Nov 28, 2012: Bulgaria is a fast emerging BPO destination in Europe. The country is currently ranked 17th in the list of promising BPO destinations in the world. The country officially established an Outsourcing Association to encourage investors and global firms to set up BPO centers in Bulgaria. Mr. Stefan Bumov, Chair of the Association stated that Bulgaria is emerging as a preferred destination for outsourcing services in Central and Eastern Europe region.
As per the available statistics, there are around 12,000 to 15,000 workers in BPO segment in Bulgaria. This figure is expected to triple as per the initial figures disclosed by the newly formed Association. It may be recalled that during 2006-2007 period, Bulgaria was one of the top 10 BPO destinations in the world. However, its ranking slipped to 17th mainly due to the unstable political climate and not so conducive environment to do business. It is expected that with the formation of this new Association, the BPO industry environment will become much better and firms would be encouraged to come back to Bulgaria to tap the availability of qualified resources in the country.
Though the whole of Euro zone is facing economic crisis, the country continued its uptrend in terms of BPO growth. There was a 12% growth in BPO industry‘s revenue figures in Bulgaria. Two main issues which the Association pointed out have been
- Lack of employment opportunities are being created for young graduates in BPO. In Bulgaria only 12% of those graduates passing out could find some opportunities in the BPO sector where as it is as high as 27% in countries like Poland
- Most of the BPO firms are concentrated around the city of Sofia. Association wants to encourage firms to set up BPO firms in other Bulgarian cities too.
One advantage in favor of Bulgaria is the presence of highly qualified skilled workers across the country. Borislav Stefanov who is the CEO of the InvestBulgaria Agency also spoke on the launch of this Bulgaria Outsourcing Association. He commented that the single factor which could determine the wellness of this sector is the availability of ‘quality jobs’ in this sector.
The Bulgarian Outsourcing Association consists of currently 5 members:
- AII Data Processing: a leading provider of data processing, content and media research services having over 15 years of experience.
- Atos: One of the largest IT services company with EUR 8.6 billion revenue and 74,000 employees in 42 countries.
- Bulpros: Firm specializing in areas like Software development, Customer Service, Web & Mobile development, System Integration, Technical Support and Professional Staffing.
- Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria – a franchise bottler of Coca-Cola in Bulgaria with 3 bottling plants across the country and
- Sofica group, the largest outsourcing provider in the country who is operating since 2004.
It remains to be seen how effective will be the Association to influence the BPO industry growth in the country.