Business
Kaunas IN
2021 06 04
Business service centers in Kaunas: time to exploit the city’s potential?

The tenth event organized by the International Business Community of Kaunas (IBCK) will take place on June 10. This time, the event is dedicated to the analysis and discussions about global business service (GBS) and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors. How much of its potential does the city use by attracting the businesses in these sectors? How do market players, higher education institutions, and organizations working with investors see the situation? Finally, what does it take to turn good potential into good results? IBCK#10, a virtual event broadcast from the studio will try to look for answers to all these questions and anyone interested in Kaunas investment environment can participate or observe the broadcast. In the event dedicated to the international community of Kaunas, the presentations and discussions will be held in English.

According to the latest Invest in Lithuania data, there are currently 17 business service centers established by foreign corporations in Kaunas, employing about 2,000 people. And although since 2017 – the golden age of the establishment of such centers in Kaunas – the number of settlers has decreased in recent years, the survivors are strengthening their positions and expanding. Such heavyweights in Kaunas GBS market as TransUnion, Satalia Lithuania or Dassault Systemes have either announced or already started their development.

How does Kaunas with a population of 293 thousand looks like in the context of similar cities in this aspect? Figures show that there are 10 employees of business service centers per 1000 officially registered Kaunas residents. In the Polish city of Wroclaw, which has twice the population of Kaunas (640 thousand inhabitants), this number reaches 74.3. In slightly smaller Poznan (540 thousand inhabitants) – 31.2, in Vilnius (544 thousand inhabitants) – 29.8, in Riga (630 thousand inhabitants) – 23.7 (source: Invest in Lithuania, 2020). What does this mean for Kaunas? First of all, it shows that the city has a lot of potential for the development of the business service center sector.

Vienybės Square, BLC and BLC2 business centers

In the eyes of businesses establishing service centers, Kaunas higher education institutions with their young talents from the fields of IT, social sciences, and humanities, entering the market annually, significantly contribute to the stability of this potential and to the competitiveness of Kaunas by training specialists, who attract and grow companies that get established in Kaunas. Last year alone, there were over 36 thousand students in Kaunas, and almost a third of them were studying in the fields of IT, social sciences, or humanities. In addition, higher education institutions themselves dynamically respond to the needs of the labor market by creating programs that train employees for the specialties that were missing, for example, like Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), which offered a master’s study program Business Big Data Analytics.

 

Mutual growth: improving quality of life and record supply of modern offices

Tadas Stankevičius, the head of the public institution Kaunas IN, which takes care of the improvement of the city’s investment environment, also talks about the fact that Kaunas is still far from reaching its full potential, “Every year, the city’s labor market is supplemented with a large number of university graduates who can work in the GBS/ICT sectors. However, so far, based on the number of employees working in these sectors per one thousand inhabitants, the lagging behind of Kaunas is not measured by percentages but by cases. It is obvious that the human potential developed by Kaunas higher education institutions and the increased supply of the necessary infrastructure during the last 4 years provides all the necessary preconditions for reducing the gap, stable development of existing investors, and the arrival of new brands in Kaunas.”

Magnum Business Center

According to T. Stankevičius, in order for young talents to decide to stay in the city after their studies and work in the companies located here, appropriate indicators of quality of life are necessary, and they have been rapidly improving in Kaunas in recent years. These include the growing number of new residential buildings (as the Department of Statistics shows, 1 548 apartments were built in 2020 alone), newly built kindergartens, improving public spaces, convenient communication both in the city and in terms of other regions via highways or by rail, as well as with the rest of the world via the international airport located nearby. The influence of all these factors is also reflected in the population migration balance. According to the Department of Statistics, in 2021 there were more arrivals to the city and district than departures: 3,592 people immigrated to Kaunas from abroad, and 2,920 people moved there from other parts of Lithuania.

Business Center Kauno dokas

Kaunas solved the issue that hindered the development of business service centers – the lack of high-quality office spaces – with a bang. In just a few years, the total supply of modern offices has increased by a record 2.5 times and reached about 250,000 square meters. What’s more, the previously virtually non-existent market of class A offices now accounts for almost 20% of modern office supply, and due to rapid growth and an instant surplus of supply, the market has become particularly favorable to tenants who can rent more spacious, comfortable premises in prestigious areas of Kaunas.

 

The main theme of the IBCK#10 event

The tenth event of Kaunas International Business Community (IBCK) – Kaunas: the Cornerstone of Lithuania’s Business Services Hub – will feature talks about the city’s market of business service centers and information and communication technologies, its current situation, tendencies, and future projections.

The virtual event organized by Kaunas IN Economic Development Agency will feature presentations for everyone interested in the Kaunas investment environment.

– Tadas Stankevičius, the head of Kaunas IN, will present the city’s potential and talk about the current situation of GBS/ICT sectors;

– Mindaugas Bulota, Head of KTU National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, will share examples and tendencies of Kaunas business and science synergy;

– Martynas Babilas, Head of Newsec’s Tenant Representation Group in the Baltic region, will analyze the situation of the city’s commercial real estate market and present the directions of changes.

One of the goals of the events organized by IBCK is to promote discussions and involvement among various groups that shape the business face of the city, therefore the tenth event will end with a panel discussion “Kaunas is ready for the future of business service centers” moderated by Laimonas Davalis, who is a Key Account Executive at Invest Lithuania.

IBCK#10 event will take place on June 10, 3 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours

Format: Youtube live broadcast from the studio, here.

Event language: English (without translation).

Registration for participants: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/156961103887

If you have any questions, please contact us by email: business@kaunasin.lt.

The event is free of charge.

Source: A. Aleksandravičius photos.