Landing in Warsaw’s Frédéric Chopin airport is really something. When you arrive, not having visited the Polish capital since the fall of the Iron Curtain, you are immersed in a total shock. The thing that strikes me most, after almost 30 years, is the energy that flows through the city. Everybody seems busy, on his or her way, or at work. The city has the charm of a working man’s capital. A bit raw but also very honest in the impression it leaves on you.
Since I am here for work, that atmosphere suits me perfectly. I am here to find out more about the potential for German Nearshore and Polish onshore . German nearshore opportunities in Eastern Europe or elsewhere are slim. With a very competitive market domestically, the past 15 years has seen many fashionable destinations come up in Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, the low prices do not always match the envisioned quality. This indicates that although there is a significant demand for high quality nearshore services, there is also a lot of skepticism around delivery quality. In Poland, the destination of choice is Krakow, but that market seems to be saturated.
Today, I am visiting Webhelp’s operations in Warszaw, located right on the outskirts of the city and close to the airport. Immediately, the energy that we saw in the city springs to life. The welcome is enthusiastic and the site tour is very interesting, filled with proud achievements. Listening in and looking at the backoffice conversations, a highly dedicated workforce with a good grasp of the German language and culture is evident.
During lunch where obviously Pierogi is the featured main (good!) we see a new fata morgana arise. A couple of hundred seats we can fill easily, we discuss. But then the dream is cruelly shattered; it will take a year to fill that demand. But there is good news as well. People like the work, stay very long and remain motivated. That means new growth, although slow, will continue and create a high quality solution. So maybe not ideal, but still a very good supporting option.
Our second question is: what are the Polish domestic market options. The response is once again very realistic, we’re told that it may not be the best option to house Polish domestic business in a capital. In this sense Poland is no different from other European countries. We discuss several other good options and feel once more positive about the future.
It is a breath of fresh air to see a “can do” mentality with a lot of realism combined with high levels of energy, making us feel very positive about business opportunities for contact centers in Warszaw.
At the airport I buy a bottle of Bison Vodka and together with the Pierogi I had before it’s my only encounter with the ‘traditional’ Poland I have seen during my trip. This is far from a bad thing though, as I genuinely like the ‘new’ Poland with all its great potential. I’ll be back soon.