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10 things I learned from ABSL “Partnering for the future” – outsourcing conference

Last week, Association of Business Service Leaders in Romania held the conference “Partnering for the future” in an attempt to put at the same table outsourcing and service industry players  located in Romania and public institutions members – with the common goal to support Romania as attractive outsourcing destination. Outsourcing Advisors was present at the event and here are our main comments and observations:

  1. On top of Global Outsourcing destinations, we can find Romania on number 9th, at regional level Romania it is the 2nd outsourcing destination in Central Eastern Europe, after Poland; There is a large pool of students in Romania – 600k, excellent skills availability and cultural proximity to major European markets;
  2. Business Service industry in Romania will continue to grow (20%/fiscal year) in areas like: Finance & Accounting, Logistic & Supply Chain Management, Contract & Customer Relationship Management, Customer IT Services, Sales Operations, Human Resources Management, Procurement.
  3. Pawel Panczyi – Managing Director ABSL Poland talked about key market trends:
    • Global solutions – multisourcing, near – shore/far-shore;
    • Desire for process expertise and technology (platforms);
    • Industry know-how required even in traditionally horizontal processes;
    • Transition from enabling functions to core processes;
    • Process transformation.
  4. ABSL Poland main key initiatives are related to influence legal and tax regulations to support Poland attractiveness and growth, change academic profiles to tailor the future employees, branding of the sector to change perception, strengthen position and support growth, attract more complex activities within their structures.
  5. Akos Csernus – Vice President ABSL Romania and Managing Director International Delivery Centers WNS –  provided a snapshot of the Romanian business services survey based on ABSL Romania members responses. According with this survey,  finance & accounting plus customer support are the most frequent services in both Shared Service Centers or BPO types of companies. There is also a clear trend of higher value and more complex activities being added to the service portfolios such as R&D, Analytics and Legal Process Outsourcing.
  6. Overall Business Process Management industry employment in Romania is ~ 20,000 employees with an average growth over the last 3 years of 20% . Further growth is estimated at 30% for the following 3 years.The business service industry in Romania is  a gender equality employer with women well represented in senior professional & managerial roles;
  7.  ABSL Romania proposal for partnership:
      • Educational and Talent Development Partnership to attract talent and improve employability of fresh graduates;
      • A stimulating regulatory framework supporting growth, sustainable employment practices and long term reliability;
      • Investment incentives tailored for the industry to further encourage job creation and recognize the significant investment that goes into Human Resources Development and innovation;
      • Marketing the country together to position Romania as a significant Business Services/Business Process Management Hub in Europe s well as globally.
  8. According with Keshav Murugesh, Chairman, Nasscom BPM Council Group CEO, WNS Global Services:  social media, analytics and cloud will be the catalysts for the future. Based on his view, every outsourcing destination should differentiate by becoming specialized in specific areas and the big question is: “In which service area would like Romania to be specialized and recognized at global level”?
  9. Pavel Nastase, University Professor Pd.D & Rector of ASE mentioned about ASE efforts to restructure the educational plans in order to be more adaptable to our business reality;
  10. Pascal Henssen SVP COO Genpact Europe emphasized the fact that the right talents will be the key to growth. He also mentioned that if Romanian multi-language capability will be lost, our main competitive advantage will be gone.

Regarding the partnership between ABSL Romania and Public institutions/Government I would say that we face a shy start. The government partners present at the event where more declarative in their speeches, there are many good intentions however only a few solutions where offered. In my view for the next conferences regarding Business Services in Romania – we should see more success stories, real projects and implemented measures – as a result of the partnership between industry players and Government.


Author: Amalia Sterescu – Sr. Business Consultant

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