Voxpro: The €150m firm that began life with six staff above a Cork pub

Cork outsourcing company Voxpro has given a boost to students in the county, saying it is eyeing the talent pool from the likes of CIT and UCC as it expands following a €150m takeover by Canadian firm Telus International.

Founded by husband and wife Dan and Linda Kiely almost 20 years ago, Voxpro has grown from a six-employee team to a powerhouse employing almost 3,000 in Cork and Dublin, California and Georgia in the US, Bucharest, Romania, and Manila, Philippines.

The deal was announced on Mr Kiely’s birthday and is said to be a lucrative one for the couple.

They will walk away with a sizeable chunk of cash, while Mr Kiely will join the Telus International leadership team under president and chief executive Jeffrey Puritt.

The company will still be called Voxpro with ‘powered by Telus International’ added to its title. Far from an uncertain time for Voxpro’s current employees, the deal means more expansion in the Kielys’ native city as well as abroad.

A spokesman for Voxpro said the calibre of talent in Cork from the likes of CIT and UCC, along with a burgeoning IT industry, meant it would remain one of its greatest recruiting pools.

He said the deal meant the Kielys’ vision of employing Cork people could be brought to the next level. The 2,700-strong Voxpro workforce join more than 25,000 Telus International staff worldwide.

Mr and Mrs Kiely have repeatedly said that the talent in Cork belongs on the world stage, encouraging entrepreneurship in the city.

The Kielys have been among the most wanted speakers at events across the country designed to inspire leadership in business.

It is a far cry from the beginning of Voxpro almost 20 years ago, when it started life as a paging company with just six employees working above a pub on Marlboro St in Cork city centre.

Voxpro was supported by Enterprise Ireland and has expanded at a massive pace in recent years, with former taoiseach Enda Kenny a regular visitor to its Blackrock, Cork, headquarters as a number of job announcements were made.

Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy said the impact of Voxpro on Cork could not be underestimated.

“What must be emphasised is that Voxpro provided employments to people in Cork at a time when we were still coming through the economic recession. Those jobs were badly needed in Cork at the time,” he said.

Mr Healy said it was encouraging to hear of potentially more jobs. “We can only hope that the progress Voxpro has made continues, providing more jobs locally, nationally and internationally. This deal with Telus International is the next phase of one of the most successful Cork stories,” he said.

The Kielys have been vocal about the current rental crisis, with Mr Kiely saying Cork risked missing out on some of the best international talent because of a lack of suitable and affordable accommodation in the city.

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