Nearshore Americas

Saturation a Concern in Costa Rica? Forget About It

Central America’s most popular outsourcing destination has always been an attractive choice for businesses: close proximity to the U.S., no trouble finding agents with excellent English skills, educational standards higher than average for the region and economic and political stability.

Though some observers have said Costa Rica may be heading for saturation. There has been no end to big players – BPO or IT – wanting to set up shop there since Intel chose to open the biggest microchip factory in the region in 1997.

Costa Rica has since been labeled as troublesome to set up operations – particularly in the captive center market, where large multinationals are going in and trying to put in their back-office – because it is so small and size of the total workforce is limited.

Observers also point to the fact that the Central American nation is more expensive than its immediate neighbors.

Worthy of Praise

But the country of little over five million continues to produce very happy customers. And Canadian outsourcing firm, Bill Gosling Outsourcing (BGO), is the latest to sing its praises after opening a 17,000 square foot BPO operation in El Cafetal Corporate Centre business park at the end of October.

david clements
David Clements, Vice President of Operations at BGO

“The talent available has been outstanding,” David Clements, Vice President of Operations at BGO, says. “Our clients knew coming in that Costa Rica’s workforce is top-notch, and their feedback so far has been that their expectations have been exceeded.”

Originally founded in Toronto as a traditional accounts receivable management firm in 1955, BGO has grown from a traditional accounts receivable management firm to a multinational communications outsourcing company operating from eight global facilities. With sites in the UK, U.S., and the Philippines, BGO has over 2,100 employees. Its core services include customer service and support, accounts receivable management, customer sales and acquisitions, and BPO.

Costa Rica is its latest expansion. BGO – whose clients are involved in auto finance, fin-tech, retail, customer care, and financial services – says quick expansion in Latin America will continue and Costa Rica is just the beginning. “As we continue to evolve our tech-based solutions, we want to ensure that we can deliver a consistent quality of work in all locations with our live-agent and technology services,” Kenny Johnston, President of BGO said. “For many reasons, we felt Costa Rica was the perfect location to start our expansion into the LatAm market.”

So far, 40 agents have been hired, many students, due to the site’s location between the city of Belén and the capital, San Jose, where top universities are located. BGO says they will rapidly increase the headcount to create a total of 300 jobs.

Educated Foundation 

kenny johnston
Kenny Johnston, President of BGO

Proximity to universities isn’t the only thing the site is close to – it also boasts being just 15 minutes away from the San Jose International airport. Though the talent pool is what justifies BGO’s decision to go for Costa Rica. “The main reason we chose Costa Rica was due to its education system. We are not concerned at all about saturation. The Costa Rica government has a plan to become a bilingual country – all students learn English in the public school system. The level of English skills is improving year on year.”

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Other reasons BGO decided to choose Costa Rica include its IT infrastructure and proximity to North America. “There’s great infrastructure here. Costa Rica has a very developed and stable data infrastructure,” adds Clements.

There are a whole other host of reasons why Costa Rica is still a good spot to plump for when looking at BPO Nearshoring opportunities.

According to World Bank data, it is the second most politically stable country in Latin America – after Uruguay. It is also the safest, putting it well ahead of its immediate neighbors. “We fully intend to expand in the region and Costa Rica not only made sense in terms of what our clients wanted but it is a great location to get started with our Latin American growth,” adds Clements.

Mathew Di Salvo

Mathew Di Salvo is a Colombia-based contributing writer and editor at Nearshore Americas.

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