Call Center

Not glamorous I know, but these would be decent paying jobs, including few management positions, that would tap into North American corporate dollars, bringing a lot of wealth into Nicaragua over time.

Symantec, a security software company, is adding 1000 jobs in the next 4 years to its Springfield, OR office. 95% of them are call center jobs, a few are sales, but most are varying levels of tech/tool support jobs, paying at least $7.25 per hour (Oregon's minimum). That's $7000 an hour -- what if even a portion of that money were being poured into Nicaraguan checking accounts.

Nicaragua's advantage over India is that it's closer time zone-wise to the US and Canada. I also believe that Nicaraguan's friendly personalities and Spanish speaking ability would be a plus. Vis-a-vis Mexico-based call centers, the very inexpensive cost of living would be a plus. In other words, you would theoretically underbid Mexican companies by paying your employees less, and paying less in rent and other services.

Investment-wise you'd need to rent a building, buy telecommunications services and equipment (this could get pricey), hire and train a workforce, hire legal and accounting services in the US and Nicaragua, and make frequent trips between the two places, initially at least. The investor, or the partnership of investors, would need to be bilingual, tech-savvy, Nicaragua-savvy, and, most importantly, be able to close a good deal with a company like Symantec.

I'm thinking it would have to be in a place with a large number of educated Nicaraguans -- Leon or Esteli would be nice, but it seems like Managua would be best, especially since a rock-solid telecommunications service would be a must.

Does a bilingual workforce with basic computer knowledge even exist in Nicaragua?

This may already exist in Nicaragua...I googled a bit and found something El Salvador: http://www.teleperformanceusa.com/offshore/elsalvador.html

Also found a kind of corporate services firm in Managua that might serve as a good consultant for this kind of project: http://www.offshorexperts.com/index.cfm/fa/buyer.profile/s/200/p/142894

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The business of call centers....

We actually looked into this a few years ago, and there are so many call centers around the world, the competition is deadly... The second issue is the level of Education here, which will affect the type of call centers possible... University Grads in Nicaragua are no where near the level of those from India, or eastern block Europe... And Yes in India they actually do have Spanish speaking help centers... Of of the largest offshoring companies,Wipro, offers tech support in: English, French, German,Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Russian... those are the ones I know of, a one stop shop so to speak...All call center staff are from or live in India. Larger contracts, form companies such as United Technologies, etc. usually require security clearances... Indian Companies, and even Egyptian based companies, have special arrangements for for work visas that allow the bearers to obtain clearances. For nicaragua to do that, it will take time and much more than CAFTA....

It is not a bad business, but it is a cut throat one, worse than Garments....

caution!

there have been many so called call centers set up in the US that were shut down due to illegal activity. scaming people out of their money. there are alot of people involved in honest call centers but talk with some and you find out how much the business is like a used car salesman. the tpye of call center is very important.

There's already one in Nicaragua

http://www-ni.laprensa.com.ni/archivo/2005/enero/12/economia/economia-20...

(computer translation)

CALL CENTER

One of these actions itself express in the promotion of the called Call Center or Centers of Calls whose purpose is to provide services of information to businesses interested in different countries of the world and of which the country offers opportunities for the establishment of this type of investments.

Since the 2003 it operates in Nicaragua the business Almori that offers services to American clinics in prosecution of information, accounts receivable, service al client and programs of software in intelligence of markets directed to support in it takes of decisions, explained Álvaro Montealegre, manager of the business.

At present they have 12 clients and they expect that from this year they register an increment from two to three monthly clients. see also... http://www.outsourcing-offshore.com/nicaragua.html

great news

That's great news. Looks like the government is very strongly behind a call-center business model, and it looks like there's room for competition.

Hopefully it's encouraging for investors that another business is already successfully engaged in this.

Question: Call Center.

I understand the need for the upper management people needing to be bilingual.

Is there a demand for the actual tech-support people that would speak only Spanish? Is this a possibility? ____________________________________________________________________

Call Center

hey I currently work for symantec. Maybe I can just get a transfer to Nicaragua. - wow that would be nice

'all-in-one' solution is more marketable

I'm sure the demand is there. I think the problem is that clients wouldn't want to hire one company for Spanish tech-support and another for English tech-support. I'd have to more research to figure out whether there was enough to demand to make an all-Spanish service worth the investment.

But I'm thinking that if an investor is going to put the time and money to do this, they want to be able to offer English tech support as well...

In India?

In India -- do the Indians on the telephones speak English and Spanish?

The last time I checked -- Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the world. I guess my question is this -- With all these Spanish speakers in Latin America and the rest of the world; would not the demand exist in certain segements of certain markets for only Spanish speaking call numbers to solve the problems for the Spanish speakers?

I know the credit card companies and the long distance telephone companies in the USA (America) have push 1 for English and push 2 for Spanish. Why could not a "call center" call for Spanish just be directed to the Spanish speaking center in Nicaragua? __________________________________________________________________

------- In India -- do the I

------- In India -- do the Indians on the telephones speak English and Spanish? ----------

I see your point: Indians don't speak Spanish and yet there is a great demand for Indian call centers.

I think in some cases, companies that have a call center in India, also have a call center a Spanish speaking country, so that they can offer their clients services in both languages: http://www.teleperformanceusa.com/offshore/index.html

(Another benefit to being global is that they can more easily offer 24/7 services without having to attract as many workers who will work graveyard.)

Just food for thought. It's a very competitive business, but I still think it could be a good one for Nicaragua, even if you can't get a room full of English speakers together.

One Reason - Call Centers Would be Great.

The problem that I see in Nicaraguan employment is that many (if not the majority) of the university graduates educated in Nicaragua do not fully utilize their education and for example, are working as secretaries or in other lower paying jobs for C$3,500/per month or U$1.25/hour. Of course, many other employment problems exist in Nicaragua.

The classified employment ads in "La Prensa" generally do not quote salaries; but, I have talked with many people about this subject in Managua and that is my general understanding about these university graduates and the obtainable jobs for many of them. ___________________________________________________________________

I Errrrreeeeeeed!

When I said " Do the Indians speak English and Spanish"; I meant and was trying to say "do the Indians speak Spanish in addition to English"?

I certainly am aware of the British heritage of the region and that most Indians speak good English.

I apologize for my creation of confusion. Alan. ____________________________________________________________________

Indian tech support

It is true Indian's speak gramatically correct english, but I get complaints on a daily basis due to the accents barring effective comminication.