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ABSL: bright outlook for Poland’s BPO/SSC sector after bumper 2011


In the course of 2011 Poland attracted 38 new business process outsourcing/shared service centres (BPO/SSC) that lifted total employment in the sector by 15,000 to 85,000, thus further strengthening the country’s status as a leading European and global hub for such projects, according to a report by the Association of Business Service Leaders in Poland (ABSL), a BPO/SSC industry group.

The ABSL estimates that the value of the Polish BPO/SSC sector has quadrupled during the past year and currently stands at approximately PLN 12bn (€2.8bn), while employment has surged by over 50% since 2009 and should top 100,000 in December 2012. (The Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency is currently negotiating 30 new BPO/SSC projects expected to create nearly 8,000 jobs; see the news item "PAIiIZ: new FDI projects exceed €500m in Q1".)

At present Poland accounts for nearly 40% of all BPO/SSC jobs in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and a third of new global centres located in the region. Of the 60,000 new BPO/SSC jobs added in CEE since 2009, 45% have been in Poland. The CEE region currently has about 8% of the global market, it is estimated.

There are now 340 BPO/SSC centres in Poland, focusing mainly on finance/accounting, IT and R&D services. BPO and ITO centres account for 45% of all jobs in the sector, followed by SSC centres at 35% and R&D centres at 20%. They belong to companies from 24 countries, mainly from the EU. The ABSL expects companies from Asia, particularly China, India and Japan, to play a growing role in the years ahead.

The number of centres employing over 1,000 people has shot up to 17 over the past two years (of this group, 15 centres account for 40% of total employment in the sector).

In terms of geography, BPO/SSC centres tend to cluster in and around seven major metropolitan areas: Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Lodz, the Silesia metro region, the Tricity, and Poznan, which together account for 80% of all jobs in the sector. There is a degree of specialisation, with Warsaw and Poznan dominated by finance & accounting centres, Krakow by IT services and finance & accounting, Wroclaw by R&D facilities, Katowice (Silesia) by customer support, HR and IT services, and the Tricity by R&D and IT services.

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