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Brain drain contradicts anti-outsourcing advocates

Anti-outsourcing campaigners in America, Europe and Australia don’t lambaste brain drain in India because:

  1. Indian doctors, engineers and scientists are just as capable as their Western counterparts.
  2. It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to educate and train such professionals, (the UNSP estimates that India loses $2 billion a year just from the emigration of software experts to the US).
  3. When there are not enough skilled professionals locally, brain drain offers a quick, inexpensive remedy.

With the same hand, however, anti-outsourcing campaigners claim Indian programmers are just “code donkeys and because they are cheap they are incapable of producing a system with good architecture.” When it comes to outsourcing, a myth is somehow conjured that Indians lack ability, skill or the experience to produce the same results as their Western counterparts.

Given that over the past seven decades, not hundreds of thousands, but literally millions of Indian skilled workers have emigrated to America, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand and worked successfully for many years as doctors, engineers, programmers, nurses, accountants, professors etc, is it not somewhat of a contradiction and paradox for anyone to even suggest that Indians lack ability and, in turn, that outsourcing cannot work?

Right throughout America, everyday thousands of Indian Americans perform the most complex and intricate of surgeries, Indian American engineers push the boundaries in Silcon valley and Indian American professors teach the next generation at the most prestigious of America’s universities. A huge percentage of these Indian Americans were born, raised and educated in India. Their talent and ability is because of and testimony to India’s education system not America’s. Those who lambaste outsourcing, asserting that Indians do not have the skill or capability to work for them, should  then by the same logic, decline medical treatment from an Indian-born doctor next time they are in hospital? Given that an Indian American is 9 times more likely to be a doctor than any other given random American, finding another non-Indian American doctor might not, however, be so easy.

True, outsourcing can and does fail. But it is not because Indians lack ability. In the vast majority of cases outsourcing fails because clients want to outsource for too cheap a cost, which leads to quality compromises. If you hire a junior programmer in America when you really require a senior resource, and the results are then poor it does not mean all American programmers are incapable.

Many individuals oppose outsourcing not because Indians lack ability but because outsourcing strikes a psychological chord; that it results in job losses for the Americans and is bad for the economy (both of which are, however, misconceptions). In an attempt to add validity to their opposition a myth of “inferior” Indians is created. In reality, however, the fact that Indians don’t have sufficient ability is simply an unfounded assertion.

Partner with a reputed outsourcing company, hire the right talented staff, and avoid the temptation to partner with inexperienced outsourcing vendors that offer ridiculously low costs simply to entice you. If you take this approach to outsourcing there is nothing one cannot successfully outsource to India; surely the Indian-born, raised and educated immigrant is evidence of this.


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