Saint Lucia – A Leading Location for Global Business Outsourcing Investments in the Caribbean Region
“Young, Tech Savvy Service in a Tropical Paradise” is how we have been described by Global Services investors. Saint Lucia is a preferred destination for global business services in the Caribbean, with business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge processing outsourcing (KPO) opportunities in financial technology, legal, advanced analytics, AI web, real estate, architecture, and medical services. The sector continues to expand within an enabling environment that features robust government support of investment initiatives, a strong telecommunications network, and supporting ICT infrastructure. Saint Lucians are known for being easily trainable, having the most tertiary educated candidates of the Eastern Caribbean States with a coveted, neutral English-speaking accent, a strong cultural affinity to nearshore operators and a proficient talent pool for the expanding outsourcer.
With a service-based economy, Saint Lucia possesses a tech-savvy, customer service-oriented labour pool which has fostered growth while maintaining attrition levels below 3%. Bolstered by the expansion of new reliable technological infrastructure, a stable and democratic transition of power, a reputable legal and regulatory framework, sound macroeconomic policies, and business reforms, Saint Lucia remains a leader in the region.
Despite massive downturns of the pandemic and the fallout of regular operations and bottom lines of businesses, the sector maintained its operations in Saint Lucia; this was enabled through support from Invest Saint Lucia. There was the embracing of the unprecedented in the market “Work From Home” model to continue providing service to clients. Other companies who remained in offices nimbly altered the space to meet safety protocols.
Diversification continues to remain a key focus of Saint Lucia’s economic development policy, and the onset of COVID-19 further underscored the need to invest in resilient sectors. Saint Lucia has seen noticeable growth and interest from the business outsourcing industry, coupled with a keen governmental focus on expansion and strategic policy for this sector.
Growth of the Industry
In 2019 the BPO/KPO industry grew by 20%, becoming the fastest growing sector in Saint Lucia, with each player in the market seeing growth during the downturn. Invest Saint Lucia has championed on behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia repositioning through additional training, education and policy to accommodate this ongoing expansion and ensure the sustainability of BPO and KPO investments on the island.
In 2020, the BPO sector was the country’s largest job creator, accounting for over 50% of new jobs. The average growth rate in the sector increased from 394 in 2020 to 606 in 2022. This increase resulted from new jobs created by the various BPOs/KPOs in Saint Lucia, which shows evidence that the sector is growing.
Why Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia possesses several key advantages in nearshore market competencies. While the mention of contact centers traditionally called to mind offshore destinations, this notion has changed overtime, with the Caribbean quickly becoming a key industry player. This is largely due to several factors, such as the region’s cultural affinity to North America and a strategic nearshore location with a convenient time zone of UTC/Mountain Time 4.
While several Caribbean islands remain attractive to investors in the BPO sector, Saint Lucia has emerged as a leading choice for many companies. This can be attributed to factors such as an educated labour pool, low attrition rates, and government support. In addition, the island has an enviable reputation because while the wider region enjoys outsourcing success due to its proximity to the United States, Saint Lucia offers project-ready locations, more reliable technology, human resource capability, and a warm, clear accent.
The Future of the Outsourcing Industry
In recent years, Saint Lucia has seen the likes of companies such as itel, Grow Resources, KM2 Solutions, Homelite, Dutyfree Shoppers,1888 Go Answer, and OJO. There are currently over 3000+ people employed in the sector, and Saint Lucia has the capacity to grow even more.
Saint Lucia was one of the first Caribbean countries to benefit from the establishment of an artificial intelligence training operation, and the company has cited Saint Lucia’s skilled workforce as the main muscle in its establishment on the island. itel opened its doors in the middle of the pandemic to continue serving its clients in customer service and telecoms.
To date, the island continues to attract new areas in the industry, and investors continue to enjoy the benefit of the services of Invest Saint Lucia to assist with investing in the country.