Highly qualified personnel, well-developed infrastructure and modern office buildings - these factors are described by experts as the biggest advantages in the battle for the corporations of the modern business services sector.
Businesses looking for a location among the business services centre at first analyse the availability of qualified personnel. Potential employees are expected to know foreign languages. At present, the ability to speak English is a basic criterion, while knowledge of at least one other language is becoming a standard. Corporations have also become more demanding when it comes to experience. Centres dealing with more and more advanced processes are being opened in Poland, therefore businesses are looking for people with specialist, few year-long experience, with a good knowledge of the reality of working in an international environment – admits Maciej Brozek, Commercial Director of Torus. What is the conclusion? Most of all, universities should help their students develop skills actually needed on the market, so that they will not struggle with finding employment later. Poland may be proud of its highly qualified work force, which provides a strong bargaining card in the fight for new investors of the modern business services sector.
Corporations make it clear that a well-developed road infrastructure and well-functioning public transport are also important. They also research the cultural and sporting and recreational possibilities of a given agglomeration. They take into account the quality of domestic properties and the possibility of turning the city into a lifestyle centre. A location that provides for a good quality of life and work has bigger capabilities in terms of human resources.
Modern office buildings
Corporations subsequently analyse the potential of the office market in a given country. They only consider the cities that provide a choice of developers, which can offer competitive lease terms. The BPO/SSC sector usually looks for properties of the A or B+ standard, while the location and commuting options of the office block are particularly important. Additional services are also significant, for instance catering, nurseries or sports venues. The corporations from this sector very often invest in non-pay elements of the salary, like medical assistance or sports venues memberships, therefore they want easy access to such services. That is the reason why in phase 1 of Alchemy we focus on building a big sports and recreation centre or restaurants with a canteen function – comments Maciej Brozek of Torus corporation.
Apart from the factors mentioned above, another one is also the support of the authorities that can be given to an investor. Special economic zones offering a range of preferred terms may be taken into consideration. Support from the city's authorities may also apply to administration procedures, cultural adaptation or a dialogue with the local communities.
Polish locations described as particularly attractive to lessees from the BPO/SCC sector are Cracow, Warsaw and Wroclaw. Further centres are developing, which may become the country's business services centres in the future. Among them, it's worth paying close attention to the Tri-city, Poznan and Szczecin. In 2012nd in Tri-city nearly 2 thousand new work places were established in this sector, and 12 new parties opened their centres. The biggest number of accounting and financial units was established, due to, amongst others, German Bayer, which opened a new location in Gdansk. This year we can observe that this trend has been maintained, as well as a further rise in investors' interest. A Finnish chemical concern Kemira has recently started creating their own multifunctional centre in Gdansk, and it's most certainly not going to be the last one – says Wojciech Tyborowski of Invest in Pomerania. Some experts also mention other aspiring locations, like Bydgoszcz or Rzeszow, but a there is no strict competition for employees there yet and, as for now, they are not regarded as serious rivals in the fight of the modern business services sector.