Romania is the new Morocco: the new French outsourcing capital of the world
29 April, 2015
By Gregoire Vigroux
Romania has 4.7 million francophones
This number is set to grow as Romania has more than 10 000 French teachers and the highest number of French learners in a non-French-speaking country.In a study by the Embassy of France in Romania, over 1.7 million students learned French as a first language and between 35 000 and 50 000 Romanian students take courses abroad, particularly in France.
In addition, many universities in Bucharest offer courses taught entirely in French with a prep year readying students that aren’t completely fluent. Due to the quality of the public education system and the close proximity of the Romanian and French languages, the level of French is extremely high and results in a highly educated and fluent workforce.
The number of French-speakers in Romania also attracts more and more French principals, with around 50,000 employees working in the field of outsourcing (a percentage fluxuating between 15 and 20% per year since 2010).
A community strengthened by the strong presence of French companies
The French-owned companies have a strategic and lasting place in the Romanian economy. According to the Franco-Romanian Chamber of Commerce (CCIFER), French companies alone employ more than 100,000 people in this country. Some examples include the Renault Group and Société Générale (which is one of the country’s major banks).
Thanks to the great pioneer groups that structured the French economic presence in Romania, SMEs are increasingly numerous in various sectors in the country. According to the register of Romanian Trade Account in 2013, more than 7,000 French firms were operating in the country. The strong presence of these companies contributes largely to the French influence and continues to encourage young people to continue studying the language. Thanks to these firms, in Romania, more than ever, speaking French is a huge asset to finding work.
A strong infrastructure and speedy internet provide a strong backbone
With the 2nd fastest internet in Europe and some of the cheapest costs, Romanian infrastructure provides a perfect backbone for the country as an outsourcing provider.
Romania has the second-fastest internet connection speed in Europe and the fifth in the world. According to the World City Ranking 2013, the city in the world where the connection speed is the fastest with 89.91 Mbps, is a Romanian city Timisoara, which also hosts nine outsourcers.
The telecom infrastructure is very strong, with an availability of 99.9% and the lowest telecom costs in Europe.
Law and order: not so different from the French
Romanian law is largely based off of the French model, particularly in terms of civil law, intellectual property, labor law and business. The proximity of Romanian law and French law has strengthened in recent years, due to legal harmonization applicable to member countries of the European Union. This simplifies legal issues for companies interested in outsourcing in the country, saving both time and resources.
With quality of its workforce, which is French and graduate; and its environment (technology, law, economic and political stability), Romania is becoming the new “outsourcing valley” for near-shore contact centers.
Gregoire Vigrouxis Marketing Director of TELUS International Europe
Customer experience innovation is now a game changer in the rapidly growing e-commerce industry. The 3 big trends underway – generation Y, chat and social media, and corporate culture – will largely impact the e-commerce customer service in the coming years.