Colliers International and Advisory Group Test Human Resources prepared the report “Southern Poland - prospects for business services” that analyses the potential of human capital and office real estate market in the context of modern business services sector development in the Southern Poland.

According to the report’s authors cities such as - Kraków, Wrocław, Katowice, Kielce and Rzeszów deserve special attention. 

Kraków is the undisputed leader in terms of activity among BPO/ SSC companies. In the first half of 2014 BPO/SSC/R&D demand accounted for 70% of the registered volume. Currently more than 100,000 m2 is under construction, with 116,000 m2 in the development pipeline. Despite the relatively high level of new supply, the vacancy rate remained 3,5 %. Why does Kraków attract tenants? The capital of Małopolska voivodeship has the largest number of university graduates (10,444) and technical universities (12,631). Academies of economics also have significant number of graduates (7,549). The major office tenants in Kraków are : Amway Business Center Europe (SSC sector), Capgemini (ITO sector), Capita (BPO), Delphi Automotive (R&D sector), Genpact (BPO sector), HCL Poland (ITO sector), Lufthansa Global Business Services (SSC sector), Philip Morris (SSC sector).

The Wrocław market is recording the highest level of activity among developers from all regional cities. There is 136,000 m2 of space under construction. By the end of 2014 34,000 m2 of new office space will be delivered to the market and the city’s resources will exceed 500,000 m2. During the year, the vacancy rate in existing buildings was relatively stable, oscillating around 12%. Wrocław also has a relatively high number of university graduates (7,531), technical universities (7,307) and economic (5,486). The major tenants in the modern sector of business services are:  CreditSuisse ( ITO sector), EY GBS (F & A sector), Geoban (SSC sector), Google (ITO sector), Hewlett Packard (ITO sector), IBM (ITO sector), McKinsey & Company (KPO sector), Tieto (ITO sector), Volvo (SSC).

In the Katowice agglomeration centres are more dispersed as compared to other regions, which on the one hand means greater access to a larger number of potential employees.

Katowice offers over 240,000 m2 of modern office space. There are still 61,000 m2 under construction. The current vacancy rate is 10,6 %. Katowice has a high number of university graduates in economics (8,378). Tenants, in the major center of Upper Silesian conurbation, are: Archidoc (BPO sector), Capgemini (ITO sector), Contact Center (Call Centre), ING Services Poland (SSC sector), Mentor Graphics (R&D sector), PwC (SSC sector), Rockwell Automation (SSC sector), Unilever (SSC sector), UPC (Call Centre).

– Numerous investments in the public and private sector have changed the perception of the city as a good place to live and to do business. Furthermore, thanks to the city authorities’ attitude and engagement, the opinion of investors about Katowice is very positive as well. – noticed Tomasz Zydorek, Regional Manager in Katowice, Colliers International.

According to the report Kielce and Rzeszów are emerging markets. Rzeszów, where the salaries are the lowest. In the capital city of Świętokrzyskie voivodeship, the total supply of modern office space is estimated at 57,000 m2. The vacancy rate is 8,8 %. There are 32,000 m2 in the pipeline.

– Recently, Kielce has done a lot to become an attractive location for both external and local investors. Thanks to the effective use of EU funds, the city has carried out a number of investments, including the revitalization of the city centre, the upgrading of road infrastructure and improved conditions for the development of local universities. Young and well-educated human capital is the city’s greatest asset. –  commented Łukasz Żelezik, Associate Director, Office Agency, Colliers International.

The number of university graduates in Kielce is 4,707, technical universities 2,469 and economic academies 2,375. Largest tenants representing the sector in Kielce are: Infover (ITO sector), Inter Galactica (Call Centre), Medicover (Call Centre) , Teledirect (Call Centre), UCMS Group Poland (BPO sector).

– With further development of academic centres in the coming years, Kielce has the potential to win new investors in the BPO/SSC/R&D sector. – adds Łukasz Żelezik.  

Rzeszów may become an interesting alternative for investors looking for high quality space outside the major office markets. Rzeszów offers only 7,500 m2 of space to lease. The market situation will change with the completion of the SkyRes Warszawska building (Q2 2015). The project will deliver 20,000 m2 of modern office space. The vacancy rate is 17,2 %. The city has a large group of university graduates (6,805) and technical universities (4,235). Modern business services sector tenants include: ACP Pharma (F&A sector), Carlson Wagonlit Travel (BPO sector), Contact Point (Call Centre), Softsystem (ITO sector), ZETO Rzeszow (ITO sector).

Poland is one of the most frequently chosen locations for launching state-of-the-art business service centres. This is a great success and an exceptional phenomenon on a European scale. The number of people employed at such centres in Poland has been increasing for 10 years. Thus, this sector has become one of the pillars of the Polish economy.