Outsourcing Journal

Independent ICT service business insights since 2010

Home Markets and locationsEurope Barcelona – Shared Service Location in Europe

Catalonia understood right from the start the needs implicit in the processes of centralising operations performed by large multinationals aimed at cutting costs in internal corporate services and maximising return in client service. Today, many major companies and multinationals have centralised their information processes (payrolls, IT, finance, marketing, management control, etc.) in Catalonia, which is currently home to 7,000 contact centre positions and employs over 10,000 professionals.

Alongside this critical business mass, Catalonia offers a young, skilled and multi-lingual labour force with competitive salaries, unbeatable and affordable real estate and a public sector committed to assisting investments that guarantee the success of these projects.

Talent and competitive salaries

In Catalonia a high proportion of young people are presently searching for their first job. More than ever, they represent one of Europe’s most highly qualified workforces thanks to an extensive network of public and private universities that guarantee their full adaptability into the labour market. It is quite probable that this both considerable and skilled labour force will work in either basic attention or specialized services. Furthermore, this highly qualified labour offer is matched with competitive wage levels compared to other locations in Europe.

Multilingualism makes Catalonia an international meeting point

Barcelona is well known for attracting multinational talent and this contributes greatly to make Catalonia an unsurpassable meeting point for international business. Every year, Barcelona’s universities attract 23,000 foreign students, who account for about 12% of all students enrolled. The very fact that Barcelona has become one of foreign students’ main preferences for studying and living in Spain has made it a multicultural, multilingual and cosmopolitan city with a resident population including people from all of the world. Today, Catalonia has almost 1.2 million foreign residents, 16% of the total population and 20.7% of the total foreign population in Spain.

As regards the local population, whilst practically 100% of the population speak Spanish, 78% also speak Catalan. Speaking Catalan has thus become an added value for residents here, obtained naturally and at no additional cost.

This fact is of special mention bearing in mind that Spanish BPOs in Catalonia can find workers with a fluent Catalan as well as Spanish for the same competitive salary found in other parts of Spain. What is more, they also find a greater fluency in other languages (English, French, German, etc.). In Catalonia some 30,000 people study languages every year. 26% and 17% of the population state they speak English and French, respectively. Both levels are higher than the overall Spanish figures. Hotels, food service and tourism boost language skills of local population.

The right environment

The Catalan telecommunication network is of excellent quality while all the main ICT service providers are present in Barcelona (IBM, HP, Microsoft, Sun, Cisco, Oracle, T-Systems, Colt). There is also a solid supplier base: training centres, services of all nature such as lawyers, hardware firms, relocation agencies, and so on. Lifestyle quality is also of great significance. Factors such as an international airport with direct connections through Europe, an excellent suburban transport system, a good health and education system, an ideal Mediterranean climate, all make Barcelona – a dynamic and wonderful city – a great place to live.

Competitively priced offices in ideal locations

Barcelona and its greater metropolitan area have an offer of state of the art, full-service buildings at below market prices. In Invest in Catalonia, we are constantly informed of the latest real estate details, we can help in office space location, we can handle specific grants and subventions, and we can generate contacts and meetings with all real estate agents, both public and private.

Firm commitment from the Public Sector

We do not only support the SSC in location terms. The SOC (Catalan Employment Service) offers an employment selection, training and insertion service. It is completely free of charge and has proven experience in the search and pre-selection of candidates for contact centres.

Catalonia Trade & Investment has handled in recent years over 150 Shared Service Centres projects, valuable experience that has given us extensive know-how in this highly specialised area.


About Catalonia Trade & Investment

Catalonia Trade & Investment is the public agency that works to attract foreign direct investment to Barcelona and Catalonia, promoting the area as an attractive, innovative and competitive business location. In the last 30 years, the agency’s track record includes 5,000 investment projects managed, €8.1 billion attracted in inward investment and 40,000 jobs created. Catalonia Trade & Investment operates from 36 offices around the world.

ACCIO / Catalonia Trade & Investment – Wirtschaftsförderung Katalonien
Ms. Claudia Jehle, Area Director Invest
Kronenstr. 39, 70174 Stuttgart
Tel. 0049 711 66976 0
Email: cjehle@catalonia.com


Partner for Germany

Catalonia Trade & Investment is official Institutional Partner of Deutscher Outsourcing Verband (German Outsourcing Association).

Stephan Fricke, CEO of Deutscher Outsourcing Verband said: “We are very happy to strengthen our connection and reach on the Iberian peninsula specifically in the region of Catalonia, where IT and business process companies as well as German companies that are looking for service partners or expansion of SSC’s find very good conditions and interesting co-operation opportunities.”