Polish IT specialist EPAM has leased almost 8,500 sqm of office space in Brain Park in Kraków, which is being developed by Echo Investment.
The first phase of Brain Park – buildings A and B – recently came into use and has been leased by such companies as PepsiCo, Mercator Medical and Medicover. Echo Investment has now decided to go ahead with the third building of the complex, which will bring its total area up to 43,000 sqm.
It is situated in Grzegórzki district, about 2 km east of Kraków’s Old Town.
Icelandic Marel opens SSC in Łódź
Marel, an Iceland-based global supplier of equipment, systems, software and services for the food industry, opens its Shared Services Center in Brama Miasta in Łódź in late 2022, and is now fully operational.
"Congratulations on choosing this place for your daily work. Marel has opened a new shared services center in our city, where 70 people are already employed, but I hope that the number of new jobs will start to grow dynamically", said Hanna Zdanowska, Mayor of the City of Łódź.
What does Marel do? Marel is a leading global supplier of advanced equipment, systems, software and services for the poultry, meat and fish industries. It employs 6,800 employees in over 30 countries, delivering annual revenue in 2020 of EUR 1.2 trillion. Annually, the company invests 6% of its income in the development of innovations. Through continuous improvements in the food processing process, Marel enables its customers to increase the safety and traceability of products. In addition, it contributes to improving sustainability in food production.
Marel has been listed on NASDAQ Iceland since 1992 and dual-listed on Euronext Amsterdam since June 2019.
Michael Zdanowski, an international investment consultant on visit to Georgia in early February, said the country was an “extremely comfortable” place for business due to the Government's simplified procedures for international companies.
On a visit along with Peter Ryan, a business outsourcing expert, Zdanowski said the regulations made it possible to register a business “within a day” in the country.
Noting companies needed not only a favourable environment but also a “suitable culture” for foreign operations, the consultant said Georgia, and in particular its capital city of Tbilisi, had “a lot of high-end hotels, great service and fantastic people-oriented services”.
He also pointed out the level of service in Georgia would “easily compete” with business service providers from Western Europe and North America.
Ryan and Zdanowski have been invited by Georgian authorities to learn about the country’s business process outsourcing sector and study the state's investment potential in the area before providing the information to potential investors, the Economy Ministry said on Tuesday.
Ryan is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in business process outsourcing, while Zdanowski is a government relations and communications consultant in the energy, industrial, and engineering sectors, as well as a business outsourcing consultant.
Lubomir Minchev, the co-founder and majority shareholder of Bulgarian IT services management provider Telelink Business Services Group, or TBS Group [BUL:TBS], said he plans to offer a minority stake in the company on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange in the coming months while retaining majority shareholding.TBS Group CEO Ivan Zhitiyanov said last week that he intends to propose scrapping an obligation to distribute at least 50% of the company's profit as dividend and instead reinvest in acquisitions and other initiatives to develop and expand the company.
Such a strategy presents different potential returns and risks, Minchev commented, adding that his planned share offering is aimed at creating opportunities for risk diversification and attracting new investors.
As of the end of September, Minchev held a 66.97% stake in the TBS Group's equity capital.
TBS Group said last week that its indicative preliminary consolidated net profit declined to 5.5 million euro ($5.84 million) in 2022 from 6.3 million euro a year earlier, dragged down by lower revenue.
Alexandru Grigoreanu, Head of Retail Banking & Financial Services – Societe Generale Global Solution Centre
My name is Alexandru Grigoreanu, I am the Head of Retail Banking & Financial Services within Societe Generale Global Solution Centre, since 2021. At the same time, I am leading the IT Filiere community of the centre in Romania.I started my professional career as an entrepreneur, while I was a student. Back then, I wanted to focus on finishing my studies, so I decided to take a part-time job in the banking industry. I quickly became passionate about it, and that is how I developed my career in the financial industry during the last 18 years. At the very beginning, I didn’t know anything about banking, but working in a contact centre gave me the opportunity to interact with various departments of the bank. This helped me understand the business and also shaped my ideas about what to do next. Hence, I started to envisage my next career moves in the banking industry.
Looking back, I recall two key moments that had a strong impact on my career. The first one was when I started working on projects. I liked it so much that I got motivated to get a project manager role. When working on a project, you interact with various stakeholders in different departments and it enables you to acquire very good knowledge of an organisation and how the business functions overall. The second important moment was when I was given the chance to lead a new department with SG GSC with the objective of building new service offers for SG Group in a greenfield model. This role enabled me to develop my leadership and strategic thinking skills. Over time, with proven results, I managed to extend the area of responsibility and get the role I am playing today within the organization.
Throughout my professional journey, I had a lot of lessons to learn, but I would say that the most important ones were to listen to and work a lot with your team, be open-minded, and admit that one does not always have the right answer. Actually, we learn new things every day, and what matters is what we make of these learnings and how we use them to drive the most efficient decisions in a constantly changing environment.
For the last 10 years, I have been working within the Business Services Industry and I made this change because I saw an opportunity for development, as major companies all over the world were looking at working with service centres, captives, and commercial BPOs, in order to streamline their processes, make them more efficient, and get the best possible outcome. It is still the case nowadays. I chose Societe Generale Global Solution Centre because the service centre in Romania was at its beginning back then. SG GSC offered (and continues to offer) plenty of professional opportunities for growth and I enjoy the multicultural environment it fosters. I believe that it is very important to find a company that allows and encourages you to be yourself, to come up with ideas and that is focused on innovation. These are exactly the values and culture that SG GSC is constantly promoting.
I feel it is very important to have a proper work-life balance, in order to achieve strong results from a professional standpoint. I like to travel and discover new places, ride the mountain bike, and also relax in the good company of friends and family. During my free time, I avoid tackling professional topics as much as possible.
If I were to start my career now, in terms of industry domain, it is kind of difficult to picture myself doing something else. I guess the power of habit and past experience is pretty high. At the same time, I feel that the business services industry has a lot of potential for development in the future. However, I would focus a lot on technology, as it is embedded in all aspects of our lives, regardless of the domain you are working in. At the same time, I think it is very important to be on a constant lookout for emerging trends in the market and embrace the changes that we are experiencing, as evolution is inevitable.
As mentioned previously, technology is omnipresent, so developing digital skills is highly important. At the same time, we mostly work with people and not with machines. Being able to show empathy is very important in human interactions, and last, but not least, I would focus on further developing strategic thinking skills. In order to successfully move forward, you need to understand the global environment and trends and be able to translate them into a concrete strategy for your organisation.
As an advice for young professionals, starting their careers, I would recommend for them to be curious, willing to experiment as much as possible and learn from failures. While it is important to have a long-term goal, I would avoid setting very rigid career objectives on long timeframes, as the world around us is changing at a higher pace than ever.
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I’m Claudia Cutumisu, Global Source to Pay Lead at Allianz Services (SSC, with over 1000 employees, whose provided services include: Finance Business Services, Operational Engineering, HR and Governance, Actuarial, Professional Services).How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?
I started my career in a small company, as Database Administrator in 2007, and after 2 years I joined Genpact (2009) as Accounts Receivable Associate, Finance and Accounting area. After 3 years (2012) I got my first Team Lead promotion within Procure to Pay area and developed my career in Source to Pay for the next 11 years, my last role in this company being Europe Account Lead. Starting with 2021 I joined Allianz Services as the Source to Pay Delivery Lead for Romania and in 2022, I’ve evolved into a global role within the same area.
I envisioned my Management career since 2011 and wanted to become a good Leader for my future teams and since then, I’ve kept striving to become better and to motivate and develop the people I work with.
What were your key career moments?
My first career moment was when I joined BPO environment and started to work in a multinational company. Then, the first promotion to the Team Lead role made me realise that I will always like to work in Business Services, which gave me the ambition to overachieve my performance and become the Operating Lead in a few years. The last career moment was when I decided to make a change and join Allianz Services after 12 years in the same company, applying my knowledge and experience in a new company and growing new teams.
What are the three most valuable career lessons you have learnt?
The first lesson was that I needed to work hard to obtain what I want, there is no easy way to develop your career, and I always needed to prove myself before getting recognition.
Secondly, I needed to go out of my comfort zone and try new things in order to continuously develop my Leadership skills.
The third thing would be that I was always open to all opportunities that happened even though they came with additional effort.
Why did you choose Business Services Industry? What were the top 3 reasons for choosing your company?
It’s difficult to mention why I chose Business Services Industry, but I would highlight the following reasons: I wanted to work in a multinational company and develop my career in an international environment, not a local one, and also use my German language skills in a business environment.
Regarding my top 3 reasons for choosing Allianz Services as my company, I would mention these as being the most important ones:
1) Focus on a great employee experience (development opportunities for all levels and in many areas – Finance, Actuarial, HR, Governance, IT— with a lot of training possibilities for hard and soft skills, access to international certifications, etc.)
2) Flexibility and improved work-life balance
3) An inclusive and engaging environment
Tell us a little bit about your private life: your passions, family. What do you do to relax?
I am married, and I have a daughter. I was born in Constanta, moving to Bucharest for studies in 2006. I like to read books, travel, and spend time with my family. Weekends and vacations are always dedicated to my family.
If now you were starting your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do?
I would take the same steps, I don’t have any regrets about my career choices. Looking at future opportunities, I will continue to be the one who I am and will continue to give my best.
What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?
1) Leadership, because from my point of view, Leadership is a continuous journey no matter the years of experience accumulated
2) Public speaking, to become more relaxed when I speak to an audience I am not familiar with
3) Negotiation skills
What would you do and what would you avoid doing?—practical advice to young professionals
I would continue to follow my dream and strive to become better and better every day. From my point of view, it is important to like what you are doing in order to get motivation and satisfaction from your work. I would not do anything that I didn’t like, because the best results are obtained with passion on top of effort.
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Slovakian private equity company Sandberg Capital has invested 20 million euro in Serbian software developer Quantox Technology with the aim of further expanding the company’s business, Quantox said.The investment is aimed at making a significant leap for Quantox’s future sustainable development, talent acquisition, and strategic global expansion, Quantox said.
“This investment will enable us to have a greater presence in the European and US markets, which will mean a lot to our clients by increasing the range of services,” said Quantox founder, Vuk Popovic.
Quantox has seven offices across Serbia and its international team has more than 500 experts working from 13 development centres in seven different countries.
According to the Serbian Business Registry, Quantox Technology was founded in May 2008 with a capital of 20,200 dinars.
In the beginning of 2024 the Tietoevry in Latvia Riga team will relocate to a Riga’s greenest office complex Verde. In 2023, the Latvian branch of Tietoevry will focus on the development of an interior design project, which will be implemented in cooperation with the architectural firm ARHIS ARHITEKTI. As a result, Tietoevry professionals will bring a flexible and energy-efficient working environment to life in 2024.
“The team of our information technologies and financial experts on an everyday basis develops IT solutions for organizations and improves businesses to promote and create changes for better. At present we lay the foundation for our own growth for better. Moving our office to Verde business centre reflects our future goals and strategy – modern and possibly the best working environment for Tietoevry employees, as well as sustainable, competitive, and innovative business solutions for clients and partners. We see a huge potential in Riga’s quiet centre and Skanste becoming the artery of the information technologies and financial sector in Riga,” underscores Country Manager at Tietoevry Latvia Valērija Vārna.
The new Tietoevry Latvian branch office will have an area of 4500 m2 and is planned to be located on the 4th, 8th, and 9th floors of the Verde B building. The IT company will invest heavily to create an activity-based office that will be enlivened by a flexible working environment with lounges, meeting, and individual work areas to support everyone's working style.
Tietoevry Latvia Facility Manager Inese Plāte notes that over the past years, the functions of offices and workplaces have changed considerably: “We are confident that activity-based office with smart technologies will help to successfully continue our hybrid work model. The main criteria for selecting the new Tietoevry office were energy efficiency of the building, smart office management system and excellent air quality. Also, the green terrace, fast charging facility for electric cars, parking space for bicycles and other facilities are of the same importance, contributing to wellness of our employees and reducing the ecological imprint of our company.”
One of Latvia's ICT export and innovation leaders with more than 1100 employees specialising in the development of various information systems and payment solutions for clients around the world, signed a contract with Class A complex Verde at the end of last year. The reciprocal agreement has thus become the largest office rent deal in Latvia in 2022.
Iveta Lāce, Verde Commercial Director, says: “As Tietoevry arrives in Verde, Skanste – Riga’s newest central business district is even becoming the technology epicentre of the Latvian capital. Now and exactly here such a hub is developing that will promote economic activity and international attractiveness of the city and our country in general. I am truly glad that the development of this innovative company will take place in Verde. At the same time, I would like to note that building B, which is still in construction process, has already been rented by 68%.”
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has launched a global support services hub in Slovakia, set to employ more than 50 business professionals.
The new centre, located in Bratislava, will provide a joined-up service with Freshfields’ pre-existing support hub based in Manchester.
Freshfields said the new centre will ‘progressively employ’ more than 50 finance, HR and other support staff. Both Bratislava and the Manchester operation will use local talent to provide a broad skillset of financial, language and marketing services.
Managing partner Alan Mason said: ‘We’re committed to investing in the best business services talent and infrastructure to serve our clients to the highest level and the launch of our Bratislava shared services centre is the next step on that journey.
‘Like Manchester, the access to a pool of talented people in Bratislava is significant, with local talent and language skills a decisive factor in our choice of location.’
In September, Freshfields hired former Red Bull executive Štefan Fijko as global head of finance operations, and he will take on management responsibilities for the new Slovakia centre. He commented: ‘We have all the tools to create an efficient and stimulating work environment here in Bratislava. A place where it will be fun to work and become part of our successful journey.’
Dentons, DLA Piper and CMS are among the few international firms to have a legal presence in Slovakia. In March, White & Case span out its 11-lawyer Bratislava office, with independent firm Aldertree launching in its place.
PWC advised Freshfields on the project.
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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