Look East for a top outsourcing destination - TELUS International Europe
  • Look East for a top outsourcing destination

    21 May, 2015

    BGregoire Vigroux

    Eastern Europe

    With the growth of the outsource industry, more companies than ever are looking towards Eastern Europe as their preferred outsourcing destination.

    In fact, both Romania and Bulgaria are ranked in the top five preferred outsourcing destination in the BPO and Shared Service Location Index by Cushman and Wakefield, the world’s largest privately-held commercial real estate services firm. Both countries offer cultural proximity to Western Europe, which smooths communication and allows for more complex projects to be executed, and both are in a timezone that is relatively close to the customers being served.

    Bulgaria: more attractive than ever

    Over the last ten years, the country’s reputation has gotten better and better. In addition to improving their infrastructure and internet speed, they retain the lowest corporate tax and the lowest labor costs in the European Union.

    In addition, Bulgaria has a highly educated and skilled workforce. There are more IT professionals per capita than anywhere else in Europe and more than half of the country’s graduates choose majors that fit perfectly with the goals and needs of the outsourcing industry. Even more importantly, communication isn’t a problem. 98% of Bulgarian graduates know at least one foreign language and 73% know at least two.

    Only beginning to grow

    Due to its excellent position, Bulgaria is expected to mimic Poland’s GDP growth – which is one of the highest in Europe. Much of this growth is due to foreign direct investment and the increasing interest of foreign firms in the country’s potential as an outsourcing market. As a result, the number of employees working in the outsourcing industry almost doubled from 2010 to 2013.

    Furthermore, due to the positive increase in GDP, the amount of growth and Westernization, especially in the capital, is increasing more than ever. More tourists than ever before from England, Ireland, the Netherlands and many other Western countries are visiting Sofia and allowing many outsourcing employees to interact with the people for whom they provide support. Naturally, this means better understanding and thus, better customer service.

    Bulgaria isn’t the only strong contender: Romania is, too.

    Romania is well positioned to compete internationally. 95.4% of all students study English and are fluent or proficient by the time they have finished their schooling. Also, the country has the largest labor pool in Southeastern Europe, with over 9 million workers, and the number is growing. The country has more than 300 000 graduates per year, 4000 of which are specialized in IT. As the global need for IT specialists grows, this will make the country an even more attractive location for foreign direct investment.

    Although inflation and the country’s GDP growth have made things a little more expensive, it’s still one of the cheapest places to set up a business in all of Europe, while being relatively stable politically.

    Romania: setting things up

    Bucharest is the most preferred Business Process Outsourcing destination in Romania, as most companies have already been established there and it has the strongest infrastructure and the fastest development. The country, especially in the capital, has some of the fastest internet speed in the world. In a recent ranking, they were listed on number 7 globally.

    greg Gregoire Vigrouxis Marketing Director of TELUS International Europe

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