Shared Services in China: No Sleeping Dragon
China is no sleeping dragon, and yet, for all the attention focused on it by the global shared services industry, there is relatively few Shared Services Centres outside Shanghai and its suburbs. And for now, Shanghai shows no signs of losing its pole position, at least as far as industries like financials, healthcare, and technology are concerned. It also leads in terms of financial shared services, HR shared services, and GBS operations.
What is notable however is that the geological footprint of shared services in China is widening, as Beijing is growing in popularity and tier 2 cities like Wuhan are becoming more popular. In addition, as this visual data report from Dart Institute shows, there is still plenty of opportunity to take advantage of low salaries and high student population outside the most popular locations (again, Wuhan stands out).
One of the most interesting slides in Dart’s interactive report compares the "bang for a buck" in hiring graduates. This identifies the Philippines as only slightly less expensive than China, but India offering up to 50% lower cost than both! India has been helped significantly by the depreciation of the Rupee against the US dollar in recent years (by roughly 25%). The impact of volatile FX rates across the region should certainly be a key consideration for any organization evaluating shared services. With the Chinese Yuan on an upward trend, dollar-based costs could also keep rising.
What is certain is that there is no stopping the Chinese market. Half of the shared services across China right now are less than three years old, and SSON has seen a doubling of inquiries from China in the last two years alone.
Find out more about the opportunities in China, and the characteristics of this shared services market, in Dart Institute’s visual data report: Enter the Dragon: The Rise of Chinese Shared Services Centres.