Poland’s outsourcing sector is in rude health, developing, maturing and delivering quality employment opportunities at a time when the economic crisis continues to pose serious questions about the sustainability of many jobs.
Indeed it appears as if the downturn is actually working in Poland’s favor, since Western corporations are continuing to make outsourcing investments to reduce labor and rental costs. Between the crisis years of 2009 and 2011, headcount in foreign service centers in Poland grew by as much as 50 percent, according to Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) data.
“The crisis will probably bring new business to outsourcing companies, as happened a few years before,” said Marcin Tchórzewski, vice president for Poland of US financial services provider State Street.
|Number of foreign services centers in Poland, 2005-2011|
“East-Central Europe can win many new contracts, as the region provides lower costs combined with highly skilled specialists, as well as security, and Poland is the strongest country in business services in the region. What is interesting, many of the centers in our country are the headquarters of outsourcing organizations for Europe or the EMEA region,” Mr Tchórzewski said.
An important emerging trend which suggests the Polish market is beginning to mature is that companies already present in the country are adding more advanced services, without limiting their current operations. Some 81 percent of services companies polled by ABSL said they planned to do just that within the next three years.
Indeed in early spring, BNY Mellon, a provider of investment management and investment services, announced plans to open a new Global Delivery Centre in Wroc³aw, where staff will work in highly skilled roles mainly in the areas of fund accounting and investment operations. The scheme will see the company build on its presence in Wroc³aw.
“Poland is a central location within Europe, offering high-quality staff and infrastructure, coupled with attractive economics and financial incentives,” said Michael Cole-Fontayn, chairman of Europe, Middle East & Africa.
State Street, meanwhile, opened a new office in Kraków in May, adding to the two locations it already has in the Malopolskie voivodship. With-in the next three years, the company will look to recruit approximately 600 professionals in Poland, as well as launch its Investment Analytics service later in 2012.
“We have chosen Kraków as an additional office location from several other potential business locations in Central and Eastern Europe,” said Joseph C. Antonellis, vice chairman of State Street.
“The decision to locate State Street offices in Poland was made after a detailed analysis of localization factors such as availability of highly qualified staff – experts able to manage complex activities for international clients,” he added, pointing in particular to the large number of well-qualified job candidates churned out by the city’s universities.
It is hoped the Kraków center will play a key role in the long-term strategy of State Street, which aims to double the share of revenues generated outside the US within the next few years. It will also offer higher-end business process outsourcing services, in line with the trend that is seeing Poland become a more sophisticated market.
“It is a key European location for fund accounting, securities valuation, exchange traded derivatives and hedge fund administration,” said Mr Antonellis.
|Types of services provided in foreign centers in Poland (2011)|
“Poland has matured in the market of advanced business services. More and more key processes of the global economy are based in Poland, which provides the country with great development potential,” said Mr Tchórzewski.
From Warsaw Business Journal by Gareth Price
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