Nearshore Americas

Q/A: Inside the Teleperformance Investment in Colombia and if Guatemala is the Next Stop

P1060222Just last week Teleperformance joined the parade of outsourcing players who see strong upside in the Colombian market. We followed up with Juan Rodrigo Hurtado, president of Teleperformance of Colombia, to talk about the strategic importance of having a presence in Colombia.

Why is Teleperformance making the move now to acquire Teledatos?

By acquiring Teledatos, the Teleperformance Group seeks to enlarge its Global footprint in the region. Teleperformance’s interest in Teledatos is based on the ample experience that the company has within the colombian market, the quality in its contact outsourcing processes, managerial human team’s professionalism and grade of specialization when it comes to working with highly satisfied clients, these aspects coincide with Teleperformance business philosophy. The group took into account as well the competitive advantages that Colombia offers for the Contact Center and BPO Industry

The acquisition strengthens the global footprint that the group has nowadays in the Iberico-LatAm world, where is a major business partner for clients in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Portugal and Spain.

Tell us about your own background at Teledatos.

I founded Teledatos in 1994, the leading company in the Colombian contact center market, based on an idea that arose from my graduation paper in the United States, with the specific purpose of providing customer service. The company started operations with four employees and basic call-center technology with 10,000 telephone contacts processed each month in Colombia.

Up until to today, I am the company’s CEO and I have been in charge of the whole consolidation process of the company, in Colombia and in international markets

Today, thanks to the strategic vision of our managerial team, we have over 6,000 employees and dispatches more than 12 million monthly contacts in 15 countries from around the world, in multiple languages.

Colombia is generating a lot of interest and excitement in the outsourcing industry. What is your view on what makes Colombia so attractive, and what differences does it offer compared to other LATAM destinations?

Colombia is rapidly growing into being one of the preferred destinations for Contact Center Outsourcing and other BPO Operations in Latin America, due primarily to its professionalism and the preparation of its people, communications infrastructure, operational costs competitiveness and its geographic location

Our Country has a large pool of qualified, service oriented personnel with specific BPO & IT domain expertise. It is an excellent near-shore option for the United States & Spain due to its time zone, frequent daily flights to major cities and similar cultures. It is also the second Spanish speaking country, (after Mexico) with a neutral accent that allows full understanding amongst other Latinamerican countries.

Colombia has flexible, reliable and qualified Workforce as well.

  • 40% of Colombian population is between 15 and 39 years old

  • More than 240,000 high school graduates per year , concentrated in major cities

  • Around 30% start superior education ( technical schools or Universities)

  • Around 5,000 English speaking people per year in labor market (growing every year due to Colombia Bilingüe program)

Colombia’s Call Center Industry is one of the biggest in Latinamerica; during the 2001-2008 period, it grew at a rate of 30%. In 2008 it generated income for US$422 million, employing 50.300 agents. Bogota represents 60% of the national industry and it is as well center to multinational and national companies.

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Teledatos had earlier announced plans to expand into Peru and Guatemala – are those plans still going forward?

This is something that will be evaluated taking into consideration TELEPERFORMANCE strategy

You’ve talked earlier about the importance Teleperformance places on “value-added” services. Can you give an example?

Contact Center clients and users are looking for more than just services: interaction facilities, security, technologic innovations, agility, etc

Offering a value added service means integrating in a consistent manner people in charge of the service, processes that support it and the technology that complements it.

Together with Teleperformance Colombia we will be able to offer our clients integral solutions that make easier its customer Service and back office processes.

Kirk Laughlin

Kirk Laughlin is an award-winning editor and subject expert in information technology and offshore BPO/ contact center strategies.

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