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The Warsaw Voice » Other » April 10, 2013
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Kielce – the rising star of BPO
April 10, 2013   
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More or less 100 000 people are employed in around 400 centres in BPO (business process outsourcing) sector. It is, after mining and automotive industry, the best and the biggest employer in Poland (average monthly salary in the sector reaches 4,5 thousand of zlotys). According to research, Kielce are one of the BPO’s stars, and the city’s offer for the sector makes it possible for Kielce to become one of the fastest developing cities in Poland.
A lot was said about BPO development perspectives in Kielce and other cities of Eastern Poland during the conference that was held on 4th and 5th of April in the capital of ¦więtokrzyskie Voivodeship.

Poland has become an attractive localization for BPO centres mostly thanks to its geographical location and human potential. “Four hundred realized investments of this kind gives us the highest position in this branch in Europe, while the level of employment, which oscillates at 100 thousand of people, comprises 40% of the employment in Central Europe. There has been a 75% growth in the sector in Poland in the last four years”, stressed Paweł Panczyj from Association of Business Service Leaders in Poland (ABSL).

„The wide range of services, and business process outsourcing in particular, is, next to academics, sport and culture, one of priorities for Kielce’s future development”, said Wojciech Lubawski, Mayor of the City of Kielce during the Green light for BPO panel discussion, in which representatives of Eastern Poland local authorities participated. Mayor Lubawski, as well as Grzegorz Siemiński, Deputy Mayor of the City of Lublin, and Andrzej Krawczyk, Mayor’s of Olsztyn plenipotentiary for entrepreneurship and economic promotion, talked about how to support investments, what to offer to the investors and what to expect from them, how transregional cooperation looks like. “Kielce, with their investment offer, professional officials and personnel educated in 11 local universities, put themselves among the most attractive localizations for BPO sector”, emphasized the Mayor of the City. Today Kielce offer around 45 thousand square meters of office space, and the number is going to be doubled very soon.

”In the last 10 years as far as 47 centres of outsourcing services have been created in ¦więtokrzyskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Podlaskie, Lubelskie and Podkarpackie Voivodeships”, stressed Agnieszka Wojnarowska, director of Regional Development Department od Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency. “Kielce, next to Lublin, are the greatest contributor to the sector in Eastern Poland. They will not dominate polish market leaders for sure, but they will certainly gain in importance in the nearest future, because BPO sector needs new localizations which offer attractive financial conditions and educated personnel. Candidates fluent in more than one foreign language, as well as IT and financial and accounting services specialist will be in great demand”, she added. Nowadays, 20 companies connected to the sector operate just in Kielce, hiring around 2 thousand people.

Topics related to Eastern Poland investment offer in the eyes of the biggest BPO investors in Poland were the subject of a panel discussion, which created a perfect occasion to confront cities’ offer with investors’ expectations. “Despite the investment costs, there are few important factors that have an impact on deciding on the localization for new investments. These are, among others, secured access to personnel or logistics attractiveness. Kielce may not have an airport, but the more important parameter is the road network, which will help in getting to the airport in a neighbour region. Good access roads are as important as good internal organization of the city”, emphasized Marcin Nowak from Cracow division of Capgemini Polska.

”The main problem is that only 10% out of 15 thousand people that graduate from universities each year, have the ability to use foreign languages. When we add other skills that we look for in the candidate for the selection process, it appears that only 100 people have the potential to work in our centre”, added Jerzy Wi¶niewski (Fujitsu Technology Solutions). Nevertheless, during the discussion it was possible to hear that it is not “only” but “as much as” 100 potential employees. “Another crucial aspect is the possibility of a dialogue with local authorities and chancellors of universities about potential education possibilities. There is still a lot to do in the area of cooperation between business and public institutions”, said Zygmunt Łopalewski (INDESIT Polska).

The participants of the first meeting dedicated to BPO sector in Kielce agreed that Kielce and other cities of Eastern Poland are extremely good at using their investment potential and achieving their goals in the field of development strategy by locating their efforts in service sector. It makes the cities of the region serious competitors for big polish agglomerations due to their office space offers, investment locations, well qualified officials, support of local authorities and attractive financial conditions. Clearly, it does not mean that all has been done and there is nothing left to work on. Among the most important aspects that local authorities should focus on still are constant support for the investors, coordination of proper preparation of personnel, further internal investments of the cities, especially in the terms of development of road infrastructure. ¦więtokrzyskie, as well as other Eastern Poland voivodeships, are very methodical in creating and developing their potential, setting clear goals that will be realized systematically, which, with support of local authorities and entrepreneurs, will make them a competition in BPO sector not only for polish centres, but also other countries of Central Europe.

Panel discussions that took place on the first day of the conference were completed by the study visit. On the second day the participants visited Kielce Technology Park, Kielce Fair Trades, Kieleckie Centrum Biznesu and Medicover.

Appetite for outsourcing, Kielce 4-5.04.2013
Hosts and organizer: City of Kielce and Deloitte
Partners: Association of Business Service Leaders in Poland (ABSL), Mikomax Smart Office, Capgemini Polska, Transcom, Indesit Polska, Savills, Fujitsu Technology Solutions, Start People, Impel Business Solutions, CERTO Law Firm, Casus SA, Association of IT & Business Process Services Companies (ASPIRE), UPS, Lubella, Kielce Fair Trades, Foreign Investors Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Poland, Lubelski and Podlaski Klub Biznesu, and Helicopter.pl
Organizing Partner: Bluevine Consulting, author of Prospects in Poland cycle of investment seminars and VIP Galas
Moderator: Igor Sokołowski, TVN 24
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