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India outsourcing its outsourcing jobs - to Americans

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Write-brained, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/25/business/worldbusiness/25outsource.html?em&ex=1190952000&en=1f7d89ef7b1299ea&ei=5087%0A

    Most of the outsourcing of outsourcing jobs is going to other countries, but some Americans are even getting some of the American jobs that have been outsourced. I guess it's just a matter of time that some rural town in Georgia does work for an Indian company that is outsourcing an American company.


    In one project, an American bank wanted a computer system to handle a loan program for Hispanic customers. The system had to work in Spanish. It also had to take into account variables particular to Hispanic clients: many, for instance, remit money to families abroad, which can affect their bank balances. The bank thought a Mexican team would have the right language skills and grasp of cultural nuances.

    But instead of going to a Mexican vendor, or to an American vendor with Mexican operations, the bank retained three dozen engineers at Infosys, which had recently opened shop in Monterrey, Mexico.

    Such is the new outsourcing: A company in the United States pays an Indian vendor 7,000 miles away to supply it with Mexican engineers working 150 miles south of the United States border.

    In Europe, too, companies now hire Infosys to manage back offices in their own backyards. When an American manufacturer, for instance, needed a system to handle bills from multiple vendors supplying its factories in different European countries, it turned to the Indian company. The manufacturer’s different locations scan the invoices and send them to an office of Infosys, where each bill is passed to the right language team. The teams verify the orders and send the payment to the suppliers while logged in to the client’s computer system.

    More than a dozen languages are spoken at the Infosys office, which is in Brno, Czech Republic.

    The American program here in Mysore is meant to keep open that pipeline of diversity.

    Most trainees here have no software knowledge. By teaching novices, Infosys saves money and hopes to attract workers who will turn down better-known companies for the chance to learn a new skill.

    “It’s the equivalent of a bachelor’s in computer science in six months,” said Melissa Adams, a 22-year-old trainee. Ms. Adams graduated last spring from the University of Washington with a business degree, and rejected Google for Infosys.

    And yet, even as outsourcing takes on new directions, old perceptions linger.

    For instance, when Jeff Rand, a 23-year-old American trainee, told his grandmother he was moving to India to work as a software engineer for six months, “she said, ‘Maybe I’ll get to talk to you when I have a problem with my credit card.’ ”

    Said Mr. Rand with a rueful chuckle, “It took me about two or three weeks to explain to my grandma that I was not going to be working in a call center.”
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