The ABSL Association presented the results of a survey of the business services market in Brno at its annual conference. The survey indicates that 22,000 employees are now working in the Moravian metropolis in this sector, which represents nearly 9% of all productive residents of the city and simultaneously approximately one fifth of the entire Czech business services market. Further growth is expected next year, at an approximate rate of 10 per cent.
Markéta Vaňková, Mayor of the City of Brno, which collaborated on the survey and also assumed patronage over the annual ABSL conference taking place at this time in Brno, states:
“Brno is the Central European centre of science, development and innovation. It provides high-quality facilities for companies from many market segments, with the leading position being held by companies specialising in IT and development of advanced technologies, for instance electron microscopes. I am very pleased that this sector, represented by the business services centres of international companies, has found the ideal conditions here for its development and provides very interesting career opportunities to graduates of our universities.”
Next year the business services sector in Brno will expand by another 2,000 jobs. This will mostly concern qualified jobs in the field of information technologies, research and development, finance, logistics and HR. Salaries in this sector are simultaneously often higher than the local average. According to the Czech Statistical Institute the average salary of residents of the South Moravian region during the second quarter of 2019 was CZK 32,582. According to data from the Grafton Recruitment personnel agency the starting salary of a graduate beginning work in the field of information technologies in Brno ranges between 30 and 38 thousand, candidates for financial positions without experience will receive 30 – 40 thousand and skilled workers with experience will actually exceed CZK 100 thousand gross per month in many positions for example.
Even though the unemployment rate in Brno is very low, currently at the level of 3.8%, the ABSL is not afraid of a shortage of employees, on the contrary: “The development our sector is expecting in the following period will be supported not only by new graduates of local universities, but also employees from abroad. Foreigners already form nearly one third of all employees in business services and we expect that this percentage will rise to 50% over the next two years,” says Jonathan Appleton, Director of the ABSL Association, which associates providers of innovation and other services in the Czech Republic. Brno has a very good reputation in the eyes of foreigners. According to a survey executed by the Brno Expat Center organisation, 86% of expats living in Brno would recommend this city to live in to other foreigners. The reason for this is the high quality of life, which is also confirmed by the Numbero.com server, which rates Brno 30 points higher than Prague on its scale. Brno also overtakes other popular destinations for the business services sector, for instance Dublin, Warsaw, Krakow, Bratislava or Budapest. The order on this scale is determined on the basis of seven criteria. The server monitors safety, the price of real estate, the consumer price index, purchasing power, health care quality and time spent travelling.
Investors positively rate Brno not only for its central location, but also for its more favourable rental prices and overall lower employee costs compared to the Capital City. Salaries in Brno are about CZK 10,000 less on average than in Prague, where the average gross salary during the 2nd quarter of 2019 was CZK 42,297. Compared to the capital city rents are lower by approximately 35%. While companies most often pay Euro 20-21 per 1m2 per month in Prague (rent can fall to Euro 13.50 per 1m2 in locations farther away from the centre), in Brno most office space is offered for Euro 11-13.50 per 1m2 per month.
“Approximately 50 investors from our sector have been convinced that Brno is a good choice. Renowned companies such as Atlas Copco, Infosys, Zebra Technologies, Deutsche Telecom and many others have their headquarters here. Even though they may have come to Brno chiefly due to the favourable costs, they remain and increase their investments because of the quality they find here. Their number has grown by 50% over the last 3 years,” says Jonathan Appleton.
This is confirmed by the companies themselves: “Our centre, which specialises in financial and customer services, has resided in Brno for 10 years now. It has grown from the original few tens of employees into today’s 450, of which 30% are foreigners,” says Roman Pavloušek from Atlas Copco Services and he adds: “Brno was an excellent choice for our centre, particularly thanks to the high-quality infrastructure, the availability of qualified workforce and geographic proximity to West Europe. The high quality of the provided services and the satisfaction of our in-house customers allows us to expand our activities into new areas, such as data analysis, process innovation, automation and robotisation. The number of employees has tripled over the last 3 years and we plan further growth in the future.”