Colombia: Call Centers Boom
    2nd April 2010

    Colombia’s call center business has grown significantly and is expected to expand revenues fourfold by 2012.
    BY JOHN OTIS
    BOGOTA, Colombia – The Unisono call center is located in the Colombian capital of Bogota. But you wouldn’t know it walking past the rows of youthful operators equipped with headsets and computer monitors.
    Chilean flags fly in one wing of the sprawling office while the red-white-and-green national colors of Mexico dominate another section. The decorations set the mood and help Unisono employees get in synch with their customers and clients from around Latin America.
    It’s a nice touch, one that’s helped the Spanish company Unisono make its mark here in Colombia. The company plans to upgrade its Bogota call center and double the number of employees from 320 to 640 by the end of the year, according to Ana Isabel Iglesias, an Unisono development consultant.
    Like Unisono, call centers in Colombia are undergoing a rapid transition. The first call center opened here in the mid-1990s but now more than 30 have set up operations. Most are located in Bogota but firms have set up operations in Barranquilla, Cali, Ibague, Manizales and other cities.
    Some of the largest include Multienlace, Atento, Contact Center Americas, and Sitel. All told, they employ 70,000 people. Last year, they invoiced more than $500 million in sales, says Ana Karina Quessep, executive director of the Colombian Association of Contact Centers and BPO.
    “We’re becoming a world-class …

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