In the past few years, Poland has become the CEE leader in terms of business service sector employment, and has emerged as one of the sector’s key global destinations.
“Over 120,000 specialists work in foreign-capital business service centers operating in Poland, which translates into a 20 percent increase year-on-year,” commented Jacek Levernes, President of ABSL, Member of Executive Management Board HP Europe. “This means that the most optimistic scenarios forecast by ABSL have come true.”
According to ABSL forecasts, the business service sector continues to be among the fastest developing branches of the Polish economy, with growth set to continue with service centres generating between 15 – 20,000 new vacancies per year, hitting 150,000 by 2016. To fulfil the growing employment requirements, the sector is searching for new locations in Poland, which will be able to provide it with access to a wide HR pool.
This is why such companies have become one of the main drivers of office market demand, both in larger markets (excluding Warsaw) – Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan, Katowice, Tri-City, Lodz, Lublin, Szczecin, as well as in smaller cities.
Exemplary lease agreements signed by companies from the business service sector in 2013 included: IBM Global Services Delivery Polska (12,000 sqm, Katowice), Lufthansa Airline Accounting Center (8,500 sqm, Krakow), ING Services Polska (7,300 sqm, Katowice) and Cisco (7,000 sqm, Krakow).
Krakow is believed to be the most important centre of BPO/SSC activities, not only in the country but also in the whole European region. There are over 60 service centres in the city, which altogether employ nearly 20,000 people.
“Due to the strong performance of the BPO / SSC tenants and a strong position of the city on the outsourcing map of Europe, the demand for modern office space in Krakow should remain strong,” commented Kamil Tyszkiewicz, Associate Director of the Office Agency at CBRE.
One of the essential elements analyzed by new investors planning new investments in the area is the risks and costs of acquiring human capital.
The high availability of qualified staff, attractive labour costs from an employer’s perspective and social infrastructure are just some of the advantages of the Krakow region for service center providers, especially those related to higher technology. These factors place Krakow in a leading position in terms of the acquisition of new jobs and the amount of people working in companies of the SSC/BPO type.
“Krakow remains an unrivalled leader in SSC/BPO and the new technologies sector, securing employment for more then 20,000 people,” commented Sylwia Kłyczek, Randstad Professionals Regional Manager. “Investors are eager to open new business centres in this city due to the attainability of well-educated, competent employees. The development of business, on the other hand, attracts people to Krakow with the most desirable competences thus creating favourable conditions for further development of both the city and the people.”
Further, 2013 was another year of growth in the business service sector, enhancing its position as a key driver of the development of Poland’s office market. Foreign-capital companies from the sector leased more than 220,000 sqm of office space in 2013 in Poland. Around 200,000 sqm of this was leased outside Warsaw.
With business services increasingly driving office market development outside Warsaw, Anna Młyniec, Head of Office Agency and Tenant Representation at JLL, said: “JLL’s analyses show that in 2013 business services sector companies leased around 200,000 sqm of office space outside Warsaw, which is, when the capital city is excluded, about 50 percent of Poland’s total office space demand. If we take Warsaw into consideration, the business services sector companies’ share in 2013’s total office space demand was around 20 percent.”
It can be assumed that the total office space volume occupied by foreign-capital business services companies operating in Poland, is around 1.2 million sqm.
Mateusz Polkowski, Associate Director, Research and Consultancy, JLL, concluded: “Almost from the very start of sector’s establishment in Poland, business service centres have been, and continue to be, key tenants of office space outside Warsaw. These kind of lease agreements typically concern a large volume of space, comparable to the space occupied by the largest financial and telecommunication companies. The process started with pivotal contracts – signed several years ago – by HP and Credit Suisse in Wroclaw, Shell and State Street in Krakow and by Infosys in Lodz. After these transactions the business service sector started to be perceived as a key office space tenant outside Warsaw. Today, companies from the business services sector occupy about 50 percent of the total office space volume in Krakow, 36 percent in Lodz and 35 percent in Wroclaw.”
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