American labor outsourcing company ONQ has hired 200 Kenyan youths to work at its newly opened office in Nyeri town.
ONQ, which provides medical billing services to US-based companies, says the office located at KDS Centre will deal directly with American patients, providers, and payers, according to Nation.
Workers at the new office will provide patient services, including inbound and outbound calls touching on billing questions, insurance information, and more detailed information about exams or procedures they have received.
Speaking during the launch on Thursday, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga said the office would provide employment opportunities to youths in the region.
“I am really excited because our own children will get employment in this firm. This is a very wonderful opportunity because the majority of our youth who have graduated from the university will get employment,” Kahiga said.
“My government will fully support this company. I also urge Safaricom to provide a stable internet connection to this company so that it can improve its efficiency in its delivery of services.”
On his part, ONQ Kenya CEO Sean Hammerle said the company has similar offices in the US, Panama and India, adding that plans are underway to expand the Nyeri office in order to accommodate more staff. Hammerle indicated that the number of employees at the office will rise to 500 by the end of this year to meet the growing demand for its services.
“My business partners and I did not have the idea of expanding our base beyond the US and India until the Covid-19 pandemic hit. We got the idea of diversifying our workforce so as to protect our clients globally. I realised that working in Nyeri was easier because there are a majority of highly educated youths,” Hammerle said.
He added: “In establishing the ONQ office in any place in the world, one of the company’s greatest consideration is the impact it will make to the youth in that particular area, which explains why the company avoids setting shop in major cities but instead chooses rural towns where the impact of youth employment and skills transfer will be felt most.”
Besides equipping its employees with the skills they need to do the job, ONQ transfers money directly from the US to the country where the labor is being outsourced, hence enhancing foreign direct investment.
“ONQ significantly impacts the youth in Nyeri and Kenya by providing them with stable employment and professional growth opportunities. In a short period, our agents are knowledgeable in the processes of US medical billing and automation. Furthermore, ONQ employees gain exposure to working in a global company,” Hammerle said.
“With a source of livelihood and stable income, the Nyeri ONQ agents can reach their professional and personal goals. ONQ has become a safety net for educated youth to secure long-term career opportunities for personal growth.”