Experts from the UK and the United States gathered to share views on current trends in the global shared service and BPO industry at a reception hosted by Invest Lithuania, at the new premises of the Lithuanian Embassy in London on April 17.
Associate Director and Corporate Location Consultant of Jones Lang LaSalle, Mr. Alex Ash noted that businesses are rebalancing their business services portfolios globally. Ms Cynthia Pasky, founder, president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3), highlighted that People, Price and Proximity are key criteria for relocating operations. She remarked that rising labour costs, retention, quality, and distance to client, both cultural and physical, have emerged as factors challenging Asia’s traditional advantages as a destination for relocating services centres.
Mr Adrian Hall, Strategic Lead at Barclays Bank PLC, noted that Barclays Bank initially planned in 2010 to recruit around 250 employees for its strategic IT engineering centre in Lithuania, but has since taken on some 700 IT professionals. He said Barclays is very satisfied with the great talent pool, cost-effectiveness and the geographical and cultural proximity of Lithuania to the UK.
The former British Ambassador to Lithuania, Mr Simon Butt and the Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK, Dr. Oskaras Jusys, agreed that with its highly skilled and multilingual talent, low operating costs, physical and cultural proximity to Western and Northern Europe, Eastern Europe is emerging as a strong competitor with Asia in terms of attracting Shared Service as well as BPO investments.