110 000 employees in Poland work in BPO sector

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Poland is the leader in modern services for business sector in the entire East – Central Europe. Cracow, Warsaw and Wrocław hold the majority of this type of companies.

Market of Business Process Outsourcing sector is constantly growing. According to a report conducted by CBRE in cooperation with Hays and PAlilZ, ‘BPOland Potential and Prospects’, Poland stands out as the most popular location for BPO type companies in East – Central Europe.

During the last year, Poland is generating new workplaces in BPO sector faster than India. The number of new companies providing modern services for business is growing at the constant rate of 20 % a year for the last five years. At the same time, more and more investors are interested in our country. Data comparing growth rate of BPO sector in Poland and in India, where the number of new investments is decreasing, show, that bigger companies chose East – Central Europe, with Poland in the first place, for a location of their new investments. The success of companies, which decided to invest in Poland, attracts others to enter the Polish market. However, well-educated and qualified employees are for them the best encouragement– says Sławomir Majman, the president of PAlilZ.

Gigantic trade

As much as 110 000 employees are working in BPO sector in Poland, which is more than half of population of Toruń. In the following years this number will only grow.

The most popular cities for BPO sector entrepreneurships are Cracow, Warsaw and Wrocław. According to data from May 2013, 43 places offering such services in Cracow provided 25 400 workplaces which is 31 % more than in January 2012. Warsaw, with its 55 companies of this type, provided 18 900 workplaces which gave a 33 percent increase in relation to the beginning of the previous year, while Wrocław has 38 business of this sort, giving a total of 18 400 spots for employees and as much as 46 % raise in relation to January 2012. The capitol of Lower Silesia province is increasingly popular, mainly among companies specializing in production and advanced technologies, which locate there their research and development facilities.

During the last 10 years the BPO sector has been growing mainly due to international companies, which expand their existing centers. Worth mentioning are State Street, Hewlett Packard and HSBC. New facilities are being opened as well, such as Qatar Airways in Wrocław and Laureate International in Tricity. These examples also show the variety of companies being opened in Poland and strengthening the sector of modern business services.

he employers in this sector are looking primarily for workers with excellent language skills, especially English. Poland stands out also in this case, as over 50 percent of its citizens claim that they know at least one foreign language. Another important factor is a growing number of graduates of engineering and other, new technologies related, specializations.

One of the Poland’s main advantages is a significant amount of highly qualified and well - educated graduates, capable of communicating in even several foreign languages. Moreover, Polish employees are providing services in accordance with the highest of European standards and the worker related costs are still competitive not only in comparison with Western Europe but other regions as well. Currently we can observe an evolution of the higher education and an increased interest in technical specializations. Over two million students are currently studying at higher education institutions in Poland and the number of graduates of technical and engineering specializations is growing every year. What’s more, the cooperation between educational institutions and employers is getting increasingly effective, which allows the graduates to gain knowledge and skills required by employers. It’s a perfect recommendation for the future, as well as a chance to develop for companies working in the area of more advanced business processes, such as KPO or R&D – comments Małgorzata Jasińska, Corporate Accounts Director, CEE in Hays Specialist Recruitment.

Offices for BPO sector

Companies which plan to move at least a part of their business operations pick Polish cities more often than other places in East – Central Europe, when asked about possible locations. There are also other alternatives, excluding the biggest centers, such as Cracow, Wrocław, Tricity or Poznań. Due to an increase in supply of attractive office space in places like Olsztyn, Bydgoszcz, Opole and Rzeszów, they quite often become a competitive location for companies from BPO sector. In these cities a development of such companies as, for example, JP Morgan Chase, Atos, Alcatel Lucent, Cap Gemini, France Telecom, Citi Group, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Orange or Sanofi Aventis can be seen.

Since 2010, markets in regional cities are growing at a very fast pace. The world crisis makes entrepreneurs look for savings and influences their relocation to places where operational costs are lower. In 2012, both Polish and international companies including those from BPO sector, have rented over 600 000 msq of office space and over 350 000 in biggest regional centers in Poland, excluding the renegotiated contracts – explains Joanna Mroczek, head of Research and Counseling Department at CBRE in Poland. In the next years we expect new companies to come to Poland and, those already present in the country, to expand their operations. That’s why we think renting will remain on a high level. The supply of office space will also increase, as, after a minor slowdown on the property developers’ market, one can notice the construction of new locations. Currently under construction is over one million square meters of modern office space, from which 45 % is created in the biggest cities and towns outside the capitol. The accessibility of new office space is a key factor in attracting new investors. They can’t wait much longer after they’ve found a new location – she adds.

For the investors of BPO sector, keeping rent prices at competitive level is crucial. Currently, starting prices of rents for the best office locations in Poland fluctuate between 12 to 16 Euros for one meter square per month, for the most prestigious office buildings in the biggest Polish cities outside Warsaw and between 25 to 26 euros for one meter square per month in Warsaw’s Central Business Area – says Daniel Bienias, head of Leaseholders representation and BPO services at CBRE. Real prices however are significantly lower, especially in places where competition is tough. Leaseholders may also count on different grants thanks to which the final prices are up to 15 to 20 percent lower. Among many other is, for example, separate office equipment budget. Companies can also negotiate the moving costs, purchase of office furniture and cost of the interior design or company’s logo on the façade. One can also negotiate a temporal release from rent for even up to one and a half month a year, depending on the period on which the contract was signed – Bienias explains.

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