Regional service centres are encouraged to move into university cities
Five gems of Hungary
Investments. There is all hope for the appearance of new regional service centres in two-three years time in the Hungarian “Pearl Cities”. Two-three investments are expected per city, each creating the need for 100-300 qualified workforce – Csaba Kilián, Executive Investment Director of Hungarian Investment and Trade Development Agency (ITDH) has told. The agency appointed Deloitte Global Location & Facilities – one of the leaders specializing in regional service centre location consultancy – to examine the potentials of the Hungarian cities in this respect. Deloitte has named 5 cities – Debrecen, Kecskemét, Pécs, Szeged and Székesfehérvár –, which are called the Pearl Cities.
For the time being, these kind of centres within Hungary are located mainly in Budapest. However, dynamic improvement is anticipated in this service sector according to the international trends. This is no surprise, if we look at the fact that the outsourcing of service centres create a win-win situation for all. First, it generates demand for highly qualified, multi-language professionals – which is of high importance for the potential location cities. Second, the future employees can face the attractive challenge of fast career development in an international environment with an option of working abroad. Third, the investors are able to cut costs to the extent of 30-40 percent (there is an example for 50 percent cost reduction, too). ITDH’s role is to provide information to the investors considering an establishment of regional service centre in Hungary. Since 2004, the agency has the aim to pursue the investments into the country towns. The service centres in Pécs and Debrecen count as its successes.
Deloitte has compared the Hungarian cities, taking into account aspects like available qualified workforce, cost level or adequate real estate supply, and the Hungarians were also matched up with the Czech, Polish, Slovakian and Romanian towns. So was the top 5 list created which includes the cities having good international results in cost as well as quality – nevertheless, the other cities which did not make it to the list are not neglected by ITDH either.
The competition is stiff, since Hungary is competing continuously on one hand with the above mentioned countries in the region, on the other hand with countries like India, the world-power in this service field. Yet, Hungary is competitive, which is reflected by the fact that the service centres established with the assistance of ITDH are currently employing around 15,000 people in the country.
The agency strives to convince the potential outsourcers with numerous tools. Among them are the participation in international conferences, involvement in various workshops and attending the international fairs with information stands. According to Kilián, they prefer access to high level managers and decision makers. Besides the new companies, some of the firms with existing service centres in Hungary are planning to expand as well.
(Source: http://vg.hu/index.php?apps=cikk&cikk=167700, downloaded: 05/04/2007)