Nearshore plays well to Trinidad & Tobago's strengths

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Hospitality industry promotes service mentality

As nearshore is being coined as a popular phrase, the Caribbean and Latin America is becoming more interesting for North American operations. One location that is actively promoting itself to the international business community is Trinidad and Tobago. Leveraging its British colonial history and the lasting impact this has had on language as well as education, these two islands boast a service-oriented population that's the result of the booming tourist industry in Tobago; and a business acumen driven by oil and gas industries, on Trinidad itself.

If tax breaks, rent subsidies, and a highly educated workforce aren't enough then consider this: 2-3% attrition rates, five cents per kilowatt electric costs, and the second lowest transportation costs in the world [that's what comes from being closely tied to the oil and gas industry].

A new BPO park near the airport is offering office space at just over a dollar per square foot, and as an added inducement, rent-free "plug and play" offices are available in the capital city for up to six months. 

"We've been heavily influenced by the British education system and this has led to a work ethic that is valued around the world."

As technology automation is making significant inroads in transaction processing, it's the emotional empathy and ability of employees to connect with and support business unit customers that's going to make the difference going forward. Trinidad & Tobago is rightly proud of its hospitality industry and the positive impact this has had on its workforce.

Culturally, the islands are aligned with the US as well as Canada and Britain, a fact which has already led to two large Canadian banks setting up shared services centers that today employ around 500 FTEs each.

"We've been heavily influenced by the British education system and this has led to a work ethic that is valued around the world," says Aliyah Jaggassar, VP BPO/Shared Services Development, Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Centre.

Although the economy has built itself up on the back of the oil and gas industry, with all major players having a presence on the islands, the Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Center is encouraging and supporting universities and their graduates to refocus on finance going forward, in order to meet the demands of the new-style, tech-driven shared services industry.

If you are considering a nearshore location in the near future, find out more about Trinidad & Tobago.

Watch the interview below for more insights on what this country offers.