Kosovo: Southeast Europe’s Outsourcing nest

Adding date: 05.02.2018 | Kosovo

For the past couple of decades, offshore services have solidified the place of South-East Asia (SEA) on the global scene. With Pakistan so far away, India supplied about 50% of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and call-center services to US companies. However, this has changed tremendously in recent times. More and more businesses are re-routing their outsourcing destinations to Southeast Europe (SEE) for obvious and business-related reasons. Reasons include cheaper on-demand skills, dissimilar cultural affiliations, multilingual trade-offs, less travel time, and lower costs, etc. Kosovo stands out in this region as a leading outsourcing market.

Outsource what?

World leading brands like HP, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Siemens, etc. entered the outsourcing markets first, hinting at an All-IT affair. Currently, outsourcing cuts across the travel & leisure, financial, ecommerce & retail, consulting, real estate, and automotive sectors of businesses.

BPO services widely outsourced fall into two categories, namely: Business processes and IT-services. Business processes include Call center and Customer support, Design and engineering, Facilities Management, Logistics, HR services, Finance and Accounting, Marketing, Payroll services, Procurement, etc. Examples of IT-services are Application development, Application Management, IT Helpdesk and support, Testing, Infrastructure, and data center service, etc.

The changing face of outsourcing also comes into perspective here: in the past, outsourced contact center vendors were only evaluated based on their affordable basic customer service, but today, they are evaluated based on their strategic abilities to deliver on the client's journey and add value to the overall customer experience. In other words, getting the job done is not enough; Providing outstanding customer service and innovative solutions at a competitive rate is what is becoming a standard in this industry.

The Kosovo advantage

When we look at Southeast Europe, we can't ignore Kosovo. According to figures recently released by the Government, Kosovo has the youngest population (53% of Kosovo are aged under 25) in Europe, Kosovo recorded a 20 – 30% growth rate and it’s leading the way in the BPO/ITO sector. This remarkable growth came despite a widespread financial crisis in Europe and is attributed, in part, to the country's economically active population (a large, educated and highly skilled group of people), as well as the high rate of internet penetration and information technology acceptability. These allow Kosovo to offer all remote services. In this most important trend, Kosovo has emerged as one of Europe's top locations for global sourcing of IT services. According to the Outsourcing Journal, Kosovo has become an attractive location for ICT outsourcing, due to low costs and a large population of highly educated and multilingual IT staff.

Breaking the Language barrier

In the past 30 years, American multinationals have rarely outsourced to SEA because they were primarily focused on providing English-speaking services. But nowadays, English alone is not enough. Kosovars speak English with a proper American accent that you can't tell them from native speakers. US companies in the IT, travel, financial, and e-commerce industries are now willing to serve their customers in additional languages beyond English, such as German, Spanish, and French. Call centers and BPO in Southeast Europe can serve German, Spanish, and French speakers on a large scale. But not only these two languages; the region is also home to many native speakers of German, Italian, Serbo-Croatian and other European languages. This is the main strength of the SEE - being able to provide real multilingual operations, rather than monolingual, as SEA offers.

Highly skilled workforce

BPO/ITO companies always look for highly qualified employees proficient in specific languages – a category of the workforce with a ready and steady supply in the SEE. Kosovo produces a high number of graduates in Europe, with a majority of them holding a bachelor’s degree, thereby providing a big pool of human capital to power the BPO/ITO industry. The educational system also focuses on core engineering and mathematical sciences, churning talents into IT and financial services market.

Cost-cutting

There is a huge range of advantages when outsourcing IT services to Southeast Europe. The most obvious is the cutting of costs. Outsourcing companies in this region pay their employees’ lower wages, and they can pass some of that savings onto their clients. Since these resources are not on your business's payroll, outsourcing also brings significant reductions in capital investments – you only pay for the work that you needed to be done, and don't have to worry about any additional overheads.

Cultural and Geographical proximity

While Southeast European countries can't offer the same kind of savings that other countries might offer, it has a lot of advantages over other regions. From an ease of management to an easily accessible location and an operational culture closely matched to that of the UK, there are many reasons why Southeast Europe is becoming a hotspot for outsourcing. In particular, Southeast Europe is an increasingly popular choice for UK businesses, since it is relatively close, yet allows companies to access highly skilled labour at a much lower price. The region is producing some of the top tech minds in the world too, so businesses are guaranteed a service far superior to what they could expect elsewhere. However, not only businesses in the UK look Southeast Europe, either; top American companies such as AT&T, IBM, Dell, and Morgan Stanley have all outsourced key services to South-East Europe, showing that the level of service obtained here is impeccable.

Presently, Southeast Europe only represents a small fraction of the international outsourcing market. However, this is rapidly changing, and the region's growth is almost double that of the global market – a sign that Southeast Europe is an increasingly attractive choice for outsourcing. The most advanced cities in the region provide a unique blend of attributes which can't be found anywhere else in the world. Quality over quantity, and a highly skilled and educated pool of talent at extremely cost-effective prices right on the doorstep of their major clients.

Source of the cover photo: eurovoix.com

Connected materials

Attractive for business, friendly to live in
Attractive for business, friendly to live in
05.11.2018
Poland among the most developed economies in the world
Poland among the most developed economies in the world
30.10.2018
ArchiDoc has implemented a project for Groupon
ArchiDoc has implemented a project for Groupon
25.02.2019
Previous
Stalchemia Retail Park in Siedlce, has signed up a new tenant
Stalchemia Retail Park in Siedlce, has signed up a new tenant
Next
My Fitness Place in Angel City
My Fitness Place in Angel City

Newsletter

Calendar of events

  • DLA Piper Conference "Legal challenges for the BPO / SSC sector in Poland"04.04.2019 Warsaw (Poland)
  • The Innotech Summit: Destination UK11.04.2019 London (UK)
  • 19th Annual Shared Services and Outsourcing Week Europe 201913.05.2019 Lisbon (Portugal)
See others

Experts

PolandMikołaj Makowski
Mikołaj Makowski
see others

Outsourcing&More

Newsroom

  • Echo Investment records another great yearEcho Investment records another great year21.03.2019
  • Medium-sized cities to benefit from the shared services growthMedium-sized cities to benefit from the shared services growth21.03.2019
  • Two revamped buildings in Mokotów gain a new adviserTwo revamped buildings in Mokotów gain a new adviser20.03.2019
  • European investment volumes forecastEuropean investment volumes forecast18.03.2019
  • Bilfinger Tebodin in Business Garden WarsawBilfinger Tebodin in Business Garden Warsaw13.03.2019
See others

Blogs

  • Do you like to sell? Do you know how to sell?
    Do you like to sell? Do you know how to sell?Wiktor Doktór
  • Why is Digital Marketing more important than ever in 2017?
    Why is Digital Marketing more important than ever in 2017?Sean Patterson
  • 3 Trend Shifts that have Re-shaped the BPO Industry
    3 Trend Shifts that have Re-shaped the BPO Industry Catherine Park
  • BSS events calendar for September
    BSS events calendar for SeptemberWiktor Doktór
  • Where is CEE on the global map of locations for BPO
    Where is CEE on the global map of locations for BPOWiktor Doktór
See others
  • Catherine Park
    Catherine ParkContent writer & Developer
  • Sean Patterson
    Sean PattersonPartner at Euro Digital Partners
  • Waldek Olbryk
    Waldek Olbryk
  • Wiktor Doktór
    Wiktor DoktórBPO expert, CEO of Pro Progressio and one of the most experienced outsourcing personality in Poland.
  • Krzysztof Herdzik
    Krzysztof Herdzik
See others

List of companies

NAI Estate Fellows Sp. z o.o.
NAI Estate Fellows Sp. z o.o.
(Poland)
See others