VOXPRO co-founders, husband and wife team Dan and Linda Kiely, have played a major role in putting Cork on the map in terms of global business, a former Lord Mayor has said.
City Councillor Chris O’Leary, who lives near the Voxpro headquarters in Mahon, welcomed the news of the company’s sale to Canadian giant TELUS International, describing it as a great local success story.
The company has been acquired by the multinational in a deal understood to be worth €150m. Voxpro’s main office is in Mahon and the city councillor said locals were delighted with the company’s success.
“It is a good news story, from small acorns grow the big trees,” Mr O’Leary said.
“We are very proud of a Cork success and we wish Dan and Linda all the best.”
The couple met while working in the Cork Examiner before deciding to go into business for themselves.
What started in small premises above a pub on Marlboro Street with a staff of six has grown into a global business.
Voxpro now has more than 2,500 employees worldwide and offices across the rest of Europe, in Asia and the United States. It is Ireland’s largest international provider of technical support and sales operations solutions.
Mr O’Leary also said the deal was a reflection of Cork’s ability to compete on the world stage.
Both Dan and Linda are natives of the city, from Turners Cross and Douglas, respectively, and Dan studied business in CIT.
“From an international perspective, just showing that a Canadian company like this wanted a Cork company helps put us on the map,” Mr O’Leary said.
“It solidifies Cork’s economic diversity.”
Mr O’Leary said the only concern people had was around jobs at the company, with more than 1,600 people employed in their Cork offices, but the Kielys have offered assurances that jobs are safe.
Lord Mayor, Tony Fitzgerald said: “It is heartening for all business people in Cork to see a startup that began with just six employees above a city centre pub achieve such enormous global success.
“That this company managed to develop and expand internationally through the downturn is a testament to the vision and determination of its founders and the commitment of their workforce. Cork is a great city to grow a business in with a young and talented workforce, great infrastructure, international connectivity and proven competitiveness”.
Pio Fenton, Head of Marketing and International Business in CIT, said the success of Voxpro gave a powerful message to current students in Cork about what could be achieved.
“These are the kinds of things we hope for for our current graduates - that they will end up as successful as the Kielys,” he said. “And it is all down to their hard graft. When you hear about someone like Dan Kiely, for us to be able to talk to our current students about their potential by pointing at his success, it’s very encouraging.”
Mr Kiely has maintained his association with CIT over the years and many graduates have gone on to work for Voxpro.
“A lot of our graduates would have the skills for the businesses processes which are outsourced through Voxpro and have found employment there in recent years.”
Mr Fenton described both of the Kielys as vital members of the Cork business community.
“Both Dan and Linda are serious players on the Cork business scene,” he said.
“They have been taken very seriously for a long time.They have made a huge contribution to Cork through employment but, more broadly than that, they have been an inspiration to the rest of us.
“Voxpro is a global company now but its home is still in Cork and it is still a Cork company. They have shepherded its development in such a way that it has not just good for Voxpro, it has been good for Cork.”