How cultural affinity enables business outsourcing to Kosovo

Cultural affinity gives Kosovo strong advantage in attracting BPO services
Cultural Affinity Kosovo Kosbit

Outsourcing is a common phenomenon in the Balkans region nowadays. While seeking for the best outsourcing destination, large businesses realize that the financial factor is not the only and the most determinant factor to decide where to outsource; cultural differences is a highly important factor in outsourcing decisions as well.

Businesses notice that the success of an outsourcing project is decidedly dependent on the quality management of the outsourcing relationship and cultural differences are one of the biggest issues that companies stand against when externalizing their business processes abroad. We can assume that the greater the difference in the organizational cultures between outsourcing partners is the lesser is the possibility for outsourcing success.
According to a study made by Accenture in 2008, more than 60% of all outsourcing deals fail, completely or partially, mainly because of a lack of cultural compatibility between the vendor and the client.

When considering options to outsource from the western developed countries to countries in development, Kosovo has its competitive advantages. As named a top business reformer country in the World Bank’s recently-published “2018 Doing Business Report”, Kosovo is a suitable place to outsource when considering the cultural affinity factor.

The geographical position of this country is the biggest influencer on the cultural affinity. Being in Europe enabled Kosovo to hold tight economic ties with developed European countries. By being tied economically, Kosovo’s citizens managed to learn a lot from the best European business practices, hereby making Kosovo youth more connected to the west.

Kosovo citizens are used to living and working in the west. It is estimated that there are approximately 800.000 Kosovars (around 30% of the total population) living in the west. A positive factor is that Kosovo’s diaspora continues to be highly connected to its home country. They visit Kosovo regularly, invest in their native land, and the most important fact is that they continue to transmit European business culture to Kosovo, thus no European business practice remains out of Kosovo’s youth mindset.

A lot of students finish their studies in Western Europe and US and they come back to share their knowledge and experience. There are many British and American universities in Kosovo helping this climate of international mindset and western lifestyle. Domestic universities have started adopting western studying curriculum, making Kosovo universities more similar to higher ranking well-known universities and helping its students to become more qualified for the international labor market.

Another important factor that has made Kosovo citizens’ business culture to be similar to western businesses’ culture is continuous foreign educational programs. Aspiring to be part of EU, Kosovo had to follow European business legislation. This legislation facilitated European standardized business environment in Kosovo, therefore Kosovo’s citizens became more familiar with the European business culture. As an example we can mention that Kosovo has started implementing the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union entering this way a new phase of political, social and economic development.

Considering all the facts mentioned above we can conclude that when outsourcing to Kosovo, cultural affinity is a highly competitive advantage. As a liberal society with a multi-lingual (English, German & French) population, Kosovo citizens and Kosovo businesses benefited a lot from the presence of western business practices that enabled a lot of outsourcing success as well.