Nov 23, 2007

I am no cyber-coolie...

While interviewing for a job, I got chatting with another prospective candidate for the same job in the reception area just after she had talked with the manager of that department. She said that she was asked about her thoughts on 'outsourcing and its spurt in India' . She told him she didn't really have any thoughts on it. A week into the job, me and my manager were conversing over a cup of 'chai-latte' (we are a US office, what did you expect us to drink? ) and he mentioned to me that on of the reasons why the other candidate was refused was because she didnt have any opinion on 'outsourcing' as a phenomena in India, especially Hyderabad. :O

I didn't realise the importance and relevance of this concept till I joined the corporate world in India. I dont know what the manager wanted to hear from that other girl but if I was asked the same question. I would have uttered my favourite word in the world - DEPENDS. I think it really depends on the kind of outsourcing that is done by the parent company.

In the case that the outsourcing was based on extracting the lower layers of the corporate pyramid i.e. horizontally, in order to move the operational or technical support branches to a cheaper shore...I would have no qualms about calling it 'Neo-colonialism'. Its no different from what happened to us fifty years ago. The cheaper labour and various other mineral and natural resources that India was abundant in attracted the British to our lands, which they raped consistently for two hundred odd years and left. They are doing the same to our intellectual property now! Getting workers who are going to be extremely competent with some amount of training and will be available to work at 1/10th the cost of a U.S. worker. The question is whether a worker is going to ever progress from that operational/techie position into something that allows him professional and personal growth? If it does...then it might be a different scenario altogether.

The best case scenario is when the functions that are moved out are neither horizontal nor vertical and are picked out based on client related operations which requires locational promixity and those functions that are office-based and make up the intelligence behind the client-related services. People from different levels in the organization should sit in the offshore office and hence those starting out with the company even in that office can move up the ladder in the parent company. I guess this is prevelant in certain companies that have set-up an office in India. I think, here, they are utilizing the human capital in this country in a more respectful way and utilizing their intellectual capabilities to its maximum. Job roles are generally more well-defined and meet the learning quotients that employees deserve.

And even if the job is not exactly as per an employee's dream, they can learn a lot from the company they work for. Understanding the way a multinational company is managed and getting a taste of globalization from an insider's viewpoint can ignite ideas. Ideas that can be converted to entrepreneurship for our country, something we really need to build the domestic business scenario. Utopia is an Indian economy that is supported majorly by Indian businesses. A long way to go I know, but we have come an unbelievably long way since independence so my tone is optimistic when I say that utopia is not unachievable.

Disclaimer: My views are my own are not meant to offend anyone or their profession. R E S T E C P to all my brothas n sistas out there ( Love AliG lol. Special thanks to 'Walker' who reads my posts carefully enough to correct my spellings :)

Nov 5, 2007

My memo to me


1. Read the news everyday - Get over my aversion to it
2. Take guitar classes
3. Take salsa and hip-hop dance classes
4. Join a theatre group
5. Make it to a world-class MBA Program in the U.S.
6. Continue my mentorship program till 2009
7. Travel on second-class trains on a meagre budget with my bottle of mineral water and a backpack....all over India
8. Learn how to drive without killing anyone
9. Spend a summer in Europe
10. Learn photography
11. Eat paani-puri
12. Get engaged - to the RIGHT guy
13. Get my nose pierced - again
14. Go to Goa - every year
15. Go to Tirupati - as often as possible
16. Meet new people, make new friends and keep the old ones
17. Eat bread-omelette or dhaba chinese at 2 in the morning on the road-side
18. Learn how to carry the sari elegantly...well, atleast without tripping on it
19. Sip on world cocktails
20. Dance all night, Sleep all day