More than 500 business leaders at the ABSL conference in Bucharest
Romania may become the shining star of the regional business services sector, concluded the speakers of the third ABSL Conference in Bucharest at the beginning of October.
As the Association of Business Service Leaders in Romania (ABSL), a leading organization representing the business services sector, gathering high profile companies which conduct business in the area of Shared Services Center (SSC), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and Research and Development (R&D) found out, the industry has witnessed an accelerated growth in the last 10 years, employing currently over 60,000 professionals, out of which more than 30% in ABSL member companies.
"ABSL supports constantly the business industry expansion and its change into a strategic area for the local economy, by attracting new investors and developing a strong industry-wide partnership based on mutual exchange of expertise and best practices. The ABSL is one of the largest employers in Romania, with a total of 60,000 professionals in the industry today. Analysts estimate an increase to 150.000- 300,000 employees during the next five years," said Florin Grama, President of ABSL Romania.
Among the ABSL conference speakers sharing their regional experience were Jacek Levernes, one of the founders of ABSL and president of the organization in Poland, Werner Zeitlberger, senior manager of The Hackett Group, Dani Salil, VP of Everest Group, Oldrich Priklenk, country director of Gartner in Prague (via KPC-Group), Malgorzata Jasinska, managing director of Hays Talent Solutions for CEE and David Hand, head of CCO market, ACCA.
The conference was exquisitely presented by Colin Lovering, vice chairman of the Board of British American Chamber of Commerce.
In 2014, industry professionals represented 1.9% of the country’s active population and the sector contributed by 1.4% to the gross domestic product (GDP), according to market data. Companies in the industry estimate an increase of 60% of the number of employees by 2017, according to a recent survey made by KPMG for ABSL Romania.
The business services industry exceeded 1.5 billion euro in 2014, as a result of the accelerated growth recorded in recent years, of which 45% was generated by the 29 ABSL companies that registered a turnover of 675 million euro in 2014. Total investment in the local community through education or social responsibility programs exceeds 600,000 euro, according to the KPMG study.
The business services sector is highly competitive and is one of the fastest growing industries in Romania, with a significant contribution to exports and a strong impact on the local labor market. Major industry players have expressed in the study their intends to expand its activity in the next two years. About 50% of companies that participated are considering offering new services to current and potential clients, 18% want to expand their business by offering the same services to new customers, while 8% intend to stabilize and optimize the current activities.
Foreign capital was, and still is, the main source of investments in the business services industry in Romania. The main foreign investors are companies from Western European countries (such as France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, UK, Ireland) and the United States. In addition, companies from Brazil and Bulgaria have also started operations locally. Since the beginning, the ABSL has supported foreign investors interested in interacting with companies engaged in business services in Romania, assessing investment opportunities and launching activities locally while focusing determination to close strategic partnerships with key industry players and supporters, thus ensuring continued market development.
The ABSL Romania is formed by major regional and international organizations: Accenture Services, Allianz Worldwide Partners, APT Resources & Services, Automobile Dacia, AWP Romania, Capgemini, CBRE Romania, Connections Consult, DB Schenker, Deloitte Audit, EUCOM Business Language, Genpact Romania, the Global Remote Services, Hewlett Packard Global Business Center, Luxoft Professional Romania, Microsoft Romania, Office Depot Service Center, Optima Solutions Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers Services, Process Solutions Romania, Renault Business Services, Société Generale European Business Services, Stefanini Romania, TELUS International Europe, UCMS Group Romania, UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions, Valoris Center, Vauban, Vodafone Shared Services Romania, Wipro, WNS Global Services and Strategic Partners Association are ACCA, Colliers International, Corporate Office Solutions (COS), Fine Law, Hays Talent Solutions, I-Future, KPMG, McCann PR, Mikomax and Skanska. The Diplomat-Bucharest was media partner at the event.