Vivek Seal, a technology journalist in India who writes for Global Services Media, has posted a comment on Workbench addressing American critics of outsourcing:

I am a reporter from India and cover outsourcing scenario. I have few points for you people to get the exact picture and then make your conclusions about sourcing McDonalds customer care business to India:

  1. We do not have call centers using Skype to interact with the US or European customers. There are dedicated fiber optical lines with the apt bandwith for the communication purpose
  2. If it wasnt for India, many IT companies would have been making less money (IBM, Microsoft, HP, Dell. So eventually your companies are gaining a lot as well we are gaining a lot.
  3. Even if the order taking business is outsourced to India, there would be a proper training program (2/3 months) to cater to different accents and the process.
  4. If a person from Bangalore is able to do a job in less than half the cost and with more efficiency then that rationally a best thing for all the parties around it. No matter what.
  5. All I wanna say is give India a chance to improve this world.

I'm concerned about outsourcing, though I try not to get all Lou Dobbs about it. I feel like it puts huge downward pressure on American jobs and wages, both white collar and service industry, because so much of our work is capable of being performed overseas. To me, the only winners will be the corporations and enterpreneurs who figure out how to exploit the cheap, well-educated labor for as long as they can, but even those folks will eventually suffer when Americans can no longer afford our extravagant standard of living.

But I want to give Seal a chance to convince me otherwise, so I'd like to outsource this weblog to him for a week.

Workbench receives around 11,000 hits a day over the web and syndication, and many of the readers are fellow technologists who've been in the first wave of Americans affected by outsourcing. He'd have seven days to show us how outsourcing improves the world.

He also could blog on politics, the pope or anything else he likes, since this is a personal weblog written by an author with poor focusing skills.

I'll let you know if Seal accepts the offer.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

Here is my thoughts on this very silly post.

Point #1. Huh?

Point #2. American companies are not in the habit of sharing the savings with the survivors of their "offshoring" thanks. So this does nothing good for the American public.

Point #3. I don't care how much they get trained. I have never gotten a usable answer from a call center despite I can hear the russeling as they turn the pages in the "scripts"

Point 4. I case you have not noticed. Globilization benefits the 'corporate elite' and the majority of people in the nations involved get nothing. So forget about the lies. It's a lose, lose thing. If it's so great why can't WallMart open stores in India?


 

All I wanna say is the USA better start thinking about how to improve ITSELF and quit blaming the world for the effects of globalization which the USA promoted more than any other country and has corporate-wise benefited.

Eat the toast you buttered...or shut up.

How about improving:
1. US education
2. US healthcare
3. US R & D
4. US job retraining programs
5. US disaster preparedness
...the list grows long.


 

The obnoxious assumption by Mr. Seal is that all American workers are expensive and inefficient, and that all Indian workers are inexpensive and more efficient.

While there are no doubt some Indian rock stars, the crappy code, the inefficiencies of working across time zones and other barriers, and the myriad 'hidden' costs of outsourcing are real. In many cases, these so-called solutions are simply cheap.


 

Rogers,

You neglect one fine point in your proposal. Are you willing to pay for the outsourcing of your blog? Otherwise, the
basic economic proposition of Seal's argument is lost on you.

Can your blog be effectively more profitable with an outsourcing strategy?

Hey! Do you make money with your blog? You should sell others that information... sell the model to Seal and he might be able to crank up a start-up.

1. User fills out form and selects level of blog service.
2. blog is started according to the defined SLA in the T's and C's.

The Auto-Blog-o-Mat... Seal will likely run with this idea before he attempts to channel Rogers Cadenhead. You're unchannel-able.

Then... consider outsourcing the RSS 2.0 Board work using the VC funds you might generate with the Auto-Blog scheme.


 

Hi !
I think that neither Seal is guilty nor Rodgers is a victim of Seal.
Tomorrow Seal will also be a victim when companies will find cheaper, that's the aim : cheap, cheaper, cheapest.
The deal for Seal is cheaper or immigrant.
The struggle is not against Seal or chinese workers but against companies to force them paying the same wage for the same job anywhere in the world.
That was already been proposed by Naomi Klein in "no logo"
I apologize for my poor english, I'm franch.


 

I've written a bit about outsourcing so I thought I would weigh in on the what the reporter said.

1. Technicalities about how the telecom is handled seems irrelevant.
2. Our companies might gain alot, but will we?
3. So you have a training program. So what?
4. Here's the real reason for "outsourcing" and why there's such a push to "insource" other jobs with workers from south of the border. The economic promises are hard for companies to ignore. Outsourcing will be a growing part of the US economy for some time.

Now matter what you do, someone is looking to eliminate your job and outsourcing is just another means to that end. But differing over implementation details and training programs is only so much spin from someone who claims to be a reporter.


 

If reading Seal's arguments (especially since he's a report) wasn't enough to prove how horrible outsourcing is - then I don't know what is!

The grammar is horrible - just like when I call customer service for any company and can't seem to communicate with the person on the other end who can't understand normal US dialogue, but is somehow named Nancy; the arguments do not address the issues - much like the solutions offered by all the workers I've had the suggestion of dealing with through outsourcing; and it ignores the vicious cycle that outsourcing creates and that Bowen (see above) addressed in his post.

Outsourcing is just a way for a company to get a job done while spending least amount possible - the problem that you don't see on the balance sheet, however, is that often times you get what you pay for. This (meaning the outsourcing frenzy) happens to be one of those times.


 

I love the "you people" comment. It shows a bit of contempt. Heh...

The realities of outsourcing is when it hits $40 an hour or more for technology, it becomes more efficient to do the work here. Especially when you consider the overhead needed to plan outsourcing needed, and that most companies don't have their process together enough to do proper outsourcing.

The truth in India is that they are already feeling the effects of wages rising because they don't have enough trained engineers, and companies are starting to figure out that the same issues (and costs) happen with software development whether it's outsourced or not.


 

When you get transferred to India, make sure to make the call last as long as possible and make them restate everything. Then complain when given the chance.

The Indian tech support from Microsoft is a joke. Finally, they get a White guy on the phone who actually fixes the problem WHILE being more informative to you, the customer.


 

I was thinking that it might be less adventurous to outsource the Drudge Retort portal than your personal blog. And MCD is right, you're unchannel-able (is that an outsourced word)?


 

Ha ha ha, stupid americans. Just cause you plopped out of a cunt on the west side of the Atlantic does not mean you should get paid more for the same job as someone else in the world. Suck it up or learn to do something that the rest of the 7 billion people can't.

Could it be that your salaries have been too high all these years? Could it be that outsourcing is actually bringing justice to the world? Could it be that nobody cares if it benefits the top 1%, because those guys would benefit either way?


 

As I've told many of my friends, the baby boomers are reaching retirement. Somebody has to provide cheap services and material goods and otherwise do all the hard work so they can all relax on the beach for the next twenty-thirty years. It might as well be the third world.

But seriously, I really want to know what Seal has to say about the pope.


 

I see outsourcing as promoting free trade in goods and services. If Japanese manufacture better cars, anyone anywhere in the world should be able to buy a Japanese car. If Americans manufacture better aeroplanes anyone anywhere in the world should be able to buy an American aeroplane (provided he can afford it). It is simply who provides value for your hard earned money. If American companies find that India provides services which provide them better value for their dollar, they should do it without any other consideration. This is what free trade in goods and services is all about.


 

One of the comments above is very true: India is the place to go right now. There, wages are creeping up; staff availability is dropping; and quality is slipping. When the price for Indian labor gets too high, US IT companies will look elsewhere: Africa, Asia, South America.
Skype, Linux and a lot of IT innovations have come from outside of the US. Can someone point out some dramatic tech innovation from India? Unless Indian businesses can invent their own tools-- their own Google or eBay or MySpace or Flickr-- they'll always be doing someone else's work. As soon as companies pull up stakes they'll go to another country and India will have nothing.
From the US perspective, this should be consoling thought: India won't be in the game-- calls will get routed to a call centre in Liberia or Johanessburg or San Salvador.
From the Indian perspective: I would be terrified. I know a lot of Indians: they really push to get a job done. They're remarkable. With all of these hungry smart people who have a good command of English, there should be amazing Indian web sites coming out every week.
Innovation is the cornerstone of tech.


 

Vivek doesn't really address any American concern other than those of the large corporations

1. high quality technology (not important to Joe who just lost his job)
2. Good for "our" companies. (When "our" companies stopped worrying about what was good for our people, we stopped worrying about what was good for "our" companies.)
3. You get trained. Great. We already were trained.
4. better trained abjectly poor people who will work for peanuts does not make it a better world all around. Those people who do not demand a living wage for all workers, health care, standards in the workplace are not healthy world based competition.. their inadvertent scabs breaking the backs of other workers... Good for whom? the entirely downtrodden who can stay marginally alive? the fat and happy corporations who no longer have to provide for employees? those lucky enough to still have disposable income? The workers' plight is not improved and those whose jobs are outsourced are not grateful for India's "chance to improve the world"


 

Despite of being so criticized by those who believe that outsourcing is something like "exporting their jobs", I think it's beneficial for all parties equally. Outsourcing helps people starting their small businesses or keep their current ones with minimal costs, it helps people in poor countries to make their living and develop their skills, promotes friendly communication with other nations and makes work partners offshore and enhancing competition for the sake of customers.


 

Time to invest in more service businesses. It is hard to outsource your laundry to India :)


 

Getting Seal as a guest-blogger is a great idea. Hope he accepts.


 

I believe outsourcing will continue to grow. I also believe that it is beneficial to the economy in general, because it will drive down the costs of products and services.


 

I am an Indian studying in US and would like to make a few comments which might not be directly releveant to the issue here, but I think are very significant.

The quality of basic education in USA is bad as compared to that in India. An average american school student is atleast 2 years behind his Indian counterpart.

On the other hand higher education in USA is way better than in India. Also the education system in India is very mechanical and does not leave much room for creativity. This is one of the main reasons why not many innovative products have come out of India.

The point I wanted to make based on these observations is that outsourcing will continue to grow in the near future and India will be one of the main beneficiaries. But most of the outsourced jobs will be mechanical in nature, while jobs that require creativity or innovation will stay here.


 

hi, i wana now is wall-mart came to india or is coming
in india and where. we are into printing and packaging segment.
we diffrent into kind of packaging
we do BOPPP Reselable Bags/ Laminated Bags of Pet/CPP Laminations
and we are shortly coming up with zipper and hanger bag.
so, for my business promotion i wana know where or when wall-mart is coming .
kindly mail me at
sakshil@vsnl.net
Thanks & Regards
Jeetendra M. Tiwari
09820965682


 

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