Earlier this month I had the pleasure of chairing a panel of thought leaders and industry experts at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, says Tom Quigley is director of outsourcing at Emerging Europe. The subject matter was centred on the ICT industry in the Ukraine specifically, and the broader Central and Eastern European (CEE) region in general.
The consensus of the panel was that the ICT industry, including outsourcing, across the region, was in a very steep ascendancy (though in the interests of full disclosure, the views were more disparate when it came to which specific CEE countries were prime delivery destinations for the UK and other markets).
There is little doubt, however, that outsourcing — whether it is ITO, BPO, Shared Service Centres or Global Business Services — is positively thriving across the region. Bolstered by leading countries empowering their economies through privatising state-owned industries, implementing labour reforms and culling internal corruption in large swathes, the fertile ground that has been uncovered is attracting a flood of capital and foreign direct investment. What’s more, its highly educated and technology-oriented workforce, competitive labour costs and strategic location is making it an increasingly attractive alternative to the more traditional front-runners in the global sourcing ecosystem.
Today, India’s 150 billion US dollar outsourcing industry has, on the other hand, reached a point of inflection. Partly down to its own making and partly due to geopolitical seismic changes beyond its control, the nation that once was regaled for its reputation as a destination for high-quality, low-cost technology skills and a catalyst for the creation of some 3.5 million jobs, now faces uncertainty.
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