In this interview with CalvinAyre’s Rebecca Liggero, Hon. Melford Nicholas, Minister of Information Technology, Telecom & BROA Antigua and Barbuda, shares his thoughts on What Champion Place brings to the Island of Antigua.
For years, the Philippines has held the distinction of the world leader in voice services as more and more companies outsource their operations in the Southeast Asian nation.
The Philippines has a clear advantage in business process outsourcing industry. It has a huge English-speaking workforce, its customer service is renowned, and it already has the ecosystem to help clients find the service provider they need.
Thousand miles away from the island nation, Antigua and Barbuda is trying to replicate Philippines’ BPO success by starting to lure online gaming companies to put up shops in their country.
Just recently, ministers in Antigua witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony of the new state-of-the-art office of international BPO service provider Champion, which is touted to become a flagship for investment and innovation in the work place.
Hon. Melford Nicholas, Minister of Information Technology, Telecom & BROA Antigua and Barbuda, said the ground-breaking of Champion’s new office signals the renaissance of a vibrant offshore gaming business in Antigua.
He recalled that Antigua has been one of the initial homes for offshore gaming way back then in 1995. But due to a number of circumstances, Nicholas said the industry literally dissipated.
“I would expect that you [Champion] will bring some international clienteles here and we believe that it will set up some synergies with some somebody’s going to follow your lead and they will look at the operations and say ‘hmm if Calvin [Ayre] can do it, the business climate and environment is good and I will just follow,” Nicholas told CalvinAyre.com. “I believe it really brings a welcome breath of new jobs to the economy and the diversity in which we are looking for continued economic growth and development. And most importantly, it sets an example and present Antigua to the world as a place where a modern technology business can operate.”
Nicholas believes that Antigua has what it takes to become a premier BPO destination in the world, boasting the Antiguan government’s “open climate” for investment. In order to attract foreign investors, Nicholas said that the government has provided a handsome package of incentives for business to be established here.
Antigua, according to Nicholas, also has a financial banking system that allows free movement of capital.
“It is absolute a delight for us here. I, too, from the minister responsible for information technology, [am] responsible for the bitcoin work and to see cryptocurrency as it emerges and put Antigua to the forefront of this development. So I’m delighted. I welcome this development and I’m looking forward for the project’s implementation in every step,” he said.
Aside from the gaming industry, Nicholas said other companies, whether it be insurance or healthcare, may certainly look to CCS in Antigua to provide the BPO service.
“Well I think the fact that you [Calvin Ayre] are providing a business process outsource and the fact that Calvin Ayre and his Bodog his business has been so well established in the international gaming industry, I believe that more persons are going be able to look to diversify their operations and we call upon the CCS in Antigua to provide services,” he said.