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Skelia helps Benelux companies achieve growth

Skelia, an international services company headquartered in Luxembourg, confirms her ambitions to support Benelux companies in their growth during the current recession. Moreover, Skelia recently opened its capital for the Belgian entrepreneurs Jan Picavet and Jan De Schepper, who both joined the Advisory Council of Skelia as shareholders.

Belgian services company operating in Ukraine

Skelia gives an answer to the current credit scarcity, insecure company expectations and bottleneck professions, by extending the local teams of Benelux companies with qualified people in nearshore locations. Skelia established its first service centre in Lviv, a regional capital of West-Ukraine, Unesco world heritage and only 80 kms from the Polish border.

Skelia has been established in the autumn of 2008 by 3 experienced Belgian entrepreneurs: Patrik Vandewalle (44), Koen Anseeuw (46) en Olivier Istace (38). Patrik Vandewalle, CEO of Skelia, is the former CEO of the Euronext quoted Econocom Group, where he is still a member of the Board of Directors.

“In Lviv, we found the perfect ingredients to develop Skelia: highly educated employees, close resemblance to the Belgian culture and attitude, good ethical framework due to a strong employment legislation, motivation and enthusiasm of the population, nearby and strong multilingual region. Moreover, given the lower pay standards, we can spoil our staff with attractive wages and benefits. ”

Simplicity as a trump card

“Our own experiences with offshore service companies were not always positive because of the complexity. Working with people from totally different cultures like India and China, in a different time zone, with other legal systems, indistinct ethical framework and a big staff turnover, make many customers come back on their decisions. Very often, there was a lack of the “yes is yes, no is no”-principle. Therefore, we looked for a simple model with a very low participation barrier, high comfort and flexibility. ” says Patrik Vandewalle, CEO of Skelia.

“The strength of Skelia especially lies in the simplicity of the offered model: we recruit teams in Ukraine for our clients in the Benelux and take care of the complete supporting framework (building, infrastructure, network, coaching of the staff, technical support, etc.). In many cases, this model is even as efficient and profitable as from 1 person.”

Helping to develop companies

The experience after 3 months shows that companies especially call upon Skelia to realize their growth ambitions in the Benelux, where the finding of cash or the recruiting of own personnel seems to be a real braking factor. “It is indeed a fact that Skelia is able to reduce the cost substantially with a factor 2 or 3 but we were pleasantly surprised to learn that the main goal of our clients was to stimulate further growth in the own country.”

Skelia also offers the possibility for its interested customers to transfer their Skelia team into a client-owned separate legal entity. This enables clients to operationally test a nearshore model and to juridically integrate it into their own company afterwards.

Not only ICT

Skelia focuses on companies having structural needs and who are willing to extend their organization. The customer himself determines the desired profiles and knowledge, on an ICT-level as well as in other domains (like administrative management, actuarial, research and development, market analyses, translations, international legislation,…).

New shareholders in the Advisory Council

Skelia’s shareholders’ structure is further extended with Jan Picavet and Jan De Schepper. “Our ambitions are to grow into an international company of 500 employees by 2012. I am pleased that 2 experienced managers like Jan Picavet and Jan De Schepper are supporting our project, both as shareholder and advisor”, says Patrik Vandewalle.

As an experienced entrepreneur, Jan Picavet is a member of the Board of Directors of Netfund Europe, HR Technologies and Unified Post. He was also shareholder and director at Case Consult, the future USWeb/CKS.

Jan De Schepper, until the end of 2008 CEO of Telindus and is now already a member of the Board of Directors of different companies like ADM, Inventive Designers, IOS and Nascom, and further develops his entrepreneurial ambitions.

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