Why Lithuania beats Portugal as an investment location?

May 4, 2018
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US marketing technology company Bazaarvoice has fallen for Lithuania and has already opened an office in Vilnius. Other options had included Northern Ireland and Portugal.

Dub Landgrebe, Vice President for Technical Support at Bazaarvoice, says that the search for a new office location covered a broad area. First, according to the company’s established criteria, Bazaarvoice selected 25 sites, then narrowed the selection down to three.

In December, the company’s executives visited these countries and decided to forgo Belfast in Northern Ireland. That left Portugal and Lithuania.

Recently, Portugal has been trying to build an image of a technology-driven country. The rapid growth of the sector has indeed been noted on many occasions by the international media. The decision of a major technology conference Web Summit to move to Portugal contributed to this image as well. However, Vilnius was ultimately a better match for the needs of Bazaarvoice.

“We took the business environment, labour market, office space availability and other aspects into account. Lithuania was way ahead of other countries,” Mr Landgrebe said.

According to him, the expertise of Invest Lithuania surpassed that of the Portuguese investment attraction agency.

Bazaarvoice develops technologies based on Big Data. It analyses content generated by users, for example, referrals, questions, assessments, pictures and video records and, after processing this data, personalises the purchasing process and links it with brands.

The company aims at increasing sales for vendors both in the electronic space and in brick-and-mortar stores. It works exclusively with corporate customers, including both large and small businesses.

Praise for specialists

The company has already set up in the Alfa office building of Technopolis and is eventually bound to move to the Penta building being completed nearby. The first few employees have already been hired and building a technical support division is underway. By the end of the year, the workforce should grow to 60-80 people.

Companies coming to Lithuania generally praise the skills of the specialists available on the market. Another common feature is that they require high-level professionals that will be handling exciting and challenging tasks.

Bazaarvoice is building a technical support division in the country, something that could be associated with mid-level competencies. However, Mr Landgrebe assures that the division will not focus on basic tasks and should not be considered a customer support centre. It is searching for employees who possess different sets of competencies for various positions. According to him, just the fact that they work with corporate customers poses serious challenges and employees will, therefore, need a good knowledge of technical and business specifics.

The executive, who has already spent a couple of weeks in Lithuania weeks, is also involved in the hiring process and says that so far the company has not felt any particular tension in the labour market and that the coming specialists have excellent skills.

“We’d heard Lithuania has many able specialists, but the reality nonetheless exceeded our expectations. Here we see not just their competencies but also an eagerness to work with the most up-to-date technologies and build a career. Overall, in Lithuania I see excellent energy and great enthusiasm. Moreover, people are more mature here; sometimes I speak to a youngster of twenty-plus years, but their speech and professionalism makes them seem over 30,” the executive explained, noting that in Portugal he saw relaxation rather than enthusiasm.

Furthermore, Mr Landgrebe did not refute the possibility that the company could find not only new employees but also new customers in Lithuania.

Source: Verslo žinios

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