50 new jobs created in Tauranga

By John Cousins

Fifty new jobs are to be created in Tauranga by the city's rapidly expanding market research and call centre company Key Research.

Group chairman Michael Hooker said the new business call centre in Tauranga opened this week with 20 seats and would move to 50 seats within 12 months.

The new jobs follow the acquisition by Key Research of Oamaru company Pulse Business Solutions in 2008.

Mr Hooker said Pulse was expanding its business call centre service into Tauranga, offering customer contact and market research services.

Pulse currently offers call centre services to the Earthquake Commission, Ezibuy, Mike Pero, Lumley, Sovereign and several Australian market research agencies.

``Many of our clients are now offering us volumes that we can only service well through this expansion.

``Opening an additional call centre in Tauranga will allow us to grow the business without the size constraints of a small town's labour force.''

Mr Hooker said the new jobs would double the group's staff numbers in Tauranga to about 100, with an additional 80 staff in Oamaru and 110 in Perth.

Key Research bought a leading Western Australia market research company, West Coast Field Services, earlier this year.

The next step in his vision of creating a multinational market research agency was to buy another market research company in Perth, followed by a significant acquisition in one of Australia's eastern states.

``Our wider goal, once we have completed acquisitions in Australia, was to look at what we can achieve in the broader Asia-Pacific region,'' Mr Hooker said.

Key Research is a Tauranga company, which started 1993.

Mr Hooker bought Key Research in 2001 and the expansion has been achieved despite the tight economic climate and highly competitive nature of the business.

Mr Hooker said there had been no significant downturn, although the market research business always followed a pattern of big peaks and troughs. ``Bizarrely, we don't know why that is.''

He was not in a position to disclose the group's turnover, except to say that revenue was less than $10 million. There were no plans to close Pulse in Oamaru.

Pulse's call centre is in 1st Ave, while Key Research continues to be based in the Mount Maunganui shopping centre.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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