How North-Macedonia is becoming Europe’s next offshoring hub?

Emina Mulagic

Emina Mulagic

Content Writer - LinkedIn

Once you’ve decided that you want to offshore your tech department to a specialized vendor abroad, you might ask yourself where you want your team to be. 

If you think about an offshoring location, countries like India and China probably come to mind first. You might even have some experiences when calling with customer service. The most popular outsourcing locations are usually China, India, The Philippines, Taiwan, and Brazil. These countries are mostly known for their low labor costs and hard-working work habits. However, offshoring to countries on the other side of the globe might come with some implications:

  1. The most obvious one is long distances. The great number of kilometers between the vendor and your company turns a company visit into a costly and lengthy travel. 
  2. With these long distances, we usually deal with time differences. The time zones can be a serious obstacle for smooth communication – long response times and difficult-to-plan meetings are part of the package.
  3. Speaking of communication, the language barriers should not be forgotten. This can result in miscommunication and a lot of time spent on solving problems that could have been avoided. 
  4. Alongside with language, cultural differences in work habits might not be aligned with your usual workflow, which is something you will definitely have to get used to.

The HoRIZon works with North Macedonia as the main location for offshoring software development. Here are 7 reasons why we love it:

  1. As a country in the Balkans, North Macedonia has the advantage of being geographically closer with no time difference to countries in the European Union (EU). On top of that, the EU gave its formal approval to begin accession talks with North Macedonia in March 2020. 
  2. Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, is a vibrant, modern, and friendly place with a rich cultural and natural heritage. 
  3. The tech and start-up communities making great efforts to create a promising tech and IT start-up climate in the capital city. 
  4. The ICT sector in North Macedonia is the fastest growing industry. The continuous growth in the ICT market is supported by a decrease in the price of IT equipment, and a decrease in VAT for the equipment.
  5. A PwC survey found that North Macedonia has an excellent supply of well-educated and young IT experts, working for the lowest labor costs in the region
  6. Additionally, these IT experts have a strong knowledge of foreign languages. English is taught from middle school in most Macedonian schools. On top of that, many Macedonians take extracurricular English classes to improve their skills and have more opportunities. Especially tech companies invest in language courses for their employees.  
  7. That being said, the work habits are much more familiar to what Western companies are used to working with. 

Outsourcing in North Macedonia comes with the known offshoring advantages of lower labor costs and more efficiency, whilst minimizing the disadvantages of outsourcing far away. 

Curious to know more about offshoring in North Macedonia? Keep an eye on our weekly blog to learn more.

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