PORTLAND, Maine — The Indian company iYogi, which bills itself as the world’s largest technical support company, plans to locate its first North American call center in Lewiston through a partnership with Maine-based Argo Marketing.
The companies announced Thursday the expansion means they plan to hire 300 more workers to serve customers in North America, which iYogi said is its largest market.
“This center is about us getting closer to our customers, and adding value to them in every way that we can,” Vishal Dhar, iYogi’s co-founder and president of marketing, said in a news release.
The companies held a news conference Thursday morning in Lewiston that Gov. Paul LePage attended. LePage said it is “encouraging a company like iYogi can reverse what has typically been the trend and outsource jobs to America.”
The company said that it plans to hire during a job fair Monday at the Lewiston CareerCenter, from 9 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. People who are hired will take part in a three-week training supported by the Maine Department of Labor.
The company said the expansion also will include some opportunities for employees to work from home.
Peter Del Greco, CEO of the site location consultancy Maine & Co., said that his company helped Argo in competing for the partnership agreement with iYogi.
“Recruiting businesses to move or expand their operations in a new area is a competitive process and we are thrilled that we could help educate iYogi on the many reasons Maine was their best solution,” Del Greco said.
Argo is headquartered in Lewiston and has branch offices in Pittsfield and South Portland. It completed a $2.6 million expansion into the former McCrory’s department store in late 2013.
On June 24, the Sun Journal reported, a federal judge approved allowing current and former customer service and sales staff at all three of its locations to join a complaint by several former employees who claim they are owed overtime pay.
Jason Levesque, Argo’s owner and CEO, told the newspaper after the lawsuit was initially filed in March that “five or six disgruntled employees out of 500 are looking at making something up.”
By Darren Fishell