ABSL Romania: Partnership to support business services sector’s long term development


During the first annual conference Business Services Industry – Partnership for the Future, The Association of Business Service Leaders in Romania (ABSL) presented the findings of a survey on the industry and announced the pillars of its development strategy on Romanian market.

To support business services sector’s long term development, ABSL Romania aims for a strategic partnership with authorities, universities and private sector, focusing on elaborating a development strategy for the industry (to increase the role of the sector in sustaining the local economy), closely cooperate with universities to prepare highly educated staff for the sector and improve employability of fresh graduates, come up with a stimulating regulatory framework and investment incentives tailored for the business services sector and increase investment attractiveness of Romania by capitalizing on the local competitive advantages.

Romania ranks 9 globally and 2nd in CEE as preferred destination for companies operating in the business service industry that is one of the most dynamic in the economy.  Despite the economic crisis, average growth rate over the last 3 years has been over 20% annually and a further growth of over 30% is planned over the next 3 years. At the first edition of its first annual conference dedicated to the business services sector, ABSL Romania has initiated an active dialogue with authorities, aiming to establish a strategic partnership on regulatory, fiscal and academic levels, meant to further support the rapid development of this sector that can turn into a growth driver for the economy

Alexander Weigl,

President ABSL Romania

According to a survey report by KPMG for ABSL, by 2012 overall business services industry was estimated at € 500 mln, employing about 20,000 people.  ABSL Members make approximately half of this market, with a cumulated turnover of about € 200 mln and 8,000 employees.

The business services sector will continue to register fast growth on the local market, as more and more companies are looking to reduce their operational costs and to improve their working capital. Big multinational companies have opened over the last few years at least one center in Romania, some of these centers employing more than 2,000 people. We are speaking about a highly educated, multi-lingual workforce with over 80% of the employees holding university degrees and international qualifications

Alexander Weigl

Among Romania’s competitive advantages as identified in the conference there are the competitive business environment, the reduced operational costs and Romanians’ language skills which allow them to easily adapt to multicultural working environments. The Romanian state can actively support the development of the sector and jobs creation by tailored stimulants and incentives as well as by improving the regulatory framework, concluded the representatives of the business services sector.

The costs efficiency with staff, the geographical location of the country, the dimensions of the local market as well as the high competencies of the Romanian employees in this sector make Romania one of the most looked for destinations for companies in the Business Process Outsourcing, Information Technology Outsourcing and Shared Service Centers. Therefore, the answer to the question <are there going to be investments in Romania?> is, without any doubt, <yes>

Pawel Panczyi,

Managing Director ABSL Poland

Panczyi pointed out that Romanian universities must offer to the students not only theoretical knowledge, but also practical experience, competencies and abilities required in different fields of activity, including in the business services sector.

The business services industry is a fast growing one not only at regional level but also globally, making a market with an annual turnover of over $300BN. Keshav Murugesh, President Nasscom BPM Council & CEO WNS Global Services emphasized that the sector has grown globally while other industries were fighting with the financial challenges of a gloomy economic context: “The global BPO sector is now growing at about 5 to 6% and the offshore business are now growing at a double digit. In the future, the growing trend will continue”.

Created in 2012, ABSL Romania aims to enhance dialogue and cooperation within the industry, by facilitating the exchange of experience and best practices between sector players. Moreover, the association supports solutions which foster entrepreneurship, evaluates legislative improvement opportunities, and helps adapt academic education to business requirements.