The Eastern European management consulting industry has in 2013 booked a growth of 7%, taking the market to a total value of €1.08 billion. The outlook for the coming year is however mixed; ‘Russia-facing’ economies are expected to face a market decline, while economies more closely tied to robust Germany are forecasted to book further growth.
For years now the consulting market of Eastern Europe – which includes among others Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Poland* – has booked strong growth. In 2012 the industry was, according to analyst firm Source, worth just over €1 billion. Following a 7% growth in that year, the market last year ended with a value of €1.08 billion. Technology was the best-performing service area (up 11% to €364 million), largely thanks to modernisation projects at financial institutions. The fastest-growing sector was financial services with work coming from technology-led efficiency projects, large-scale transformations and compliance-related projects.
Source adds that despite the fact that the Eastern European consulting industry is analysed as one market, there are (substantial) differences between the markets. Poland and the Czech Republic, for instance, have mature banking sectors and so are enjoying big consulting growth in the financial services industry. Meanwhile, Slovakia is a popular outsourcing destination, and so work more than proportionately takes place in the area of outsourcing advisory, as consulting firms support multinationals with establish themselves in the low-cost country.
With a value of €1.08 billion the Eastern European market is larger than the market of for instance Russia, and equal the size of Italy, yet still far off the market of the UK – Europe’s biggest consulting market according to Source. Other European countries that have larger consulting industries include France, Spain and The Netherlands.
For the coming year, the market is forecasted to face mixed fortunes. The crisis in Ukraine and political instability in Russia is expected to have repercussions on ‘Russia-facing’ economies, as a result these markets are expected to decline. Elsewhere in Eastern Europe, where economies are more closely tied to robust Germany and Western Europe, growth can be expected.
* Eastern Europe consists of Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine.