sbafna, I'm going to call this an "international" question.
Categories: International Focus
I am planning to open a Data processing center in South America
(to work on US projects) and have shortlisted following locations -
3) Costa Rica
Does anybody have any insight they can share on the above locations based on their actual work experience? My main criterions in order are cost (employee and infrastructure) / training / retention and location safety.
All of these location meet my minimum threshold requirements.
I am not an expert -- I'll leave that to our moderators -- but I do love Latin America, so I'll hazard a few opinions/things to think about:
Of the countries you list, only Suriname is in South America; does that matter to you? (I don't think it should, unless proximity to SA is important to you for some other reason -- e.g., you have a vacation home in Patagonia.)
I've not done any research on travel costs, but I'm betting you could find cheaper places to get in and out of. Of course, this depends on where your HQ is; if you're in Miami, then the trips to and from Jamaica will be cheap. But if you're flying from Europe or the Far East, you won't get a direct into any of the countries you mention.
I would add Panama to the list. I've only been there twice, but the infrastructure is the best in Central America, there are decent inducements for business, and there's plenty of willing labor. Plus, they have a significant international presence: All the big banks, plus Intel, many others. Here's a pretty good info site: http://www.businesspanama.com/
As with all such decisions, I'd look for "references" in the form of other pioneers: I.e., find a company (competitor or peer) who has set up a DP center in Latin America, and follow them -- or at least find out more. If they're large enough, it could be that they've pre-trained the labor force for you.
Check out http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/.
For example, "Jamaica's political system is stable. However, the country's serious economic problems have exacerbated social problems and have become the subject of political debate."
This presentation gives a good outline of why Mexico should be explored for your nearshore application development needs.
For example, Scio which is a SaaS product development company that leverages Agile development methodologies.
Several Blogs about this as well.