HOA: Most business service centers are planning a new service in Hungary


According to a survey presented at the Hungarian Service and Outsourcing Association (HOA) online conference, 71% of business service centers in Hungary are planning to introduce a new service in the next year, state news wire MTI reports.

Róbert Marciniak, associate professor of Corvinus University of Budapest, pointed out: This forecast is in line with the fact that this year 77% of business service centers are planning to expand, while this rate was 66% in 2018. Meanwhile, the rate of those market players who are expecting their operation to stagnate decreased from 31% to 20%. According to the expert, this shows that the sector has entered a mature phase of operation and has strong confidence in the Hungarian economy and business environment.

He said that two-thirds of the firms participating in the research plan to increase their staff accordingly, and only 7 % indicated a reduction in their staff in the first half of 2021. According to the research, almost half of the firms in the sector carry out financial, accounting and controlling activities, in addition IT (27%) and helpdesk (13%) also make up a considerable proportion of there activities. These ratios have not changed in the past three years. According to the majority of managers, their companies are resilient in a crisis situation.

Réka Komáromi, associate partner of EY, presented: According to the latest data, there are currently 205 business service centers in Hungary and almost 74,000 people are employed by them. Each center has an average of 360 employees, which is high in a regional comparison. However, as compared to Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania, Hungary lags behind in the number of highly qualified young people entering the sector annually. She identified this as an important area to develop for maintaining leadership.

According to Tünde Kis, vice-president of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA), the sector is constantly developing, and despite the coronavirus situation it performs well, and is strong and resilient. Some 25 favorable investment decisions have been made in the sector last year, creating more than three thousand new jobs. She pointed out that the centers have been creating more and more added value and that they play an enormous role in making highly qualified young people with excellent foreign language skills stay in Hungary, or in making them move back to the country after gaining experience abroad. She added that HIPA continues to work on attracting as many value-add investments as possible to the country.

Csaba Szende, Head of Trivium Packaging business services, presented the COVID-19 survey conducted by HOA in cooperation with academic and business actors. He said: Despite the crisis, the sector has been able to increase its capacity and stabilize its situation for the second wave of the pandemic. Business service centers quickly adapted to teleworking. Before the outbreak, 22 % of the employees teleworked in the sector, while currently 97% are. The coronavirus situation has given a significant boost to digitalization-automation, which is a positive effect. He explained that half of the sector believes automation will remain important in the future and half of the firms have the resources to adapt. According to the research, more than 60% of the firms plan to increase the number of their staff by more than 10% in the following years. The business forecast is also considered to be favorable.

Monika Slomska, President of the Hungarian Service and Outsourcing Association (HOA) reported that they currently have more than 100 members. Apart from strengthening their international relationships, they are also planning to increase their membership in the following period. 220,000 people are employed by almost 800 companies in the Hungarian sector. The development of the business service sector contributes significantly to increasing the country’s regional competitiveness, which she mentioned as one of the main objectives of HOA.

HOA has prepared the sectoral report every year since 2013. The most recent research carried out in 2020 involved almost 33,000 employees from 48 companies, representing 45% of those employed in the Hungarian business service sector. The most comprehensive research so far, with 120 pages was carried out by the association in cooperation with eight research partners.

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