The beginning of service centres in Poland reaches back to the 90’s. The biggest surge of the investments concerning modern business services happened in 2004, after Poland joined the European Union. Since that moment, the number of service centres has been rising steadily and in the first half of 2012 it amounted to 350 offices. The biggest share, 80%, is located in Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, Łódź, Silesian Metropolis, Tricity and Poznań. In each city there is no less than 25 centres. Rising number of such places has a positive impact on the job market. In 2009, in the service centres in Poland worked 56,600 people. Two years later it became 85,000 which means a rise of almost 50%. In 2012 alone, the number of jobs in that market has risen by 15,000 posts. We are definitely a leader in Central and Eastern Europe – on the following places there is the Czech Republic and Hungary, with Poland having twice the jobs. But what are so popular now processes of outsourcing and offshoring?
Outsourcing and offshoring are clearly our keys to success. Although the term “outsourcing” is widely known, offshoring is a novelty in our country. Business Process Offshoring is often confused with Business Process Outsourcing, however, the terms mean two different things. Outsourcing means handing over some of the work to an external company in its home country. Thanks to that, the original company can lower the costs of its activities and devote more financial resources to its operational activities. Offshoring means moving some economic processes outside the country, while having the same group of clients. The companies do that to lower the costs by the means of employing the workers in the countries where the wages are lower – comments Maciej Grabski, investor of Olivia Business Centre in Gdańsk.
In Poland, the leading cities drawing offshore capital and business service centres are definitely Kraków, Warsaw and Wrocław. The most often created places are the ones connected to BPO (business process outsourcing), SSC (shared services center) and R&D (research and development). According to the report, prepared by Tholons in 2012, Kraków is on the 11th place in the world in relation to the attractiveness for the sector of modern business services. Warsaw is on the 38th place, and Wrocław on 78th.
An important factor which makes foreign companies move their offices to business centres in Poland is access to well-qualified human resources with a knowledge of foreign languages. At the same time, these centres provide a unique possibility of developing skills and qualifications for the graduates of Polish universities. Cooperation with local government, localisation and attractiveness of a given city and a developed airline communication is also of great importance. Gdańsk has all of that – adds Maciej Grabski.
What more can attract foreign investors in Poland? An important factor is a large supply of office spaces, both the most luxurious ones and B-class. In the capital alone there is almost 4 million m2 of modern office space. Companies, coming to Poland, can easily choose a place that appears most attractive.
Currently in Poland there are also branch organisations connected to the service centres. Specialised offshoring centres have also been formed, and many employees have several years of experience and a big knowledge of the sector. It can be assumed, that in following years the sector of modern business services will still be developing, especially that Poland is perceived as a stable and reliable market for that branch.