ABSL: Czech business services centres are growing faster

31.1.2017

 

Czech business services centres have the third biggest share on the Czech market from the aspect of the employee numbers, with American centres first and German companies coming second. Many new Czech business services centres are being established and as we can see they are growing more quickly. A clear trend apparent: Czech companies have discovered the popularity of providing services to other countries.

This information is the result of this year’s annual survey by ABSL, which maps the state of the business services segment in the Czech Republic. “While foreign centres situated in the Czech Republic mainly provide financial, marketing, logistics and HR services, Czech centres focus on IT services. Newly established centres also specialise for example in digital marketing, talent management or other areas of expertise,“ said Jonathan Appleton, director of ABSL, during which time newly established Czech centres are quite often relatively small with tens of employees. Accordingly, there is an evident year-on-year fall in the average number of employees of centres in the Czech business services segment: last year the average number was 361, this year it is 333, in spite of the fact that most centres are recruiting new employees and expanding. 84% of centres forecast that they will increase the number of employees by 16 % on average by the end of 2017.

 

Of the over 200 business services centres on the Czech market, 26 of these are ranked on the Fortune 500 scale of most important global companies. Approximately 50 % of centres are European companies, whereas the biggest European investors in the field of business services are Germany and Great Britain, as well as the Czech Republic itself. “Brexit may still shuffle the cards. We expect that Great Britain’s exit from the European Union will lead a number of investors to move their operations to the EU and the Czech Republic will be the most frequently considered locality,“ Jonathan Appleton commented. Apart from the USA and Europe, the Czech Republic is also the location of Canadian, Singaporean and Indian centres.

 

According to this year’s survey another significant phenomenon in the business services segment seems to be implementation of robotic automation. While 17% of companies utilised advanced automation processes last year, 50% of companies do so today. Robotisation, formerly only used for routine tasks such as scanning invoices or creating reports, is now also being implemented into previously inconceivable fields, such as creation of contracts or human resources. “As a result of this phenomenon human activities are transferred from routine operations to more sophisticated tasks. There is a new generation of experts, who are able to programme robots with the correct algorithms and then simply monitor their performance and deal with non-standard situations, due to their knowledge of IT and processes. This is why the profile of the most frequently sought employees is changing,” says Jonathan Appleton with the understanding that extinction of some professions as a result of implementation of automation or artificial intelligence is not on the agenda in the business services segment. “ Companies will simply transfer people to another activity and competence, which will enable them to improve the quality of services and business growth.“

 

Other interesting findings from the survey in numbers:

People

  • 75,000 employees in total
  • 72 % employees with a university education
  • 70 % graduates
  • 59 % women
  • 33 % foreigners
  • 96 % centres employ foreigners
  • 31 foreign languages utilised in business services centres
  • 76 % employees utilise partial or full home office

Companies

  • 61 % of companies wish to expand the range of offered services
  • 41 % plan to expand the customer base
  • 63 % cooperate with Czech universities
  • 84 % plan to recruit new employees and grow by 16 % on average

“The market indicates that our segment will grow at an approximate rate of 16% this year. The complicated situation on the job market at this time is the only thing that could threaten this boom. Our objective is to ensure sufficient suitable talents, in cooperation with universities, government organisations and partners, in order to maintain the sustainability of this segment and its dynamics,” Jonathan Appleton concluded.

 

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