What not to do if you think Outsourcing Abroad won’t work – Part 1

By Shaunvir Singh Oct 09, 2017
What not to do if you think Outsourcing Abroad won’t work - Part 1

In March 2015, I happened to be in the city of Austin, Texas during the time of the SXSW conference. By chance, I ended up sharing an Uber with two budding entrepreneurs who were attending the conference and had founded a tech start- up together. When they asked me what I did, I told them I ran an outsourcing company in India and casually mentioned that, given that they were a start-up and short of funding, if they ever wanted to try some of our developers I would be happy to arrange a free trial for them. Their reply utterly shocked me. They went on to list several reasons as to why working with remote developers simply would not work and hence why they would not be interested in my offer. Given the fact that we have several hundred software developers successfully working remotely for clients all around the world at VE, being told by two individuals who not only had no outsourcing experience but also no business experience, that the services we provide “cannot work” was a very surreal experience. It was, nonetheless, still an enlightening one for it made me realize just how entrenched in prejudices many people are when it comes to outsourcing.

Are you sceptical about outsourcing overseas? Think it can’t or won’t work for you and your business?

“You can’t work remotely with software developers!” “What about cultural differences and data security implications?” “You can’t outsource core competency work!”

I have lost count of how many times I have been at conferences and networking events and had someone explain to me “why outsourcing doesn’t work” upon them discovering I run an outsourcing company.The irony is that these individuals are no authority on outsourcing and nine times out of ten don’t even have any outsourcing experience.

Accordingly, in this and the next two blog posts I shall be taking a look at “what” “why” and “how” you should approach outsourcing when you are convinced it cannot or does not work. And then in the final part of this 4-series blog post, I will share 5 tips you can apply to ensure your assessment of outsourcing is an objective one.

For whatever reason you think outsourcing overseas can’t or won’t work for you, don’t make the mistake of letting your doubts translate into inaction. This might sound counter intuitive, but I assure you, just because you are convinced outsourcing “doesn’t work” does not mean you should be dormant on the outsourcing space.

My logic is very straightforward. Outsourcing, quite simply, is a proven business strategy – a strategy that has been implemented for centuries – and successfully at that And if we look at the present day scenario, the numbers simply cannot be ignored – outsourcing to India alone is a $100+ billion dollar annual industry and 50% of Fortune 500 companies are outsourcing their software development to India. Now, either the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies are not very smart, or we can safely conclude that outsourcing is as relevant today and as sound a business strategy as it has ever been.

These numbers don’t mean that you should outsource. However, the numbers are significant and potent enough to make the case that you should at least assess this well established business concept. Put your perceptions about outsourcing to the test. If you are convinced it cannot work, they why not give it a shot for a fair trial to substantiate your position?

The role of social media in business marketing is a good analogy of the point I am trying to make. More and more businesses now increasingly have an active and engaging social media presence. This, of course, dos not mean that all businesses should now jump and heavily invest in social media marketing (for some businesses social media is not relevant – particularly, B2B businesses). But social media is significant enough in today’s business world that it at least justifies all businesses/CMOs at least consider and asses the merits of whether they should invest in it.

Likewise, the mistake companies make with respect to outsourcing abroad is to completely close the door on the idea and, that too, based off conclusions primarily derived from their own self-beliefs or a limited data sample. I would advocate that companies should rather communicate with vendors, why they believe outsourcing cannot work for them and assess the credibility of the solution presented in return.

Outsourcing is a very powerful business strategy. To completely ignore how it can help your business and not fairly scrutinize its potential and that, too, based on your own assumptions rather than diligent research, is surely not very prudent?

In this blog post, I looked at “what not to do” if you are apprehensive about outsourcing. If I have been able to successfully convince you that outsourcing overseas is worth evaluating in spite of your apprehensions, then click to read my next blog post “How to approach outsourcing abroad if you have serious doubts.”

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