Extreme offshoring: Pakistani Virtual Secretary

The Resource Group (TRG) has taken off shoring to the extreme by hiring a virtual secretary to work at their Washington, DC office. The secretary answers phones, orders sandwiches, schedules meetings, greets visitors and even opens the door for the FedEx guy … while sitting 7,500 miles away in Karachi, Pakistan.

TRG specializes in acquiring western businesses (mostly call centre operations) and off shoring part of their operations to Pakistan. This reduces operating costs and increases efficiency, which results in higher profits.

The news is slightly old, but this had to be put up because of sheer coolness. Anyone know of similar innovative offshoring or outsourcing setups?

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4 Responses to “Extreme offshoring: Pakistani Virtual Secretary”

  1. chowkidar says:

    What happens when…The data link breaks during the middle of a task (ordered meal, scheduling a meeting etc).

    For call centers, there can be redundancy as it a many-to-many system (many customers; many support staff). In this scenario it’s a n:1 and if the link to the solo secretary goes out things don’t just break, they come to a standstill.

    Are these guys using a satellite uplink? I would hope so.

  2. Anonymous says:

    re: What happens when…Good point. I don’t know exactaly what they are using, but I’d imagine they’d be smart enough not to trust only 1 provider with their uplinks. The must have some sort of redundancy in place, for example using fibre most of the time but fallback on satellite if something goes wrong.

  3. haq says:

    mcdonal’s outsourcing drive through order takers?This one is interesting too: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2005-03-10-mcd_x.htm

    McDonald’s may outsource drive-thru order-taking

    The world’s largest fast-food chain said Thursday that it is looking into using remote call centers to take customer orders in an effort to improve service at its drive-thrus.

  4. haq says:

    how much do they really save?Let’s say they are using data lines for the everything and it takes about 100kb/s of bandwidth to transfer high quality two way voice and video. PTCL gives out 8 megabits dedicated connection for $7,200 a month, lets round that off to $8,000 for bandwidth and maintenance issues. Let us say you can squeeze 8 (800 kb/s a max throughput) virtual secrataries into that kind of bandwidth.

    Let’s say they pay the secretary Rs. 40,000 a month (that’s a very good amount for a secretary in Pakistan). Therefore, that comes to about a total operating cost of about $15,000 a month or $180,000 a year for 8 virtual secretaries.

    Now lets say they pay each US secretary about $40,000 a year then you’d save about 180k or about half of what you’d be spending on regular secretaries.