Tue | Jun 15, 2021

Former itelBPO exec launches rival firm Segoso

Published:Wednesday | March 17, 2021 | 12:07 AMHuntley Medley/Associate Business Editor
Sebastian Tickle
Sebastian Tickle

Sebastian Tickle, the former global head of operation and partnership development at business process outsourcing company Smart Solutions, has left to head up an outfit, in the same industry, that he co-owns with an American partner. He is now...

Sebastian Tickle, the former global head of operation and partnership development at business process outsourcing company Smart Solutions, has left to head up an outfit, in the same industry, that he co-owns with an American partner.

He is now president and CEO of Segoso Caribbean, a company also based in his home territory of Montego Bay, offering contact centre services for clients said to be based mainly in the United States and Canada.

Tickle is minority partner in the business that he teamed up with Sequium Asset Solutions LLC, an asset recovery company based in Atlanta, Georgia, to form. Segoso is said to be starting up with an investment of over US$1.5 million, and is in the process of seeking registration as a special economic zone.. The precise shareholdings of Tickle and ultimate owner Sequium were not ascertained.

“I have been in this industry since 1998 and it was essentially time for me to do my own thing. It’s been a long time in the making, and I decided I was going to start my own company and ended up partnering with the folks at Sequium Asset Solutions,” he told the Financial Gleaner.

Tickle has worked in the BPO sector in Jamaica, Grenada and St Lucia. Before , which is founded and operated by Yoni Epstein, he was part of the E-Services Group, which was a forerunner in the Jamaican call centre market that was later snapped up by American investors.

Segoso, which is also registered in Belize, plans to expand its footprint to Kingston and other geographic markets in Belize, where it is also registered, St Lucia and Mexico, starting in the third quarter of this year.

With a current staff of 200, Tickle is projecting growth to 3,000 workers within the next three years, while noting that there is room for the BPO sector to expand in Jamaica, notwithstanding the global economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

“It is a very interesting industry for Jamaica, because it offers a continuous window into businesses and business practice in other countries, notably those in North America. These business practices keep evolving; as such, it is an industry that is prone to scaling,” he said.

His business partners share his view of the Jamaican business landscape, and are making a clear distinction between the agile new kid on the BPO block and larger entities that have been operating in the outsourcing space in Jamaica and the Caribbean region.

“We firmly believe that the mid-market is underserved by traditional, large international BPO providers,” said Sequium President Greg Schubert in written comments to the Financial Glean er.

“Engaging someone like Sebastian is a major coup for us. He will deliver the leadership and execution necessary for a successful global strategy, and deliver the quality results that our customers deserve,” Schubert said.

For Tickle, Jamaica continues to be attractive for BPO business for a number of reasons, including its location as the closest English-speaking country with a fairly large pool of educated workers, most of whom are already familiar with the US culture.

“Jamaica is probably the best near-shore outsourcing destination there is for North America. The industry has thrived in Montego Bay since the mid-1990s. The industry’s tenure in Jamaica is very strong, especially in the areas of healthcare, sales and reservation, retail and technical support,” he said.

Segoso Caribbean’s clients are mainly involved in travel and leisure, utilities, telecoms, retail and financial services, said Tickle. For these clients it manages inbound and outbound voice, chat, email, care, sales and technical support.

Sequium Jamaica operations, which manages first- and third-party collection services for its US client base, are also housed at Segoso Caribbean’s Montego Freeport location.

huntley.medley@gleanerjm.com