By Fatmir Hyseni, CMO of Kosbit, Kosovo. Germany has long understood the importance and advantages of using sourcing companies to assist with critical manpower shortages inexpensively. Traditionally, sourcing was recognised as a cost-saving tactic and a number of German multi-nationals seized the opportunity to use sourcing companies for just that reason. This included a diverse number of industries, such as IT services and business processes. Many sourcing companies were used from regions in the world that are perceived as the best locations for cost savings. Asia, and especially India and Pakistan, Central and South America, and even China have been prime and popular locations for sourcing.
But things have definitely changed, and cost-cutting tactics are no longer the primary reason for using sourcing companies. German multi-nationals are looking for quality and strategic value-added services. Because of the speed of digital transformation, companies want a sourcing provider that can assist in many different areas, and with overall digital transformation needs. That is why the geographic focus has changed. German firms have long understood the importance of Southeast Europe, and specifically Kosovo, and the region has rapidly gained recognition as a top location for sourcing due to a number of factors that other traditional locations can no longer provide. There are several reasons why German companies are seeking sourcing partners literally in their backyard, and this article will review the reasons why Kosovo has become a model for sourcing growth.
Kosovo has definitely emerged as a sourcing partner, with sound, recognised motivations why Germany is leaving countries such as India, China, and Central America. Kosovo offers companies experienced IT and business professionals with multilingual skills; a young, energetic and highly educated work force; and competitive pricing.
The move to select Kosovo as a sourcing partner has, in fact, already occurred. Multinationals like Vodafone, DHL, AT&T, Teleperformance and Sutherland, are using talent from the Kosovo. At the forefront of these local, sourcing companies is Kosbit, which has gone global as a preferred vendor for AT&T and other managed services. Kosbit has received several awards in the last two years by defining the best attributes amongst sourcing countries in Southeast Europe. Their list of prestigious awards from the last two years as a sourcing leader is impressive. The awards include the IAOP 100 Best Outsourcing Providers; Digital Technology Leaders Award for 2019; SSON European Impact Awards, and the European IT & Software Excellence Award for 2019.
Kosovo has a lot to offer to German companies that seek support form specialised technology services providers, including:
Kosovo-Germany Innovative and Training Park
This new park is established as a cooperative venture by both governments. The aim is to merge vocational education with training, science and entrepreneurship. Both countries recognise educational specialization that will help their countries move forward with fast-paced industries that need educated workers in their fields. This training centre will provide workers that can hit the ground running and contribute to building the economies of both countries with workers that have comparable skill sets. This first of its kind centre will contribute to the economic and social development of the city of Prizren as well as the entire region.
Euro currency and Legislation
The country has reformed its legal system, and the Euro is the official currency. It is also compatible with European legislative issues, and the system of taxation is also very similar.
Stable financial and banking system
Kosovo has many bank branches that are also headquartered in Europe. European banks already transact business in Kosovo, and they feel very comfortable working with the banking sector in the country.
Increasing Economic Growth
Kosovo has a dynamic growth rate, with an average of 3.8% in the last ten years. Issues with previous wars and conflicts with the Yugoslavia has dissolved into a period of prosperity the likes of which Kosovo has not witnessed in decades. This allows economic growth unlike any other time period.
Kosovo has the highest internet penetration in the entire region, with 95% of households having high quality internet. Fast, efficient internet accessibility can be a primary consideration for business success in any region. Kosovo has already achieved this. According to a 2019 report by Eurostat, internet access at home ranks among the highest of any European country.
Kosovo has the youngest population of educated professionals anywhere in Europe. The percentage of those with undergraduate and post-graduate degrees is exceptional. Not only that, but they comprise the most highly-educated population in Europe; they are young, intelligent, educated and multilingual. 70% are under 35 with established business majors and degrees.
The new workforce has excellent language skills, including many who speak both German and English. Kosovo has the largest number of German speakers in this region after Romania.
Kosovo is culturally aligned with Europe. This helps companies reduce issues by working with citizens with the same cultural backgrounds and values.
Kosovo is located in Southeastern Europe, only two hours from most European locations, including Germany. They also share the same time zone, which is Central European. For conferences, client briefings, and business calls, this is very advantageous.
More ITO’s and BPO’s, are recognising the inherent benefits of Kosovo each year, and appreciating the high-value services. As this happens, Kosovo’s reputation as a preferred outsourcing partner will continue to grow. Germany will benefit greatly from this economic partnership as they continue to develop a prosperous economic base moving forward. These benefits will help both countries immensely in the years to come.
Fatmir Hyseni is an award-winning Chartered Marketer and CMO of Kosbit, a global IT vendor for AT&T and a Strategic Advisor for Critogo, your own extended digital team offering professional feedback.
You can connect with Fatmir via LinkedIn