–says Dr. Singh, following tour of Qualfon Call Centre at Providence
THE Government of Guyana plans to promote the country as a prime destination for business process outsourcing (BPO) operations such a call centres, which have the potential to create thousands of new jobs for Guyanese, Senior Minister in the Office of the President, Dr. Ashni Singh has said following a tour of the Qualfon Call Centre at Providence, on the East Bank Demerara. The senior minister said that Guyana has a number of obvious advantages as a destination for BPO operations, and those include the country’s English-speaking population, as well as the population’s high level of literacy, along with the country’s location in the same time zone as the east coast of North America.
He said, too, that the recent liberalisation of the telecommunications sector here also adds to Guyana’s potential of being a prime destination for BPOs.
Call centres such as Qualfon, which employs large numbers of persons, will assist in the diversification of the economy through job creation and employment, which is a major focus of the President Dr. Irfaan Ali-led administration.
While recalling that it was under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration that Qualfon opened its doors in Guyana, Minister Singh said: “Guyana has remarkable potential in the BPO sector, especially in the generating of income and creating jobs. Our government (at the time of the Company’s opening) had recognised the remarkable potential of the company.”
The senior finance minister reminded his audience that Qualfon started its operations in Guyana in 2005 with 25 employees, and expanded rapidly to reach 2,800 employees by 2014, which figure has fallen to below 1,800 over the past five years.
He promised, however, that the government’s intention is to see the company once again realise its full potential, and that the BPO sector in general will once again become a major employer in Guyana. “We believe that the company has phenomenal potential in Guyana. We would like to see thousands of jobs created by Qualfon and other companies operating in this sector. We were (at the time of Qualfon’s opening) advocating Guyana as being an attractive BPO destination, which we intend to resume doing. We see companies like this, and the sector as a whole, as being an important part of economic diversification,” Dr. Singh said.
The senior minister, who was accompanied by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, prior to elaborating on the role of Qualfon and call centres, was taken on a tour of the campus by Qualfon’s Country Director, Luanna Persaud.
There, he witnessed a large number of young people at work in various departments, serving Qualfon’s clients around the world through the use of modern information and communications technology. With Guyana being a major international player, due to its being an oil-and-gas producer, President Ali’s Government, since its ascension to office in August 2020, has continued to reiterate the importance of the other sectors in the country, and has placed much focus on ensuring that the sectors receive the necessary attention and efforts to assist in boosting the country’s non-oil economy, Dr. Singh related.
Some of the sectors recording consistent increases are agriculture, tourism, services and logistics, and housing and water. Those sectors are expected to be the country’s main economic drivers going forward.