14 de August 2019

The IT and BPO sector creates 7.5% of Bogota’s jobs

During the 4th Bogota Foreign Investment Conference, experts analyzed the impact of IT and BPO operations on the economy of the Colombian capital, which has become a Latin American hub for the industry.

4º Encuentro de Inversión Extranjera en Bogotá

According to industry figures, the information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors provide Bogota with nearly 315,000 jobs. This is equivalent to over 7% of the jobs created in the city, as highlighted on Wednesday during the 4th Bogota Foreign Investment Conference by Juan Gabriel Pérez, the executive director of Invest in Bogota.

Companies from these sectors are estimated to create a total of approximately 700,000 formal jobs in Colombia, of which 45% are located in the country’s capital. “This figure demonstrates the impact that the IT and BPO industry has on the economy and on the quality of life of Bogota’s residents, particularly if we consider the fact that most of the jobs created in these companies are occupied by people under the age of 23”, noted Pérez.

During the panel discussion entitled “From words to action: Bogota, the response to the challenges of global operations”, moderated by Ana Karina Quessep, the president of the Colombian BPO Association (BPro), it was explicitly pointed out that the young and qualified Bogota workforce is one of the main reasons behind international IT and BPO companies’ commitment to the city. With nearly 27 million people, Colombia has the third-largest workforce in Latin America, of which Bogota accounts for 25% (4.6 million people).

Panelists such as Andrés Giolito, the country manager of Globant Colombia; Juan Carlos Hincapié, the president of Teleperformance Colombia; and Alcides Vargas, the general manager of Scotiabank’s global service center, also shared the view that the IT and BPO industry has the potential to leapfrog sectors such as construction or manufacturing to become the city’s largest employer.

The panelists also emphasized that the creation of new jobs in this industry in Colombia and Bogota will depend on the strengthening of human talent in areas such as bilingualism and the skills and abilities demanded by companies in the sector.

The event featured the participation of over 530 attendees, and one of the main conclusions reached was that Bogota is on course to become the leading Latin American capital for global IT and BPO operations.

Beyond the workforce

In addition to their human talent, Bogota and Colombia boast a series of competitive advantages for attracting investment from IT and BPO companies. The Colombian capital offers companies from this industry the most competitive wage costs among the main capital cities in Latin America, as well as a privileged strategic location for dealing with operations in other continents and excellent air connectivity with the rest of the world, with over 47 direct international flights taking off every day.

Furthermore, access to 10 undersea cables provides guaranteed telecom connectivity, while the tax incentives offered in the country facilitate the implementation of global operations.

Facts and figures on the IT and BPO industry

· An industry with a high level of exports: over 50% of BPO and IT companies provide support to the rest of the world.

· In recent years, exports in this sector have recorded an average annual growth of 9%.

· Bogota stands out as the country’s main cluster: in terms of information technology, the city is home to 80% of the sector’s sales, 60% of its companies and 50% of its foreign investment flows.

· With regard to BPO, Bogota represents over 60% of the sector’s sales and companies in addition to 43% of its jobs.

· Large multinationals have chosen to locate their operations in Bogota. The IT sector includes Globant, Belatrix, Endava, Amaris, Tata Consulting, Indra, Oracle, HubSpot, Unisys, Amadeus, IBM, and Google. In terms of BPO, the companies based in the city include Amazon, Johnson&Johnson, Scotiabank, Medtronic, Diageo, Nokia, Delta Airlines, BBraun, Concentrix, Teleperformance, Sutherland, Sitel and KM2 Solutions, among others.