Many are skeptical about outsourcing to India. And it is with good reason that those considering whether to outsource or not be skeptical. Outsourcing your companies work through a wire, thousands of miles away to a different country, to an employee whom you have never met in person will lead even the most optimistic to think twice. But whilst such cautious thinking is logically justified, it is in reality a fear that is unfounded. Outsourcing is a highly successful practice, that helps companies lower cost and increase efficiency. And whilst CEO’s might think, “do Indians have the, education, skills and experience necessary,” they only need to look at successful Indian immigrant Doctors, engineers and programmers in the US but born, raised and educated in India for re-assurance of the skill present in India itself.
It can be derived from the way Indians have established themselves globally, that the reasons why major companies outsource to India is also a reflection of the former.
To put it simply, the sturdy desk comes from a strong tree. Liberal education in English, excellent numerical skills, and the uncommon ability to learn, absorb and then lead, are the branches of this tree that has made Indians a ‘model minority’ wherever they have settled.
After all, with over 25 million people of Indian origin living outside India, Indians are a powerful new global community, forming the second largest Diaspora in the world. With the Indian economy’s gathering momentum, their prosperity and power is only going to increase in years to come.
The attributes that are conventionally attributed to Indians in outsourcing have a lot in common with the reasons that have led to Indians making their mark in academia, engineering, medicine, and management, in all corners of the planet.
Not surprisingly, outsourcing companies cite these very attributes when they outsource to India – and they outsource a whole lot of business activities. Outsourcing companies in all continents outsource basic data management. Manufacturing and service companies outsource software applications; they outsource engineering services; and they also outsource complete overhauling of their IT systems.
Today India has become a role model for nations in Africa and Latin America who outsource consultation work to Indian outsourcing companies to help them set up outsourcing companies in their own countries.
A closer look at Indian immigrants will show that ‘brain drain’ while vitalizing foreign economies is the same ‘brain’ that outsourcing companies such as GE, IBM, and Cannon, turn to when they outsource process and knowledge engineering to India.
Indians have left no shore unturned. Here’s a random sampling of Indians or people of Indian origin in various parts of the world, sourced from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.
|Overseas Indians living abroad||Non-Resident Indians||People of Indian Origin|
|Turks & Caicos Islands
(A country on the
east coast of the US)
In every part of the world the overseas Indian community is recognized and respected for its hard work, discipline, and for successfully integrating with the local community.
One can safely assume that the basic intellectual and values gene pool is the same in Indian immigrants and Indian outsourcing talent. Thus, the US and the UK, as they outsource the most to India, can be considered as mirrors of the unified Indian skills fabric to which clients turn to again and again when they outsource services.
Let’s take the US first. Despite constituting less than one per cent of the US population, Indian-Americans are three per cent of the nation’s engineers; seven per cent of its IT workers; and eight per cent of its physicians and surgeons.
One of the reasons why American companies outsource the most to Indian outsourcing companies is due to the ability of Indians to start ventures, manage them, and expand operations successfully.
Their ability to persevere and overcome challenges is reflected in the recent US censuses that reveals that Indians are the richest immigrant class in the US, with nearly 200,000 millionaires.
In 2007, the median income of households headed by an Indian American was approximately $83,000, compared with $61,000 for East Asians and $55,000 for whites.
Almost 26 per cent of all immigrant-founded companies in the last ten years were started by Indian immigrants. And in software, Indian immigrants established 34 per cent of immigrant founded software companies from 1995 to 2005.
American magazine Forbes, which recently did a comprehensive story on Indians in America, said that “…the overrepresentation of Indians in these fields (medicine, software, engineering etc.) is striking. In practical terms, your doctor is nine times more likely to be an Indian-American…”
No wonder, a few years back, US hospitals would outsource ton loads of medical transcription to Indian outsourcing companies. Of course, they still do, but they now also outsource a variety of technical and non-technical projects to Indian outsourcing firms spread across India.
An American organization has even tested the IQ of Indian-Americans, and places them at about 112 on a bell-shaped IQ distribution, with white Americans at 100. To provide some context, Ashkenazi Jews are a famously intelligent ethnic group, and their mean IQ is somewhere around 110.
Britain is another case in point. The UK, from where many organizations outsource business services to social work to Indian outsourcing companies – also typifies the success of immigrant Indians.
A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, an independent social research charity, in 2007, found the 1.5-million strong British-Indian community to be the second richest among different ethnic groups – second only to white British.
In fact, the British-Indian population has reached so much influence that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown chose Southall, an Indian-dominated London suburb, to give his nation a long-awaited speech on immigration on November 13, 2009.
Today companies outsource in a business environment in which they will adopt any strategy to gain competitive advantage. Within this framework, the present generation of immigrant Indians form a collective knowledge and leadership pool that the worldwide outsourcing industry draws on.
In conclusion being unsure as to whether you should outsource or not or being skeptical about the whole outsourcing process is entirely natural. But one can find confidence in what the Indian education system has proved thus far. Your Indian immigrant doctor, engineering or programmer in the US was not educated in the US but in India. And so his or her skill as a doctor, engineer or programmer is testimony to the quality of India’s education system. The success of Indian immigrants is a reflection of the skill present in India and hence what one can tap into and access if one outsources.