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Thoughts on Outsourcing[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
- Subject: Thoughts on Outsourcing
- From: G Vishwanath <gvshwnth(--nospam--at)yahoo.com>
- Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 02:29:13 -0800 (PST)
Thanks to Dennis, Christopher and Cliff for some stimulating reading. Dennis, this is perhaps as long as your post. I don't know. I haven't counted the words. Since I read your post in full, I request you to read mine too. Others can skip if not interested. I did not sense anything remotely rascist in your views. Hope this reassures you. I also have no quarrel with those who oppose outsourcing. You are adversely affected. So your fears and plaints are understandable. I have been quietly following all the posts on this subject in this list and also on the steel-detail list where I am a more frequent contributor. I am not contradicting your views at all. I only wish to present a viewpoint from the other side. This will explain (not justify) why outsourcing is here to stay and why nothing can be done about it by individuals like you and me. Economic and political forces operate at a very high level and none of us have any control over this. Something similar to the Industrial Revolution is taking place now. I don't know if we are at the beginning, or half way or at the end. We will all be forced to move with the times and make the necessary adjustments in order to survive. Your Government will not oppose outsourcing. Frankly it just cannot. You need the world's market for your products too. If you put a stop to Indians doing work for USA, India will put a stop to USA selling its proudcts to us. We don't have products to sell to you. We have only our skilled manhours to sell to you. Coca Cola, Pepsi, MacDonalds, Microsoft, Ford, Boeing, IBM, HP and Hollywood will be some of the big names affected if the Indian market is denied to them. All these firms do roaring business in India and no one is objecting. None of them sell us anything that is essential to our needs. Microsoft at least sells us good software (debatable?) But Coke and Pepsi sell us junk food. Your movies are technically excellent and draw huge crowds in our metroplitan cities but we can live without them too. So you have to tolerate this competition in a global economy. It is well known that the USA attracts more immigration than any other country. Outsourcing of work releases pressure and offers would be immigrants an alternative. Stay where you are and earn in dollars. Isn't that better than coming in droves to USA? Many of you think that by outsourcing, your business men are exploiting us and that our centers are sweat shops. No, they are not. The difference in cost of living is drastic. We get three to four times the money for doing the same work for Indian projects. Firms that work for USA offer better salaries than local firms. You pay just half your American price for getting the same services. This is such a great WIN-WIN situation for both parties that it is impossible to stop it. Attempting to stop this is akin to defying "economic laws of gravity". I do not believe greed is behind this phenomenon. Even legislation will not work. It will only drive the business underground and make criminals out of honest and hard working people. Frankly, I am one of those overseas chaps who have benefited from this phenomenon of outsourcing. Before outsourcing became common, I spent 26 years working for a Govt owned Consulting Organisation in India as structural engineer. I had tremendous job satisfaction but I did not earn as much as less meritorious friends did in other fields. I just made enough to lead an average middle class Indian's life and was contented with my lot. In Dec 2000, I was approached by a software company to give up my job as Deputy General Manager and head of the steel structural section of MECON (A government of India Undertaking and an ISO 9001 certified company) and team up with them. This software company was one of the early birds and had made receiving outsourced work from USA it's main line of business. They were already well established in two other lines of business and had plans to start a third, viz Steel detailing. They were looking for someone like me to set up the division, and run it. At 52, I found I had reached the end of the road in MECON Ltd, the Government owned organisation where I was working. I had outgrown analyis and design which I had enjoyed for so many years. I was left doing only administrative and man management work for a salary which was a pittance compared to what the outside world was willing to pay for a person of my knowledge and abilities. Job security which was one of the issues that kept me in Govt service all the while was a fading attraction. At 52, I was haunted by the spectre of retirement looming large over the horizon.(58 is the legal age of retirement) I had not yet met all my family committments and was not prepared for the rigors of old age with a modest bank balance. I was feeling financially insecure. Job satisfaction too had vanished. I did not fancy man-management and administrative work for the rest of my career. The salary was not worth the pains. Besides at senior positions in Government organisations, one gets sucked into the whirlpool of office politics which I abhorred. The timing was right. I made my move. I accepted this offer and entered the world of steel detaling for US fabricators. I did not have to know steel detailing at all. I only had to mobilize a team get them trained and manage them. My credentials as a structural engineer helped. It took us some time to adjust and it was great fun while it lasted. My reasons for leaving them are not relevant to this discussion and I will not talk about that here. I had worked for this company for 2 1/2 years and then moved out to be a free lance consultant and advisor to another group that is in the same line of business (viz steel detailing for US fabricators) This group was one of the early birds who had located and taken advantage of a great opportunity (in fact, unless I am mistaken, they are the earliest birds in Bangalore at least) I have no regrets. I now make twice of what the Govt was paying me. I can work as long as I want, whenever I want, and I am now leading a life style that I could only dream about some years ago. I am now an advisor and consultant and work only in the evenings and late nights (to match the hours of work at USA) I am free from administrative and managment responsibilities. Commercial and marketing problems are also handled by our sponsors in USA. I am just one example. There will be several more all over the country and in other countries too. Too much water has already flowed down the Mississippi since this started and the current is unstoppable. My advice to those affected is to some how adjust to the reality and prepare for the future. How? Frankly I have no idea. I can only sympathize. If it happened to me, I too would not know how to handle it. Dennis stated that the affected may be forced to move out and wondered if India would accept immigrants. Why not? We send out so many Indians to USA. With what face can our Government oppose the entry of Americans who wish to make India their home? Many of you already have enough money to retire and live comfortablly here. You need a total income of about Rs 20,000 a month for a couple with two childrn to live a decent middle class life in Bangalore. That's just 425 US dollars per month. A decent flat can be leased for anywhere between $100 to $200 a month A loaf of bread costs justs 20 cents A litre of milk can be had for 25 cents. A visit to a doctor for a routine cold cough or indigestion (a good doctor) will cost you just 2 dollars for consultation and medicines. I could go on and on. As regards accepting a white man, this country was home to English men for over 200 years. They ruled us. As long as you don't wish to come here as rulers, you will be welcome. This country is an even greater melting pot than the USA. India is home to at least 18 officially recognized major languages, at least 5 major religions, and several races. Hardly anyone in India is racially pure. We are hopelessly mixed up. A few white skinned people will add a dash of "color" to our brown human landscape. Welcome to India! G Vishwanath Bangalore, India __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Protect your identity with Yahoo! 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