Lithuania’s shared services sector has once again been recognised as a regional leader, picking up five major awards at this year’s Central and Eastern Europe Shared Services and Outsourcing Awards in Warsaw.
At the gala event, now in its 4th year, Vilnius came out on top for the second year running, winning the award for “Most Dynamically Developing City” in the region. Kaunas also won in its category, claiming the prize for “Emerging City of the Year.” Nasdaq Vilnius won in two categories and Danske Group IT Lietuva also scooped a major award. And with a total of 15 nominations in all categories, the night was once again a triumph for shared services in Lithuania.
The right balance
Mantas Katinas, director general of the foreign investment development agency Invest Lithuania, believes Lithuania’s success in shared services is down to its combination of talent and experience. “The growing hub of service centres in Lithuania has been able to retain its strong position in the region for a few years now, and it will undoubtedly continue to grow in the nearest future. Today investors can benefit from both the experience and the high level of competence that the market has to offer, elements which were not available when the first services centres were set up here.”
With further expansion anticipated across the board, Mr Katinas expects the biggest growth to be in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city. “In the nearest future we expect a more serious breakthrough in Kaunas, which has all the potential to create a very favourable investment environment for this type of investors,” he explained.
Vilnius on top again
Whilst Kaunas goes from strength to strength, for the second year running Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, was recognised as the top city in the region for shared services. Remigijus Šimašius, the city’s mayor, was keen to point out that this latest award is the result of sustained and focused efforts by the city to create an attractive city for business. “I am very proud of this recognition because Vilnius is demonstrating fantastic growth and has a great opportunity to become the leading city in Central and Eastern Europe. We are all working hard to make the city attractive for business; there are so many talented, creative and industrious people here, plus our city offers excellent quality of life. That’s why I have no doubt that many more international investors will choose to set up in Vilnius this year,” Mr Šimašius said.
The region’s leading service centres
Eight Lithuanian service centres were nominated for awards. The “Best Employer of the Year” award went to Danske Group IT Lietuva, whilst Nasdaq Vilnius was recognised as the best new entrant in the region, and also won the award for “Most Unique Services Provider.” The Lithuanian services centres of Barclays, Intermedix, CSC, NFQ, Western Union, and AIG Europe were also nominated for awards in a variety of categories.
According to Lithuania’s Economy Minister Evaldas Gustas, the importance of services centres to Lithuania is social as well as economic, given that they are regularly rated as top employers in the country. “For several years now services centres have been awarded as the best employers, which means that they provide excellent conditions for their employees. This contribution is as important as the one they make to the economy. In addition, the services centres operating in Lithuania are socially responsible organisations, investing not only in their employees, but also in universities and schools,” commented Mr Gustas.
More than 1,500 new, skilled positions will be created over the next three years thanks to services centres Invest Lithuania helped to attract last year.