Regional Site Tracker: Europe, Middle East & Africa
By Sandy Frinton, PULSE Editor
Crossing Boundaries to Provide Full Services
Previously, large U.S.-led global corporates turned to established locations in EMEA when looking to outsource services, but had issues locating providers who could also serve in emerging countries like South Africa, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Israel.
In recent years, however, that’s all changed. For the first time, large EMEA-led providers now have the capabilities to deliver full-service coverage across multiple locations and sectors across the region, according to Ian Entwisle CEO, Global Workplace Solutions, EMEA for commercial real estate provider and investment firm CBRE.
“In the last couple of years, we’ve seen it go from a U.S.-led market to a truly global market,” he says.
While corporates’ geographic coverage in EMEA used to be sparse in smaller and less developed countries, recent years have seen them expanding into these new markets, and the largest providers have been responding.
CBRE has been filling the gaps, most recently by acquiring three major businesses in the past year. In December 2017 they acquired Geico Lender a building technical engineering services provider in Italy. This was followed in April with the acquisition of their long-standing affiliate partner MAN Properties in Israel who provide capital markets and leasing services to occupiers and investors in the office, technology and retail sectors. Then in July CBRE acquired a majority interest in the Ramot Group, a leading facilities management provider who are also based in Israel.
Not only have the larger players like CBRE opened offices in the expanding economies, but they’ve also built up their workforces and established teams of employees offering facilities management, project management and advisory and transaction services in previously unreached locales like Southern Europe and Africa.
This full coverage means customers benefit from the consistency of reporting, procurement at scale, and the efficiencies of working with single suppliers, according to Entwisle.
“In the last five years, we’ve developed our capability to deliver across the region through acquisitions and investments in operating platforms and people,” he says. “So, when a global customer comes to market, they know we have the ability to deliver wherever they may operate.”
Undoubtedly, political and economic instabilities in parts of the world like those currently in Turkey can create concerns and complications, but local issues can be overcome by working with the right outsourcing partner.
“My personal view is that global businesses do business where there is a market need and we are confident we can support that need,” says Entwisle, who has an optimistic outlook for the future of outsourcing in EMEA.
Country Snapshots: Hot Areas to Watch
- Turkey: Business process outsourcing and call centers offering young educated workforce and government incentives to encourage growth.
- Poland: Software development outsourcing, growing IT market, tax incentives and lower labor costs than Western Europe and U.S.
- Israel: IT research and development outsourcing delivered by highly educated American professionals who are native English speakers and have been educated in the U.S.
- Russia: Engineering and software development talent with the third-largest pool of engineers, mathematicians and scientists per capita, and a steady stream of technical graduates.