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One in Five Companies are Considering Investing in Wrocław. Investors are Drawn by the Wide Availability of IT and Finance Professionals

Karina Chowaniak

- Wrocław is one of the most attractive destinations for professionals and managers. This is good news for companies that already have a presence in Lower Silesia, as well as those that are considering investing in the region. The city has enormous potential, including not only the enormous knowledge and experience base of its professionals, but also highly developed infrastructure and supportive local government. A number of large infrastructure projects were completed in Wrocław in recent years, significantly improving the quality of life its citizens and the conditions for doing business. The region attracts IT, finance, automotive, appliance and SSC industry leaders who wish to take advantage of the wide availability of the region's plentiful supply of competent candidates and high-quality higher education institutions – says Michał Wolski, Branch Manager, Antal Wrocław.

Respondents taking part in the "Wrocław's Investment Potential" survey (part of the "Business Environment Assessment Study") were asked to assess the city's business environment and the effect that it had on their investment decisions. By combining several indices for each of the areas included in the survey, the report presents a complete rating on a 0-10 scale, where 0 is the lowest possible rating and 10 is the highest possible rating. Wrocław's average score of all indices combined is 7.4 out of 10.

IT and finance professionals are Wrocław's selling point

According to company decision-makers, Wrocław is a good destination for investment owing to its future supply of qualified workers. Education opportunities, understood as the supply of future employees, was the highest-rated category (7.8 points). It should be noted that 10% of Polish students are studying at one of Lower Silesia's 32 universities (source: Central Statistical Office of Poland).

Potencjał Edukacyjny Wrocławia 7,8/10

Companies are currently looking for locations where personnel qualified in certain professional areas is readily available. According to decision-makers, Wrocław has no shortage of middle- and senior-level IT candidates (7 points compared to Poland's average score of 6.6 points) and those with analytical and finance competencies (7 points).

Katarzyna Lica, an Antal IT Services consultant, claims that the large number of workers is a result of the numerous companies that employ such candidates. – We have both start-ups and non-IT companies offering very attractive employment conditions.   They draw in programmers and other IT professionals from other parts of the country. Competition over professionals is quite fierce across the country and only the most interesting projects, efficient recruiting processes and organizational flexibility will allow companies to draw in candidates. Wrocław's potential continues to grow, the city draws in new R&D centres, company branches and IT SSC centres. In my opinion, this trend will continue into the future –  says Katarzyna Lica, Team Leader & Senior Consultant, Antal IT Services.

Life is good in Wrocław

The "Wrocław's Investment Potential" report released by Antal shows that the city is a great place to live for students and business owners alike. This category received a rating of 7.7 out of 10, compared to the national average of 7.3. Decision-makers awarded particularly high marks to Wrocław's cultural life and shopping facilities.

Miejsce do życia 7,7/10

CBRE'S Piotr Pikiewicz points out that many investors examine a region's quality of life before they make any decisions, as it allows them to assess how easy it will be to draw in new employees. – Countless cultural events, renowned universities and lots of shopping opportunities all contribute to Wrocław's high quality of life rating. The city has a very high modern shopping facilities per capita ratio. It is also worth mentioning that Wrocław has the second-fastest population growth out of all Polish cities (Warsaw is still first). The municipal authorities should take credit for much of all of this progress, as Forbes' 2016 survey determined that Wrocław is Poland's most business-friendly city – says Piotr Pikiewicz, Senior Consultant, Research & Consultancy, CBRE.

Fierce competition benefits future investors

Companies always assess how much competition there is in a region before deciding to move in. Wrocław received a score of 6.8 points in this category. Respondents were asked to rate the competition in the local market (on a scale of 1 to 10, where 0 means that there is no competition, and 10 means that all competitors are active in the local market).

Potencjał Biznesowy 6,8/10

Antal experts point to the fact that Wrocław has developed a curious ecosystem in which everybody benefits from competition. – Wrocław is Poland's most specialized region. Focusing on R&D, IT and technology allows the city to draw in investors as well as candidates. Local companies, with strong support from the local government and educational institutions, have managed to create an environment in which competencies are being replicated at a staggering rate. The presence of many companies operating in a few select sectors is the biggest contributor to Wrocław's business potential – says Karolina Korzeniewska, Account Executive Europe, Antal SSC/BPO.

Kraków and Germany within easy reach by car, train or plane

Offices and road infrastructure are another two factors that contribute to Wrocław's investment potential. Both of them received a score of 6.9 out of 10. According to CBRE's analyses, Wrocław boasts one of the most developed office markets in Poland (3rd place), with almost 900,000 square metres of modern office space available. The factors that contributed to such a high score include: ease of commuting to work using public transport (7.7 points) and the quality and availability of office space (7.3 and 7 points respectively).

As regards transport infrastructure, Wrocław's road network received the highest rating (7.9 points), followed by rail and air transport (7.7 points each).

Antal's Zuzanna Witkowska points out that Wrocław's average score of 7 also applies to the surrounding region. – The region around Wrocław is developing at a very rapid pace. Many new plants are being built, mainly by automotive companies. The market is ripe with engineering professionals and managers, often with niche qualifications. On the surface it may seem that employers have no shortage of engineering candidates to pick from, but it is not that simple.  Because there are so many manufacturing companies based around Wrocław, they have to compete over professionals and managers. Candidates receive several job offers each month. Thus, companies are often forced to prepare employee retention plans. On the other hand, drawing in competent professionals and managers is not easy, and more so if niche skills are required – sums up Zuzanna Witkowska, Senior Consultant, Antal Engineering & Operations.

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