Lithuania’s shared services sector triumphs in annual CEE awards
Lithuania dominated once again at the annual Central and Eastern Europe Shared Services and Outsourcing awards, with the country’s shared services and BPO sector winning in 5 categories. At the awards ceremony in Warsaw last week, Vilnius won the top city prize for the CEE region for the third year running. Danske Bank picked up two awards, with it’s IT centre in Lithuania (DGITL) selected as the most unique service provider whilst Danske Bank Global Services Lithuania won best service centre in the Baltic States. Arminta Saladžienė from Nasdaq’s Lithuanian office won the Business Centre Manager of the Year award, and the Quadrum business centre in Vilnius won in the Best New Office Development for SSC/BPO category.
This year, Lithuania’s shared services and BPO sector received nominations across 9 different categories, with 2 cities, 7 centres and 4 centre managers up for awards. Vilnius and Kaunas were both nominated in the cities’ category, while Intermedix, Scandia, Danske Bank (GSL), Western Union, Cognizant, Adform, and Danske Bank (DGITL) were up for awards in service centre categories. The Lithuania-based candidates for the best manager awards were Rosita Vasilkevičiūtė (Danske Bank (GSL)), Lukas Jankauskas (Intermedix), Arminta Saladžienė (Nasdaq), and Tommy Fagerlund (Skandia).
According to Laisvis Makulis, Head of the Service Group of the foreign investment development agency Invest Lithuania, and one of the members of this year’s awards commission, Lithuania’s service sector is improving in both quality and quantity. “In recent years the service centre sector has been growing rapidly not only in numbers, but also in terms of quality,” he explains. “Increasingly complex functions are being outsourced to service centres in Lithuania. And although there are still fewer centres in Lithuania than in neighbouring Poland, those in Lithuania manage to stand out thanks to the quality and the complexity of the services they provide. This is why Lithuanian service centres received far more nominations than those in Latvia and Estonia, and also competed with service centres from Hungary, where the sector has already attained a certain level of maturity,” concludes Mr Makulis.
According to Mindaugas Sinkevičius, Lithuania’s Minister for the Economy, next year the service centre ecosystem is expected to expand not only in Vilnius, but also in other locations throughout Lithuania. “Although the service centre sector is growing year-on-year, there is still potential for further expansion,” states the Minister. “The clear leader is Vilnius, but there is also tremendous potential for growth in Kaunas. To attract such service centres to smaller cities, these locations must be appropriately prepared – well developed infrastructure, attractive investment environments, relevant study programmes and other elements must be developed,” Minister Sinkevičius points out.
With Lithuania’s capital named Most Dynamically Developing City once again, and with centres from the city featuring prominently, Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius believes the city has a lot to offer companies in the shared services sector. “I am delighted to see that Vilnius was once again given this award,” comments Mr Šimašius. “Vilnius is without doubt a growing city and is increasingly attracting more talents. Last year we paid a lot of attention to newly arriving companies, and sought to ease bureaucratic procedures so that the city could be as friendly as possible in meeting new investors and become a gateway to new ideas. Fast and open, Vilnius is becoming the best place in the region to turn dreams into reality,” argues the Mayor.
In 2016, clients of Invest Lithuania implemented 10 investment projects in service centres, which will lead to the creation of 1,850 jobs within three years. There are currently 13,000 people employed in Lithuanian service centres.