Outsourcing Romania – what if…?
Article written by Amalia Sterescu, Senior Business Consultant, CEO and founder Outsourcing Advisors
The business environment is based on scenarios, and we are fond of those that are characterized by predictability. But leaders are allowed to dream from time to time as these dreams are transformed into useful visions for their business.
When thinking about the Romanian Outsourcing industry I would like us to create together a certain “wish list”. Let’s play a little with our imagination and our hopes and imagine…what if…?
- A certain Outsourcing investor is interested in Romania as an Outsourcing destination, after taking a tour visiting Poland and The Czech Republic. At present, he has trouble finding the info he needs and keeps wasting precious time navigating on the internet looking for a state agency to answer his questions and provide useful info in regards to what he’s really focused on. While in Poland he could easily find what we call an “Attraction Agency” and in most Central and Eastern European countries the chambers of commerce play an active role in their country’s promotion, Romania still has a long road to take in regards to this matter. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our country had a national platform where the potential investor could find the basic information he desires, that our embassies would promote our real Outsourcing potential while attending various international summits, same as the Malaysian ambassador does for instance? It would be wonderful if we had information centers abroad and Romania would make a PR effort and position itself as a true Outsourcing destination. I strongly believe that if we were to re-think our country’s branding strategy, the much discussed “leaf” would be replaced at any time with any symbolism that relates to Outsourcing.
- It would be wonderful if annually, the future professionals that graduate from our universities would benefit from trainings aligned with the international business requirements. As a result, the need to invest more in foreign languages, customer relationship skills and other technical skills would be decreased in comparison to what it is today. At the same time it would be most desirable for us to have a permanent dialogue between the education system and the business environment, along with a long term strategy.
- It would be wonderful if the Outsourcing industry in Romania would find its identity when faced with government officials and not to be forced to explain its characteristics to every new Communications Minister that is being set to function. The government should know by default who we are, what we do, what our goals are, how we help the state budget and how we add value to Romania. The government should also know how we constantly reduce the unemployment rate by attracting every year thousands of fresh graduates (and not only). And it would be wonderful if we were supported by a long term partnership by the governors, despite their political color.
- It would be particularly important, when talking about a period of personnel growth (30% estimated 2015 / industry) to have exceptional leaders capable of correctly handling this growth and especially able to accelerate their development in terms of leadership!
- Even more, it would be normal for us to have a vivid dialogue between the various associations and industry centers related to the Outsourcing industry in Romania, a dialogue that would bring together all the Romanian outsourcing entrepreneurs and the governmental decision makers for a better Romanian lobby and promotion!
- I also strongly believe that we should have more events focused on the Outsourcing industry, “in Bucharest not in Budapest”, for we do have the necessary strength to rise ourselves to the highest standards in terms of Outsourcing and place ourselves among the most desired Eastern European destinations!
After 12 years spent in various leadership roles in outsourcing, I am supporting the notion that the Outsourcing industry in Romania needs recognition, needs to be supported and promoted. It needs a strong voice that can represent its interests, not only to the big stake-holders, but also to the small Outsourcing entrepreneurs.
In 2012, when I first founded Outsourcing Advisors (the first portal dedicated to the Outsourcing community in Romania), I felt I had to bring up front the various needs this market shows:
- The need of always being prepared with the correct and valuable information for foreign investors but also for the small entrepreneurs;
- The need for continuous training and education programs dedicated to employees working in the industry;
- The need to belong to a community ( and I’ve done so by launching the Outsourcing Club and the “I am an outsourcing professional” campaign)
On March 24, Outsourcing Advisors has been a strategic partner in organizing the first edition of the Romanian Outsourcing Summit, an edition which was attended by 120 industry leaders and specialists and also by government representatives. Thus, we have proved once again that a good vision needs action otherwise it only remains a mere hallucination.
In conclusion, when speaking about the Outsourcing industry, I strongly believe we need:
- A long term strategy for the Outsourcing industry in Romania;
- Smart usage of the Outsourcing industry as a country brand;
- A partnership with the Ministry of Education for assuring the long and healthy life for this industry in our country;
- A constant dialogue between the Outsourcing representatives and the Romanian Government;
- A permanent investment in the Romanian Outsourcing leaders for assuring an intelligent growth and avoid any unproductive battle for resources and talents.