investor Forum also facilitated an investor matchmaking session which enabled over thirty one-on-one discussions between local and foreign BPO’s on a number of topics ranging from service delivery partnership agreements, developing BPO specific real estate, training options, etc. The event also saw some of the major local conglomerates committing to diversify into the BPO sector. The promise of Haiti as a BPO destination can be attested by the several agreements between participants to initiate pilot projects in the short term before scaling up their operations. According to many of the foreign participants, the event has put Haiti into the spotlight and has manged to allay numerous misconceptions about Haiti as a service delivery location. The event concluded with the prospective investors visiting Digicel BPO, which is the largest BPO service provider in Haiti.

The BPO Investor Forum, Job Fair and a range of other sector initiatives are all expected to act as a pivot to help the Haiti BPO sector gain momentum and leverage benefits for larger socio-economic gains.

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