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SSC in Romania. Who takes the lion's share?

As the need for Shared Services Centres (SSCs) increases year-on-year globally, Romania holds the door open for investors and confidently invites them in. Alexandra Lopotaru talked to important players in the industry to find out why, how and where they took a seat

2015-09-19 21:37:27

Romania is seen as a top destination for business services, as it offers on one plate a mix of competitive economic environment and a multilingual skilled workforce at low cost. Various studies place Romania ninth globally and second in CEE as a preferred destination for companies operating in the business service industry, one of the most dynamic sectors in the economy. Despite the economic crisis, average growth rate over the last few years has been over 20 per cent annually and a further growth of over 30 per cent is expected in the upcoming period.

Currently, the business services sector is estimated at 60,000 employees and 1.2 billion Euro, according to the leading organization of local industry ABSL (Association of Business Services Leaders), with half of the market being held by Share Service Centres (SSC). Last year the segment saw a lot of activity in terms of SSC players, both through the capacity expansion of existing companies and the entry of new investors. Kellogg′s, for example, the American food manufacturing giant, announced last summer that it would transfer jobs from the UK to Romania, in order to create a business services centre in Bucharest, generating jobs in different areas such as HR, IT, finance and distribution. The centre is designed to support Kellogg′s European divisions in over 20 countries, with 80 employees, according to local media.
Another important entry is Vodafone, launching in May last year a shared services centre in Bucharest, to provide IT and customer support services for Vodafone operations in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland. While last July it had a little over 100 employees, the centre is projected to reach more than 2,000 over the next three years. Furthermore, Germany′s DB Schenker decided last year to develop a SSC for the financial departments of several subsidiaries; Deutsche Bank has invested ten million Euro in Romania in a technological centre that produces software for the bank; while German insurance group Allianz, leased in Bucharest′s Floreasca Park office space, plans to develop a service centre.

The increase of the sector was seen at existing companies as well: Societe Generale European Business Services (SG EBS), opened in 2011 in Bucharest, doubled its headcount last year to 400 people, while Office Depot, Cluj-Napoca′s first SSC opened in 2007, increased its workforce by eight per cent to 485 people. This year the trend continues with Huawei GSC hiring more than 200 people by the end of 2015, and with other players with equally-ambitious plans.
The Diplomat - Bucharest spoke with such major SSC players to analyse the way the Romanian services market plans to develop further, to stress the concerns and challenges they must face, as well as to highlight their business perspectives for the coming years.

Huawei plans to open a secondary centre when Bucharest′s GSC exceeds 1,000 employees


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