SEB Global Services centre in Riga has started to relocate its employees to the newly built office GUSTAVS in Teika. Currently, almost 500 employees have already moved in the new building, and the relocation will be completed by end of June when all 1200 employees will work under one roof.
The new building was built and equipped according to the highest requirements of BREEAM New Construction Excellent Fully-fitted certificate of sustainable construction, and GUSTAVS will be the first building in Latvia with a certificate of this level and scope. It has six floors above ground and underground parking in two levels. The glazed roof, supported by wooden beams, allows abundant natural light to enter the atrium. The building is equipped with spacious and multifunctional work areas, meeting rooms of various sizes, electric car charging facilities, bicycle storage, showers and changing rooms in the underground parking lot. Solar panels are installed on the roof of the building.
Aļesja Kirčenko, Deputy Head of SEB Global Services in Riga:
“When we started this project in the summer of 2021, we set our ambition to create GUSTAVS as one of the most modern, inspiring and sustainable office buildings in Riga. Now we can proudly say that that we have accomplished this mission. GUSTAVS is an activity-based office with an open layout and varios work environments, giving colleagues the opportunity to choose the most convenient place for their tasks. The new building will become a platform that will allow us to continue our growth trajectory, while paying a lot of attention to the well-being of our employees”.
In addition to comfortably furnished workspaces in the amount of 11 000 square meters, the new building also offers to employees a gym, a lunch restaurant, game rooms, parents’ and childrens’ rooms, a room for meditation and rooms for short nap breaks, a library and a roof terrace. To take care of employee’s well-being, a modern air quality and climate control system as well as biodynamic lighting system have been installed in the building.
An inspiring atmosphere in GUSTAVS will be created by a collection of artworks by the new-generation Latvian artists, created by art curator Auguste Petre. The collection includes over 30 works of art – paintings, drawings, photographs, art objects as well as digital and textile works of art.
Before the relocation employees of SEB Global Services in Riga were situated in three different buildings in Pārdaugava. The new office not only allows colleagues from different departments to work together more efficiently, but also to choose more environmentally friendly means of mobility, such as bicycles, scooters, electric scooters or electric cars.
Construction of GUSTAVS was started in August 2021. Galio Development are the owners and developers of the project. Construction works were carried out by Merks, and the architects are Vilnis Mičulis.
SEB Global Services in Riga has 1200 employees, providing SEB Group companies in Scandinavia, the Baltic States and other regions of the world with a wide range of business services, such as payment processing and cash management services, processing of securities transactions, compliance and risk management, services related to the prevention of financial crime, development and maintenance of IT systems as well as other services.
Cognizant Softvision today announced the opening of a new studio in Iasi, Romania. Located in the downtown Iasi, the new office is in Palas Campus, developed in the Palas complex.
Cognizant Softvision is one of Romania’s largest IT employers. With approximately 3000 sqm on the 1st floor, Cognizant Softvision’s new office will welcome local employees to a great new experience. The office will offer associates the benefits of working together in collaborative and creative spaces, or smaller spaces for more individual, heads down activity. The hybrid working environment and studio concept offers the best experiences for talent, partners and clients, and emphasizes the importance of flexibility, mobility and collaborative work.
“We’re constantly looking to improve and evolve our colleagues’ experience while working from our collaboration hubs,” said Mihai Constandis, Romania Country Manager. “Our hybrid working framework provides flexibility and takes the whole workplace collaboration to the next level. Our new office in Iasi will be home to nearly 400 professionals, and we look forward to providing each of them with a customized and personal experience that fits their lifestyle.”
The new Iasi Collaboration Hub offers talent, clients and visitors the best experience – a brand-new building, in the new “hotspot” of the city: Palas Campus. The core concept is designed around spaces that bring together collaboration practices and focused work, but also client workshops adapted to today’s new reality as the approach to work and work-life balance has completely changed. In the new Collaboration Hub in Iasi, one can discover an entire “city,” a metropolis that is populated, dynamic and diverse.
Employees can experience the new office through different hotspots: “Agora”, with public events; “Innovation Labs” for the art of tech and innovation; “Community corners” for our technical teams and “Social areas.” A city ‘break’ experience in a corporate space, yet vibrant, with personalized and purposedly built spaces for the needs of “inhabitants”/ employees.
Source and Full Story: Business Review
Back in March, LTI Mindtree announced the inauguration of a new delivery center in Krakow, Poland, as part of its strategy to expand presence in Eastern Europe.
The company is now in its drive to hire 500 people.
The new delivery center was inaugurated by Jerzy Muzyk, Deputy Mayor of the City of Krakow, Przemyslaw Roth, Vice President, ASPIRE (Krakow), Peter Mitchell, Vice President, The Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL- Krakow), Rao Maddukuri, President of Poland India Business Council and Nachiket Deshpande, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Board Member, LTI Mindtree.
Slawo Czuz is the General Manager of the new operations in Krakow.
This 500-seater, state-of-the-art center at Ocean Office Park - Krakow, will support the company's capabilities in the region and bring LTI Mindtree's world-class services closer to its customers in the travel, transportation, and hospitality industries.
The new center will complement LTI Mindtree's existing delivery center in Warsaw.
British technology company Kainos was one of the first IT companies to invest in Gdansk. When it opened its first office in 2008, it had 15 people working there. Recently, the Polish branch of Kainos celebrated crossing the threshold of 300 people on board and announced an investment in new space.
A bit of history
It is the first half of 2008. People around the world are waiting for the release of the second generation of iPhone. Hardly anyone is anticipating the financial crisis, initiated by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September this year. None of the Olivia Business Centre office buildings are yet in place in Gdansk, and a total of several thousand people work in the entire Tricity IT sector. This is when the first employees of the Polish branch of Kainos move into an office on the top floor of Madison Mall. Among them was Marcin Wasilczyk.
– I had been working at Kainos for almost a year by then. The opening of the office was a big event for us. The company’s CEO, Brendan Mooney, helped us carry the desks. So much has changed in more than 15 years that it is easier for me to list the things that have not changed. We still have a relaxed atmosphere and focus on collaboration. We do not create artificial, hierarchical barriers. What I think makes us successful are the great people who work here. Together we create software that makes the world a little better – recalls Marcin Wasilczyk, Solution Architect, Kainos.
He started as a programmer and today he is a Solution Architect. The four development teams he leads are involved in the development of one of Europe’s largest cashless payment processing platforms.
– 15 years ago, we were writing software that was installed on computers. Today, we develop solutions that run in the cloud and use AI. At Kainos, we have always focused on using modern technologies and that makes this work interesting. Kubernetes, Azure, microservices and other tools and technologies that we use in my current project did not exist 15 years ago. Throughout my career at Kainos, one thing I was sure of – that I would have the space and the necessary support to grow – Marcin Wasilczyk emphasises.
Gdansk – an important spot on the map
Kainos employs more than 3,000 people worldwide and 10% of them work in Poland, including more than 270 in Gdansk. The two main areas of activity of the Polish office are software development and Workday system implementations.
– Over the 15 years of Kainos’ presence in Poland, the world and the way we work has changed. Our team is growing, but we no longer need a desk for every employee. We remain in the Tryton Business House. We have left the office that has served us since 2016 and are moving to a smaller space that will be adapted to the hybrid working model that is standard for us. We work remotely. We have employees in Warsaw, Lodz, Poznan, Krakow or Katowice. Our new office will be a space for meetings and collaboration. The £1 million we will invest will allow us to use, among other things, low-carbon technologies bringing us closer to our goal of being a zero-carbon company by 2025. It also proves that we are not going anywhere from Gdansk and we want to continue to co-create a good climate for IT in the Tricity – says Jakub Stempnik, Country Lead for Poland, Kainos.
The beginnings of Kainos in the Northern Irish city of Belfast, where the company’s headquarters is still located, are strongly connected with creating IT solutions for the public sector, healthcare and commercial clients. Today, teams from Poland are still working in these areas and have specific achievements in them.
– The solutions we provide are changing the way organisations operate so that people are better off. Following the outbreak of the pandemic, we were commissioned to deliver a system that enabled the UK to order tests for Covid-19 and get the results. The challenge was that we had six days to deliver a working solution. We managed and developed it to the point where it was handling several hundred thousand queries a day. We contributed to the creation of the British equivalent of CEPiK, or a solution through which the British order passports without leaving their homes – argues Szczepan Sakowicz, who headed the Gdańsk office for more than 10 years and today is responsible for business development in Europe.
Strong reputation of Pomeranian IT specialists
– The fact that customers appreciate what we do and how we do it can be seen from our results. As an outcome, we are well on the way to realising our strategy of having more than 4,000 people working for Kainos in 2025. A bright spot on our map will be Gdańsk – Szczepan Sakowicz describes the development plans.
– The Polish team has made a great name for itself at Kainos. We play a key role in creating advanced solutions using modern technologies. This is important, although when during the recruitment process candidates ask what is the most important thing for me in this company, I answer that the people and the atmosphere. That makes all the difference. Everyone who works for us has the feeling that they will not be left alone with a problem. We are a team and together we offer solutions that change the world for the better – adds Jakub Stempnik.
Swiss-owned Novartis expands its Hungarian presence by adding a regional R&D center.
Apart from its core research functions, the facility will play a crucial role in coordinating related activities in several countries.
Having a tradition of over 250 years, the establishment of Novartis’ Hungarian operation dates back to the early nineties. As part of its structural optimization, the Swiss-owned corporation now strengthens its presence by setting up a regional R&D center in Budapest.
Novartis Hungária Kft. is already conducting 65 active clinical researches in the country in collaboration with numerous universities, research institutes and 19 hospitals. The new facility aims to enhance the role of the Hungarian operation as it will become responsible for coordinating clinical research activities in more than 12 countries and will also significantly increase its headcount bringing new highly skilled jobs to Hungary.
The ambitious plans require pushing up headcount in the R&D section as well. The fact that more clinical research will take place in Hungary has many benefits. Among others, Hungarian patients gain access to new medical solutions, whereas doctors can also benefit professionally. New capacities are thus created in Hungary thanks to Novartis’ commitment to implement large-scale developments in the field of data sciences, technologies and innovative research methods.
Chinese electric-vehicle maker (EV) NIO celebrated the shipment of its first battery swap station from Biatorbagy, Hungary, to Germany on Friday, produced by NIO Power Europe, the company's first overseas plant. NIO said that the facility will support its commitment to installing 1,000 battery swap stations outside China by 2025. In the second half of this year, NIO's integrated power services and automotive products are said to be available in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.
NIO's overseas factory is the epitome of Chinese enterprises' approach to the new-energy vehicle (NEV) industrial chain expanding its overseas footprint. China has already dominated the entire downstream NEV battery supply chain, namely cell components manufacturing, battery cells manufacturing and NEV manufacturing according to the International Energy Agency. China produces 75 percent of all lithium batteries and is home to 70 percent of production capacity for cathodes and 85 percent for anodes, both key components used in batteries. Among the world's top 10 power battery suppliers, Chinese companies account for half, with a market share of 37.3 percent. But Chinese enterprises are still accelerating their global layout to increase their capacities in mining and material processing, the upstream components of battery production.
Since lithium is an indispensable material for battery cell manufacturing, Chinese enterprises, including battery makers and carmakers, have sought to expand material exploration. For example, Ganfeng Lithium, China's No.1 producer of battery metal, started construction of the Mariana Lithium in Argentina in June. Zijin Mining Group acquired Canadian lithium miner Neo Lithium Corp in January. It is also reported that BYD was in talks to buy six lithium mines in Africa in June, with total reserves of lithium oxide at 2.5 percent grade estimated at more than 25 million tons.
Although we have few details yet, BNP Paribas is opening a new business services centre in Krakow.
We'll report full details in our next Newsletter.
Volvo Cars has announced plans to set up a new development centre in Poland. The new ‘Tech Hub’ in Krakow will have full responsibility for software development for key features of the manufacturer’s new all-electric cars.
As such, the Krakow ‘Tech Hub’ is to play a crucial role in Volvo Cars’ plan to become an all-electric brand by 2030, according to the Swedish manufacturer’s statement. The new development centre in Krakow is expected to start operations by the end of this year with around 120 engineers and employ 500 to 600 people from the middle of the decade.
The software development contracts for the electric Volvos include, for example, “core safety technology based on our comprehensive understanding of the causes of accidents”, but also, for example, perception and driver assistance algorithms and software for autonomous driving. In other words, software elements that were previously often sourced from suppliers and “only” applied to a carmaker’s own vehicles by its engineers.
Further, the new Krakow team will also support Volvo outside of pure software development for the vehicles. For example, “next-generation connected functions” are also to be designed and all development work at Volvo Cars is to be supported by data analysis.
The decision for Krakow as the location of the Tech Hub was made after “much deliberation”, according to Volvo. The city is an “emerging technology centre with a broad network of technology companies in the region”. There is also a large telecoms sector – which has proved to be a good source of future staff at Volvo’s other engineering centres. It is also the first carmaker to have a significant engineering presence in Krakow, which Volvo hopes will attract more top talent.
“We’re a purpose-led and technology-driven company, so our new generation of Volvo cars will be more than just transport,” says Volvo CEO Jim Rowan. “They’ll be computers on wheels, designed to be updated over the air with new software. That means our Krakow tech hub and growing our in-house software development capabilities are key to our future success.”
ISS, a leading workplace experience and facility management company, is opening an office in Gdansk. This is the Danish giant’s third location in Poland, following its second global headquarters and Polish operations office both located in Warsaw.
ISS core business is integrated facilities services, operating in 30+ countries on all continents. Its range of services includes cleaning, catering, administrative and technical services, security, and strategic workplace management. Its more than 40,000 clients include office buildings, shopping centres, factories, airports, hotels, hospitals, and schools.
New operation in Gdansk
The ISS Finance Service Centre (FSC) Gdansk will be key to increasing the efficiency of financial processes at ISS by standardising the ways of working, taking advantage of Gdansk as an established finance hotspot with a large and skilful talent pool. Providing support for a global operation requires the concentrated effort of a dedicated unit, which is why ISS is centralising finance operations in Gdansk.
– The launch of the ISS FSC in Gdansk is a massive undertaking. We plan to combine the competences of customer service and internal process experts and chose the Tricity because it has fantastic human resources potential. We need well-qualified specialists with varied skillsets, and we know that there will be no problem finding them in Pomerania – says Paweł Rowicki, Head of Shared Services Transformation.
The Gdansk centre will initially employ financial specialists with the possibility of future growth, joining the 350,000+ employed by ISS worldwide.
– We are very pleased to see such a globally significant brand emerge in Pomerania. ISS is one of the top leaders in integrated facility services. The fact that the Gdansk office will process advanced financial operations proves that our specialists are highly qualified. It brings me much joy that more and more investors decide to entrust us with comprehensive projects, because it leads to high-paid jobs for our talent pool – states Mieczysław Struk, Marshall of the Pomerania Voivodeship.
The Danish business philosophy
Along with managing financial processes, ISS will bring its sustainable business philosophy to Gdansk. Danish work culture is not only about hygge, which is well known in Poland, but also about safe working conditions, supporting gender, racial and religious diversity and reducing environmental impact by creating sustainable solutions for the ecosystem. The company focuses on internal migration and providing competitive salaries, with international mobility made possible thanks to the global scale of the company’s operations.
ISS’s second headquarters, located in its Warsaw Hub, boasts the world’s highest rating for its accessibility and comfort solutions according to accessibility watchdog Mobility Mojo. Their evaluation gave ISS a world-first Platinum certification, citing the number of amenities, including wide aisles and doors, colours adapted for the visually impaired, appropriate furniture handles and parking spaces located directly next to the lifts. The adoption of these solutions is directly linked to ISS’s employee promise of being a company of belonging, with similar solutions to be introduced to the Gdansk office:
– It is extremely important to us that everyone feels comfortable in the office. Organisational culture and corporate governance are one thing, but avoiding physical barriers, and therefore avoiding exclusions, is equally important. We are committed to making everyone feel that they belong at work, but we don’t want to call it adapting. Measures to improve accessibility should be natural, not stigmatising their speciality – mentions Paweł Rowicki, Head of Shared Services Transformation.
Metsä Board – part of the Metsä Group, a leading European manufacturer of wood-based materials – has opened a new supply chain support centre in Gdańsk. This is another step in the development of a shared service centre located in Poland.
Metsä Board is the leading producer of solid board and white kraftliners (made from virgin fibres) in Europe and the world’s largest producer of coated white kraftliners. The clean virgin fibres are a renewable resource, sourced from sustainably managed forests in northern Europe. The company, which employs around 2,250 people, has sales of €2.5 billion in 2022.
Growth in Gdańsk
The new branch – Metsä Board – is located in the heart of Gdańsk, in the same building where Metsä Group already had its service centre. The unit, which has existed for more than 10 years, initially provided financial services, and its remit has been expanded to include purchasing and data services. All these functions in one location contribute to better communication and synergy within the company.
– The newly established centre provides customer service and logistics support for the EMEA region. The team of more than 100 people, including 74 customer service specialists and 26 logistics specialists, serves more than 1,000 customers in 36 countries and works with around 150 suppliers. Numerous team members are foreigners and the entire team speaks 13 languages in which the company provides its services – says Eeva Kokkonen, Supply Chain Director EMEA, Metsä Board.
The hub has been established to develop an operational model to further improve collaboration with customers and suppliers and improve process efficiency. The centralised hub allows for further development in supply chain support, digital services and harmonious value creation for international customers.
The investment potential of Gdańsk and Pomerania is well known, as confirmed, among other things, by its 5th position in the Mid-Sized European Regions of the Future 2023 – FDI Strategy ranking conducted by fDi Intelligence. Metsä decided to expand its operations because the Tricity is a developed centre for business service centres, with a large supply of talented, multilingual employees. In total, Metsä’s Gdańsk service centre employs more than 300 people.
– I am delighted that Metsä is expanding its operations and locating another centre specifically in Gdańsk. This demonstrates the business attractiveness of the region, which provides opportunities for global companies to develop in many areas of activity. The Tricity universities offer the opportunity to learn a wide range of foreign languages, even the most unique ones. As you can see, Pomerania’s educational and human resources assets are an important asset for companies operating on all continents – such as Metsä – says Mieczysław Struk, Marshall of the Pomeranian Voivodship.
Metsä Group cooperates with local universities by organising summer internships in the Gdańsk centre and open days for students. They also aim to initiate cooperation with the University of Gdańsk as part of the new investment, especially with the departments of philology and logistics.
– Our ongoing and planned investments are a response to the growing demand for sustainable packaging materials. In 2023, Metsä Board will increase its production capacity for solid board and white kraftliners following the completion of investments in Husum, Sweden, and Kemi, Finland. We have also started preliminary engineering work for a new solid board plant in Kaskinen, Finland, with an annual production capacity of 800,000 tonnes, and a decision on the investment is not expected until 2024 at the earliest – comments Mika Joukio, CEO of Metsä Board.
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11th annual CEE Business Services Awards
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