02 October, 2004

Wired: The New Face of the Silicon Age - How India became the capital of the computing revolution

Project manager Aditya Deshmukh, Patni, worked in Baltimore and New Jersey for three years but has no desire to return to the States; India's where the action is.

More than half of the Fortune 500 companies are already outsourcing work to India. One reason: Nearly every educated person here speaks English. For India - especially in its competition with China, where few have mastered Western languages - English is the killer app.

Today, even innovative firms spend too much money maintaining products: fixing bugs and rolling out nearly identical 2.0 versions. Less than 30 percent of R&D spending at mature software firms goes to true innovation, according to the consulting firm Tech Strategy Partners. Send the maintenance to India and, even after costs, 20 percent of the budget is freed up to come up with the next breakthrough app. The result: more workers focused on real innovation. What comes after services ? Creativity.

From Indian side...
Where is it written that IT jobs somehow belong to Americans - and that any non-American who does such work is stealing the job from its rightful owner ?

Patni's head of human resources, Miland Jadhav, compares the Pissed-Off Programmers' efforts to the protests that greeted Pizza Hut's arrival in India. When the chain opened, some people "went around smashing windows and doing all kinds of things," but their cause ultimately did not prevail. Why? Demand. "You cannot tell Indian people to stop eating at Pizza Hut," he says. "It won't happen." Likewise, if some kinds of work can be done just as well for a lot cheaper somewhere other than the US, that's where US companies will send the work. The reason: Demand. And if Americans don't like it, then it's time to return their iPods (assembled in Taiwan), their cell phones (manufactured in Korea), and their J. Crew shirts (sewn in Indonesia). American's can't have it both ways.

From American side...

"We can't stop globalization but outsourcing, especially now, amounts to contributing to our own demise. If we keep going in this direction, we'll have just two classes in our society - the very, very rich and the very, very poor. We're going to look like some of the countries we're outsourcing to."

..Some US firms now outsource their PowerPoint presentations to India, a blow to the pride of managers everywhere !!

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