Last Thursday during the 8th edition of the ABSL Awards Gala we celebrated all those who inspired us and the Business Services sector to continually strive for the best, improve and innovate. It was the edition with the highest number of received nominations: 117 nominations from 39 companies (compared to 89 nominations last year). In some categories, such as Business Innovation, Talent Development and Education or Vibrant Work Environment, the nominations doubled as number, making this contest even stronger. The Gala also offered the opportunity for more that 250 participants from 73 companies to network and celebrate the most creative and innovative projects of our industry.
We would like to thank all applicants for their efforts in taking the time and resources to gather the necessary information and apply, our esteemed members of the Jury for their involvement and hard work in objectively evaluating the nominations, our event partners that supported us in creating an outstanding celebratory event, our strategic partners that make possible our activity throughout the year, as well as all participants to the Gala for contributing to a magical night.
ABSL Awards Gala 2023 winners
Business Leaders in Business Excellence:
🏆 First place: _VOIS
🥈 Second place: Genpact Romania
🥉 Third place: Societe Generale Global Solution Centre
Business Leaders in Business Innovation:
🏆 First place: Deloitte Regional Audit Delivery Center
🥈 Second place: Stefanini Romania
🥉 Third place: Vertiv
Business Leaders in Customer Experience:
🏆 First place: Genpact Romania
🥈 Second place: Michelin Corporate and Business Services
🥉 Third place: HP Inc. Romania
Business Leaders in CSR:
🏆 First place: Societe Generale Global Solution Centre
🥈 Second place: TotalEnergies Global Services Bucharest
🥉 Third place: HP Inc. Romania
Business Leaders in Talent Development & Education:
🏆 First place: Deloitte Regional Audit Delivery Center
🥈 Second place: Accenture
🥉 Third place: Genpact Romania
🥉 Third place: GEP Solutions Romania
Business Leaders in Vibrant Work Environment
🏆 First place: Booking Holdings Romania
🥈 Second place: Allianz Services Romania
🥉 Third place: Deloitte Regional Audit Delivery Center
Colleague of the Year:
🏆 Winner: Cristina Dumitru (HP Inc. Romania)
🏆 Winner: Tiberiu Anghel (Booking Holdings Romania)
🏅Finalists: Alina Vlagea (Genpact Romania), Ana Maria Anghel (Wipro Technologies), Andreea Popovici (Conduent Business Services), Costel Cristea (Majorel Romania), Elena Tudose (MassMutual Romania), Miruna Scrima (HP Inc. Romania), Radu Martin (Gi Group Staffing Company), Simona Smochina (Genpact Romania)
In recent years, business services centers have been moving into the Central European region, one after the other. These entities contribute to the performance of their parent companies, as well as that of the economy of the region at an increasing rate – as concluded by Deloitte in its latest study.
According to the study Deloitte conducted together with ABSL Hungary (Association of Business Service Leaders in Hungary), the role of these companies becomes even more prominent in the current economic environment, and Hungarian centers outperform their regional competitors on average.
Service centers in the region have seen spectacular growth over the last 20 years, according to Deloitte's first-ever study specifically assessing the maturity of business services centers in Central Europe. The findings apply to virtually all the countries surveyed (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary). In addition, in the current ever-changing economic environment, the role of business services centers has become even more important as a means of improving operational efficiency, ensuring high service quality and innovation, thus contributing to increasing companies' competitive advantage.
Central Europe has become a key location for service centers, mainly because of its favorable business environment, skilled workforce, and cost-efficiency. At the same time, the Global Business Services (GBS) sector has become indispensable throughout the European Union, accounting for 11% of the EU's GDP. The good news for Hungary is that the average maturity index of Hungarian business services centers is above the regional average: according to Deloitte’s survey, more than half of the business service centers operating in Hungary are already at a maturing stage of development, with two of them already in the top category.
According to Eszter Lukács, director of GBS Consulting at Deloitte, this shows that the development potential of Hungarian centers is very good.
“Proactive growth strategies, conscious planning, and continuous development are needed to enable service centers to further increase their added value and contribute to the business performance of their parent companies, thus further strengthening the role of Central Europe's economy among GBS locations," she concluded.
As in Central Europe, the business service providers surveyed are the most advanced in work delivery management and the least mature in the organizational dimension, setting the main direction for GBS managers. The analysis also provides a benchmark for companies to assess their performance against industry standards and identify potential areas for improvement.
The results of the study show that most business services centers in the region are currently in the performing or maturing category, i.e. they are clearly moving up the development pathway. According to respondents, centers are paying particular attention to talent development and technological advances, and are at the forefront of supporting and developing remote working, for example. This makes them important catalysts for the region's economy in these areas, such as talent acquisition and the adaptation of innovative technologies.
“From a people strategy perspective, mature centers are also seen as ‘engines’ of future talents to business with unique technology capabilities and e2e process knowledge with a closer understanding of business," said Gábor Illés, head of Syngenta business services center, which participated in the research.
He added that above-average service centers not only contribute but are at the forefront of developing and implementing initiatives that benefit their parent companies.
Source: Budapest Business Journal
abat established its first Baltic office in Vilnius abat LT and is now looking to expand its 900+ global workforce, scattered across North America and Europe by hiring additional talent in Vilnius.
Founded back in 1998, the Germany-based abat Group offers SAP (System Analysis Program Development) products and services – from software development to implementation and consultancy. Its main clients include such major European car manufacturers as Mercedes, Volkswagen, and BMW, as well as logistics companies like DHL, and other key manufacturing and process manufacturing industry players.
To its employees, the company offers numerous training and professional development opportunities, responsible work, flexible conditions, and a flat organisational structure.
According to him, the reasons behind choosing Vilnius include the city’s vibrant high-tech sector, attractive and stable environment, government support for new businesses, high degree of digitalisation, and urban infrastructure that’s attractive to employees and employers alike.
The new hiring drive, scheduled to commence in the summer of 2023, will be part of the Group’s efforts to integrate abat LT into its global corporate structure. This will enable the Vilnius office to provide SAP consulting and AMS services to existing European clients with maximum efficiency, and to function as the first point of contact for new customers in the Baltics.
Apart from hiring more people for its Vilnius branch, the Group also has further plans for the near future in Lithuania. “We cooperate with different universities in North America and Europe, scouting for IT talents in areas like AI integration and cloud computing. As soon as we’ve got all the resources in place, we plan to do exactly the same in Lithuania. We’re also regular at various national and international logistics, business, sustainability, and cybersecurity events,” Thomas Bätge said.
For Elijus Čivilis, General Manager at Invest Lithuania, abat’s growth plans in Vilnius are further proof of city’s attractiveness for its mature technology ecosystem: “abat is yet another evidence that Vilnius is seen in the international market that offers favourable and trustworthy environment for high-tech companies. abat works with globally known players in the automotive and discrete manufacturing industries and partnering with local universities and providing know-how on SAP consulting to abat LT team, the company will contribute to the development of local specialists’ competencies,” said Elijus Čivilis.
Intel plans to invest up to $4.6 billion in a new semiconductor assembly and test facility near Wrocław, Poland, as part of a multi-billion-dollar investment drive across Europe to build chip capacity.
The U.S. chipmaker last year announced plans to build a big chip complex in Germany along with facilities in Ireland and France as it seeks to benefit from European Commission's eased funding rules and subsidies as the EU looks to cut its dependence on U.S. and Asian supply.
The facility in Poland will employ 2,000 workers and create several thousand additional jobs during the construction phase and hiring by suppliers, the company said in a statement.
"Poland was just a little bit hungrier to win this site," Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said in a news conference.
Several countries have been vying to get Intel to invest in their regions and some, like Germany, who have secured a commitment from Intel, have been in talks on the amount of subsidies they can doll out.
Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Thursday that the German government and Intel were close to an agreement for 9.9 billion euros ($10.83 billion) in subsidies, up from a previously agreed 6.8 billion.
"We are not asking for handouts, we are asking for competitiveness," Gelsinger said in an interview.
"Labour costs have gone up substantially, material costs have gone up substantially, so all of a sudden, the cost gap was bigger than we had originally estimated."
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will meet with Gelsinger on Monday, a government spokesperson said in Berlin.
Gelsinger declined to provide detail on the subsidy amount, but said he hopes to come to an agreement.
"The gaps are too big. If we close them, we shake hands, and we are going forward," Gelsinger said.
The level of any subsidy offered to Intel by Poland was not made public during Friday's announcement.
Design and planning for the facility will begin immediately, with construction to commence pending European Commission approval.
Mateusz Morawiecki, prime minister of Poland, called Intel's factory "the largest greenfield investment in the history of Poland".
The company, which has been in the country for 30 years and employs 4,000 workers, said it chose Poland because of its infrastructure, available talent and noted the site is close to its planned factory in Germany and its site in Ireland.
It expects the facility to come online by 2027.
Intel under Gelsinger has been investing billions in building factories across three continents to restore its dominance in chip making and better compete with rivals
Seargin sp. z o.o. from Gdańsk – a provider of engineering and IT services – is opening a research and development unit in Słupsk. The unit will develop technological innovations for the industrial sector.
Polish company Seargin specialises in the development of customised control and monitoring systems, machine vision systems, digital twins, cyber security, big data, systems for the use of artificial intelligence and digital transformation, and SAP consulting. It is one of Europe’s fastest growing providers of engineering and IT services, recognised three times by the Financial Times (FT-1000). It provides services to clients from various sectors and regions of the world.
Success also requires putting a desk together
Seargin was founded in 2014 by three people. The company’s first headquarters was a flat combined with a garage. It was there that they worked to develop the start-up, solicit the first clients and recruit IT specialists. At the same time, the founders did a number of other activities necessary for the young company’s operation – assembling furniture, cleaning, shoveling snow or setting up equipment. Passion and commitment bore fruit and by 2017 the company already had its first branches outside the country. Today, Seargin has 700 employees in 8 locations: Poland, Switzerland, UK, USA, Malaysia, Spain, Germany and Hungary. 2023 records the opening of the second branch in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, in Słupsk.
– Although we started in a garage without an investor, through hard work we have achieved our current success. We are very excited about the opening of our R&D Engineering branch in Słupsk. Poland has great engineers and talented specialists. Our presence in Słupsk will enable us to better serve our customers by providing innovative engineering solutions of the highest quality – says Jakub Wojewski, CEO of Seargin.
Słupsk as an attractive point on the business map
With the opening of further branches abroad, Seargin continues to recognise the economic potential of the region. The opening of the R&D Engineering unit in Słupsk confirms this. The city authorities attach great importance to creating convenient business infrastructure and conditions for technological development. At the “Direction Slupsk” conference, organised by the Pomeranian Regional Development Agency and Invest in Pomerania and held in February 2023, local stakeholders presented a number of specific measures to attract business and support the local community.
– The appearance of another high-tech investor in Słupsk a is proof that the chosen direction of the voivodeship’s development is the right one. Seargin carries out very advanced projects and needs high-class specialists. The presence of such companies is a chance for development and interesting work for residents of the region who have education and competencies in the area of modern technologies – says Mieczysław Struk, Marshal of the Pomeranian voivodeship.
Seargin has chosen the Słupsk Technology Incubator, managed by the Pomeranian Regional Development Agency, for its new headquarters. The company plans to employ several dozen people in the Słupsk branch over the next year, including programmers, software engineers and data analysts.
Global experience for a new quality of local education
Sergin has built a highly qualified team and amassed a wealth of international experience. It brings this capital to the collaboration with the Pomeranian University. The university plays an important role in supplying specialists to the local labour market. The cooperation between the school and business is constantly developing and producing tangible results. Seargin is involved in teaching students and creating internship programmes, creating practical topics for engineering work. In addition, the company plans to be actively involved in the construction of the Pomeranian University’s innovation centre.
The new hub will be the digital payments company’s fifth such location globally and its first in Central and Eastern Europe, Visa said in a May 23 press release.
“Poland’s highly skilled workforce and vibrant IT sector make it an ideal location for us to recruit and collaborate with partners and businesses to develop new payment solutions,” Visa President of Technology Rajat Taneja said.
Visa’s new Technology and Product Hub in Poland will house as many as 1,500 new tech and product hires over the next few years, according to the release.
The company has been operating in Poland since 1995, and Poland was the first country in the world to achieve 100% contactless availability, the release said.
“As a global company that does business in more than 200 countries and territories, it is important to us to invest in local talent, creating regional tech hubs that allow us to serve our global customer base better than ever before,” said CEO of Visa in Europe Charlotte Hogg . “We are committed to diversity and inclusion and ensuring that as Visa grows, it reflects the wide range of perspectives that make up the communities where we live and work.”
The new hub is the latest of several initiatives promoting innovation around the world that have been announced by Visa.
On May 16, Visa selected seven startups for its 2023 Visa Accelerator Program in Asia-Pacific.
The startups will collaborate with Visa experts over six months to test and iterate their solutions and validate them against commercial opportunities.
In March, the Visa Foundation announced that it would give $1 million from its Equitable Access Initiative to help women-owned small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Sub-Saharan Africa grow.
The grants will support AfriLabs, a community of technology hubs, innovators and entrepreneurs, and Graça Machel Trust, a women-founded and -led Pan-African nonprofit.
In January, Visa partnered with Fintech District, a community of more than 250 national and international stakeholders in the Italian FinTech ecosystem.
Together, the two organizations aim to help expand the FinTech ecosystem in Italy.
ABSL Romania Gala - the business services industry awarded the most creative and innovative projects.
The implementation of new, innovative solutions, the impact on clients or the company in terms of process optimization, efficiency, and cost reduction were the main selection criteria for the winning companies.
ABSL (Association of Business Services Leaders) Romania awarded the most creative and innovative companies at the 8th edition of the Gala. Over 250 people participated in the event.
In 2023, recruitment and employee retention remain at the top of the challenges for companies in the industry. Therefore, a holistic approach to the concept of "employee experience" in all its aspects - the work environment, role and purpose in the organization, professional development opportunities, and leadership style - continues to be a challenge for all industry companies. Furthermore, hybrid work has become the norm and has brought its own set of challenges. Companies are implementing a whole range of programs to support employees and provide them with the best work ecosystem. The "Business Leader in a Vibrant Work Environment" category was won by Booking Holdings Romania for their project that combines technology with a modern office that takes into account the needs of teams and individuals.
The pressure on productivity is very high in the business services industry. Companies outsource services precisely to increase productivity, reduce costs, and take operations to a higher level.
The “Business Leaders in Business Excellence” category rewards companies that have achieved outstanding results in increasing productivity and quality of operational processes. The winner of this year's edition is_VOIS (Vodafone Intelligent Solutions). The company has redesigned the execution framework for security and compliance activities in European markets, fundamentally changing the approach from incident-based resolution to a sustainable long-term approach.
The level of process complexity, at least for the top three services delivered by our industry (IT, finance-accounting, procurement), increases year after year as more and more activities are automated. Innovation helps companies provide services with high added value. The "Business Leaders in Business Innovation" category rewards the creativity of the solutions offered and their impact. This year, the prize is won by Deloitte Regional Audit Delivery Center. The project, initiated and coordinated from Romania since 2020, will be able to impact the entire network of audit centers (Mexico, India, China, Romania) aiming to improve the services provided through increased efficiency and employee satisfaction.
The "Business Leaders in Customer Experience" category rewards the best solutions found by companies to improve services and customer relationships. The winner in this category, Genpact, has developed a complex methodology through which client companies can differentiate themselves from the competition.
The impact that companies have in the community plays an important role today, being a fundamental component of the business, as well as employee’s satisfaction. Societe Generale Global Solution Centre is the winner of the “CSR” category through a comprehensive project aimed at combating school dropout and functional illiteracy. The company supported over 15 NGOs that provided educational programs benefiting over 150,000 people from rural areas or small towns.
Preparing the future generations of industry specialists is an important aspect in which industry companies invest human and material resources. The winner of this year's “Business Leader in Talent Development & Education” category is Deloitte Regional Audit Delivery Center. In collaboration with the Duke of Edinburgh Foundation, the company has created a 6-12 month program dedicated to students from the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and the University of Bucharest. With the help of specialists within the company, students improve their technical skills and abilities to be more competitive in the job market.
Cristina Dumitru from HP Inc. Romania and Tiberiu Anghel from Booking Holdings Romania have won the "Colleague of the Year" category. This category rewards employees who stand out for their attitude and energy they bring to the team, their voluntary work, their ability to handle professional challenges with ease.
About ABSL Romania
The Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) is the most important organisation representing the business services sector in Romania, bringing together over 80 companies operating in areas such as Shared Services Center (SSC), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO), Research and Development (R&D).
The role of ABSL Romania is to support the expansion of the Business Services sector and its transformation into an important vector of Romania’s economic growth. The association achieves its objectives by facilitating collaboration within the sector, carrying out studies, promoting the sector but also the opportunities that Romania offers and working with the authorities to develop the industry.
ABSL’s activity is structured on several key points, including organising events for sharing best practices and networking, conducting studies and guides, promoting Romania in relation to investors, organising educational projects, and maintaining government relations.
ABSL Romania includes both local and multinational companies, regional and global leaders such as: ACCA, Accenture Services, AECOM, Allianz Worldwide Partners, Allianz Services, Amazon Development Center, APT Prohuman, Be Think Solve Execute, BAT Global Business Services , Booking Holdings, Bosch Service Solutions, Carestream Dental, Cegeka Romania, Central Europe Technologies, Colt Technology Services, Code of Talent, Conduent, CWS Business Global Services, DB Schenker, DB Global Technologies, Deloitte Audit, Deutsche Telekom Services Europe, Dover, DXC Technology, Ernst & Young, Eucom Business Language, Euromaster Tyres & Services, EXL Service, Garrett Motion, GEP, Genpact, Global Remote Services, Gi Group, Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations Romania, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HP Inc. Romania, Kellogg’s Global Business Services, KMG Rompetrol, InterGlobe Technologies, iSS Romania, Lovering&Partners, Luxoft Professional Romania, Linde Global Services, Lion’s Head, Majorel, MassMutual Romania, Microfocus, Microsoft Romania, Michelin Business Services, Molson Coors, Mood Media, Office Depot Service Center, OMV Petrom Global Solutions, Optima Solutions Services, PwC Romania, Procter&Gamble Marketing Romania, PTC Romania, Randstad, Renault Business Services, SCC Services Romania, Selir, Service HUB SPA Milano, Societe Generale Global Solution Centre, Stefanini Romania, Suvoda Software, Sykes, Talent Collection, TDCX Romania, Teleperformance, TELUS International, Temps HR, TotalEnergies, UniCredit, Valoris Center, Veeam Software, Vertiv Romania, Vodafone Shared Services Romania, Webhelp, Wipro Technologies and WNS Global Services Romania.
Also, COS, JLL, PwC, Regina Maria, SKANSKA, Steelcase, and Zamfirescu Racoți Vasile & Partners support ABSL as strategic partners of the association.
At the June "BSC Directors VIP Wine Tasting", organized by European Business Services Association with support of ABSL Hungary, the Directors of two of the newest BSCs in Hungary gave an update of their plans:
Markus Martens is running the new BSC of Fressnapf:
The business services center (BSC) aims to employ 150 people for this Germany-based leading European pet product retailer. The investment involves a training scheme of some EUR 884,000 to enhance skills of newly recruited staff.
German-owned Fressnapf has been a household name with local pet owners for two decades now in Hungary as the Group has over 50 stores all over the country. A European market leader in pet products, the company was founded in 1990 in Germany, and it is present in 11 countries on the continent.
The Hungarian operation, Fressnapf-Hungária Kft. is now taken to the next level with the support of HIPA.
Fressnapf International Business Services is providings a wide range of services such as Finance & Accounting, HR, payroll, procurement and Master Data Management in English, German and French languages. A call center is also planned.
Both Csaba Gyüre, Head of Accounting & Tax and Lajos Kecskeméti, Senior Manager HR EU Business Service Centre, attended the "BSC Directors VIP Wine Tasting" and gave the VIP audience some insights into Nio's plans and strategies.
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.
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11th annual CEE Business Services Awards
Build it or Buy It?: Outsourcing in Poland and Central Eastern Europe
BSC Directors VIP WineTastings, June-September 2023
BSC Charity Beach Volleyball Tournaments - June and August 2023