Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Outsource my thoughts..

Recently, while reading through a random selection of weblogs, I have come across a common, but, disturbing percpective (amongst many) that abhorrently goggles at the concept of outsourcing. Even more incomprehensible is the fact that the countries (or economies) that willingly host the offshore-model are becoming subject to criticism and, in many cases, hatred. Quoted below is [a part of a] text from an evidently popular American blog that has managed to get at least 15 comments supporting the thought reflected in the post:
"Keep jobs in America, there is no reason for me to be paying for 1st rate tech support from a third world country. I know most people have a story like the one I wrote about so hopefully some people out there can relate.. and I also know that most people probably didn’t get as irritated and pissed as I did but I assure you that I was dealing with an extremely uninformed tech support agent.. so for all the people with similair stories about Indian tech support I hope this give you a chuckle and remember It is not healthy for American’s to have to deal with some third world camel humping indian when they need serious help with their computers."
Clearly, the writer [above], profuse of ignorance and prejudice, finds it almost compelling to shed his beliefs in a fashion that is utterly aimed at manifesting racial superiority. Sadly, the view above, as outrageous as it may read, is held by many, amongst the thinkers of the modern world.

Outsourcing is a business tactic that is prevalent for many years. It is a mutually-beneficial trade agreement between large corporations and developing economies that seek to earn (foreign currency) by offering [comparatively] cheaper skilled labor. Corporations, on the other hand, gain (save cost) by delegating the expensive jobs to intelligent but cheap labor that specialises in those operations. The concept is so simple that its unacceptability to so many people worldwide is anything but apparent. The shift of car [and many other products] manufacturing from America to countries like Japan, China and Korea was not a resultant of some imaginary labor unrest in America, but plainly a business decision to get them manufactured cheaply elsewhere. Don't the consumers want a cheaper product?

The idea of outsourcing, as many of you would agree, has gained publicity only in past few years. The reasons are manifold, including an aware media and the not-so-outperforming-anymore American economy, where corporates are [now] akin to cost and competition. Also, the fact that the theory of outsourcing has been extended to accommodate service outsourcing, has contributed to the much hyped hoopla over the same.

There is, however, a need of [respectable] concern over the whole outsourcing issue. The governments (and also business corporations) of presently insecure nations (job-markets) must begin to understand that the transition of tasks from developed to developing countries must also include creating new alternate opportunities for the people in developed countries. In today's world that [owing to the weight of globalization] has become flat, it is almost obligatory [for employers] to have opportunities for all. Great economies like American, should invest [its resources and people] in digging options in avenues that are still challenging for many developing countries. Only such a process of constant revision of one's skill will lead to a world that is truly global.

UPDATE: This article was also published on blogcritics (here). The comments and opinions that were received on blogcritics have been reproduced here. [Friday, 26th August 2005]

18 Comments:

At 26 August, 2005 12:12, Anonymous Gauri said...

Other than the racial flavour of this particular gentleman's (??) comments, it probably speaks of real experiences with incompetence, something we have all come across with call centre personnel at some time or the other.Outsourcing has been a boon for developing economies, but I think there is still more to be desired in the quality of the service we provide, we cant just jump into the fray blindly, more effort should be made to project competent staff.After all, a premise for outsourcing is costeffectiveness as well as QUALITY. I think too many people see it as easy opportunity only, instead of the quality services that it should stand for.

 
At 26 August, 2005 12:21, Anonymous alethinos59 said...

[Source: blogcritics.org]
Your wish that "America" would do this - continue onwards and upwards while the rest of the world trails behind but "grows" as America blazes on into the 21st Century is how things "should" be.

Unfortunately the myth of the "market" controlling things and actually pushing us toward this is just that - a myth.

Business doesn't and wouldn't "do" a damn thing if it weren't forced to - quite often. It is business that IS outsourcing for no OTHER reason than to keep share prices growing. Period. When you hear a CEO trying to be sympathetic and say, "Well, I work for the shareholders - they want a great return!" WE MIGHT want to ask him "how many SHARES do YOU hold?"

The world's economy won't even begin to approach a level playing field until WE CHANGE the rules of Capitalism. The base concept of Capitalism is fine. How it is practiced NOW is an abomination...

 
At 26 August, 2005 12:22, Anonymous rob said...

[Source: blogcritics.org]
I have seen the effects of outsourcing on the workforce from a hi-tech management perspective. It's horrible. 1st off, in my particular case, it didn't make any financial sense. I came back with 3 different quotes from various outsourcing outfits and they were all more costly then our current inhouse operation. This didn't include the significant set-up fees (training, capital equipment, etc.. which drove the cost even higher nor the degradation of customer support during the transfer. All the while, my staff was waiting for the hatchet to fall, people that had been there for 10 - 15 years, good people with families and mortgage payments. The morale was horrible. The employees felt there was no loyalty to them after year's of hard work. In the end, I lost my battle with upper management and the share holders they were catering to. I lost my job and they outsourced my entire area. The outsourcer hired back about 75% of the people on temporary contracts at $4/hr less and no benefits. A few years later my old employer decided that they made a mistake and are now in the process of bringing the operation back in house. How does this make sense? As a shareholder, I'd be pissed at the waste of time, money and market share due to this experiment.
Again, this is my experience with Outsourcing. Maybe it works well for certain businesses, but I am not a supporter.

 
At 26 August, 2005 12:23, Anonymous The Duke said...

[Source: blogcritics.org]
What does "America" have to do with it. It's corporate. It's about business, and it's promote industry in places that had nothing. The "America" reported in the blog is a loose term. It's Global in nature, and the practice will continue as long as profitability is sought by entities in the business of profitability. It is really a basic concept.

 
At 26 August, 2005 12:25, Anonymous tarun said...

You are right, the concept of outsourcing is not necessarily American. In fact, a lot of European countries, including Britain are big time into outsourcing operations to various geographies. Having said that, the blog posting above is also a reply to a bitter posting in an American blog that talks about hating India and keeping jobs back in America. Therefore, I have taken the liberty to quote examples that use America as a subject.

I am glad to read a perspective that is open to globalisation. In one of the comments, the reader talks about capitalism in America, which anyway has been prevalent forever. The idea is globalisation which is meant for the good of all nations. I do realize that for the concept to catch up in the service industry, it's going to take some time and effort. As I have said in my blog, the corporates need to handle it responsibly, respecting the perspective of job markets (that are getting outsourced) at the same time.

 
At 26 August, 2005 12:27, Anonymous The Duke said...

[Source: blogcritics.org]
Why would anyone deny India the promise of employment gains? That's crazy. India is the LARGEST Democracy in the world! Money and investment is much more secure in India than China. India's middle class (with disposable income) is over 300 million. India is the RIGHT place to put investment into. Hopefully more industry will realize the facts before they heavy losses are incurred due to the instability in the China region.

Global indicators all point to this, yet now one bothers to research the FACTS.

And those are the facts.

 
At 02 September, 2005 13:13, Blogger Peter said...

If I had a choice, I'd support increased capital investment into India before China.

 
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