In February 2018, the Danish NKT Cables Group announced plans to set up a financial services centre in Kaunas. The company chose it from several potential candidates that included India. Verslo žinios had the chance to talk about this selection, employee training and competition with Poul Erik Stockfleth, NKT Cables Group’s VP for Finance.
“The initial idea was to establish a service centre in Poland or in the Czech Republic, as we have factories there,” says Poul Erik Stockfleth. “A whole series of overlapping reasons, including a timely call from Invest Lithuania, brought Lithuania to our attention. Finally, Poland and the Czech Republic were rejected, because we believe that the market for such service centres is getting oversaturated, especially in the Czech Republic. The level of unemployment there is much lower than in Lithuania, and the competition for workforce is much harsher.”
The company even considered establishing a service centre in India. This idea was abandoned because of the cultural rift between India and Europe, as well as long distances.
“Our first option in Lithuania was Vilnius, but then we went to Kaunas and finally decided that it would provide a better environment competition-wise,” says the Vice President.
The availability of qualified specialists was one of the main criteria alongside the vicinity of universities.
The group’s VP was not frustrated by the presence of other multinational service centres looking for financial professionals in Kaunas. In his view, the Danish group is sufficiently competitive as an employer. In addition, the emergence of such service centres will encourage young people to choose finance-related majors, and universities will be encouraged to increase the number of admitted students.
The recruitment process has already begun, as the first financial centre employees are already being trained. The Danish company’s service centre currently employs 17 people in Kaunas, 12 of them are finance professionals. The company plans to have more than 30 people working at the Kaunas Service Centre by the end of 2018. The business centre will move to the facilities of Kauno Dokas in spring. Currently it is based at the Happspace office space on Laisvės alėja – the city’s main pedestrian street.
Ilona Antonovičiūtė was appointed as the head of the centre. She has previously worked in several similar multinational service centres.
So far, the new service centre is looking for account payable/account receivable, fixed assets management, general accounting and travel expenses specialists.
“The further growth of the service centre depends on many different circumstances,” says Mr. Stockfleth. “Currently we are moving our group’s financial services to Kaunas. But I cannot rule out the possibilities of transferring other services in the future. I can illustrate our plans presenting the premises we rented at Kauno Dokas. We will have facilities of 800 sq. m. where, if necessary, up to 80 people will be able to work. We have agreed on the possibility of renting additional premises up to 600 sq. m.”
The premises were chosen by the company according to the location, modernity of the building, its ergonomics, and quality of Internet connection.
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