Baltic Strategic SSC Conference returns to Vilnius as sector rapidly expands throughout Baltics
With its business services sector continuing to grow and develop dynamically, Vilnius will once again be hosting the Baltic Strategic SSC Conference. This year’s event will take place on 17-18 October. And following another strong year for shared services in the Baltics, there will be much to discuss.
From strength to strength
The presence of Lithuania’s President, Dalia Grybauskaitė, at the recent inauguration of Outokumpu’s new shared services centre in Vilnius highlighted two key elements of Lithuania’s economic success story. Firstly, it shows that the most dynamic economy in the Baltic states is investing a lot in attracting business services. Secondly, high-end multinational companies start to understand that the region has much to offer in terms of both the quality of the workforce and cost competitiveness.
The Finnish stainless steel giant announced one year ago that Vilnius would be home to its first (and only) Global Business Center in Europe. At that stage, the region’s business services sector was already in robust health.
That year seven global companies have opened new centres, with many others expanding existing operations across the region. Just in Lithuania the sector grew by over 15% in 2016, and now employs over 13,000 specialists.
Bringing together Business Services experts
This dynamism led to the inaugural Baltic Strategic SSC Conference that took place in Vilnius last October. The international event brought together 65 top level executives from SSCs operating in the region and internationally to discuss the challenges faced and the solutions to overcome them.
The event was a great success, and this year’s is set to be even better, says Jules Hudry-Prodon, Director of Connect Minds, the event organizers.“The feedback received after the first conference, coupled with the strong and steady growth of the industry in 2016, convinced us to put even more efforts into the organization of the second edition, which will take place in Vilnius again, on 17-18 October 2017,” explains Mr. Hudry-Prodon.
Saturation not a problem
The global interest that is being shown in the region’s business services sector is yet another example of the positive business outcomes the industry brings to the Baltic states. And whilst traction from a rapidly growing market could potentially raise the question of saturation, as experienced in many other areas in CEE such as Poland, Hungary or the Czech Republic, the Baltics currently offer plenty of capacity for further expansion. Mantas Katinas, General Manager of Invest Lithuania (strategic partners of the conference), has a very direct answer to the question: “Whilst the shared services sector is growing strongly year on year, there is still plenty of room for growth”.
This topic will certainly be discussed during the autumn event in Vilnius, along with many other strategic and operational issues relating to areas such as HR, robotics, process optimization and transformation.