The Manchester based digital marketing company, SLM Connect, today (19 April) announced that it is to expand its operations and establish a new base on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park, in Na Doirí Beaga, Co. Donegal. The expansion plan is supported by Údarás na Gaeltachta and will lead to the creation of 125 jobs.
The new company, SLM Éire Teo, will offer contact centre and Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) solutions to its clients from its new facility. SLM Éire Teo will focus on offering both Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Customer (B2C) service solutions via multichannel marketing activities from Gaoth Dobhair.
Established in 2008, SLM Connect currently employs 130 people at its contact centre facility in Manchester. The company delivers customer contact solutions for a number of blue chip mobile operators within the BPO sector.
SLM Connect founder and CEO, Abdul Salam, said that “SLM Connect has grown its business substantially in recent times. The increase in the level of new business contracts presented us with a challenge as the business outgrew its current contact centre facility in Manchester. The company requires extra capacity in order to grow and expand. We looked at a number of possible options and after careful consideration we felt that Gaoth Dobhair would be a great location for the next stage of our development. SLM Éire will help us to expand our operations further afield, grow our business and provide us with new opportunities. “
Welcoming the announcement, Joe Mc Hugh TD, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said, “I am delighted at this announcement by SLM Connect and Údarás na Gaeltachta. This is most significant in terms of the number of jobs it will create in North West Donegal, it’s great news for Gaoth Dobhair and the surrounding locality and will give a much needed economic boost to the area.”
SLM Éire Teo will be managed by local Donegal man, James Moran, who is moving home from the UK to manage the business. “SLM Éire will provide digital marketing services and create sales and marketing campaigns for our clients. A significant trend in this industry is the growing number of clients who wish to outsource direct marketing functions instead of developing such infrastructure in-house. This creates an excellent opportunity for SLM Éire to service these needs and provide a ‘plug and play’ option to its clients.”, he said.
“The facility provided by Údarás na Gaeltachta in Gaoth Dobhair is practically ready to walk into. We can put all our requirements in place and start up operating pretty quickly. I’m looking forward to growing our Irish operations.”, he said.
The Chairperson of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Anna Ní Ghallachair said “We are delighted to be a position to support SLM Connect in its expansion plans. Údarás looks forward to working closely with the company in the coming months to help it accelerate its business plan and establish its operations in Gaoth Dobhair.”
Last year, Údarás na Gaeltachta announced that it was to fund a three year enterprise development action plan to support employment creation on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park.
Anna Ní Ghallachair said, “This announcement today illustrates that the provision of an adequately resourced enterprise plan can deliver benefits for all. We have made significant progress in terms of the objectives set out in our enterprise development action plan for the area, we are beginning to see the fruits of our labour, and we look forward to continuing our work and achieving the jobs creation targets we set down.”
SLM Éire Teo plans to begin operating from its new base this summer and will soon begin recruiting. The company plans to employ 25 people initially and hopes to increase its employment numbers substantially in the following months.
James Moran, Manager, said “We will begin our recruitment campaign over the coming weeks. We will be advertising for customer service and call centre agents, and positions that include operations, quality control, human resources and training, in addition to managerial and supervisory roles. We hope to recruit people who have skills or experience in customer care and contact services, however, we will provide our own bespoke training programme in-house and all new employees will receive training specific to the business requirements.”
Anant Parekh, Operations Director, said “SLM Éire will provide us with an excellent opportunity for further business growth and will create opportunities for both the business and the local community. It was the culture and community, which was one of the deciding factors of why we are establishing an Ireland based footprint. Since making initial enquiries the support in which we have been provided throughout the whole process only goes to prove that we have made the right decision.”
CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Steve Ó Cúláin said, “Today’s announcement is the result of Údarás’ enterprise strategy for this vibrant Gaeltacht region. I wish the promoters of SLM Éire every success and wish to thank the Údarás employees whose dedication is helping to make this jobs announcement become a reality.”