Archive for the ‘Offshoring’ Category

Firms Plan Landmark India-Pakistan Business Deal

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

The Washington Post reports, India’s biggest software exporter plans to open a training center in Pakistan this fall, venturing across a heavily guarded border to launch the first formal joint venture between major companies from the rival nations.

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., part of India’s Tata conglomerate, seeks to team up with Pakistan-based Techlogix Inc. to offer software engineering courses for technology workers in Lahore. Tata officials say that they hope to eventually create a software development facility in Pakistan and that the training center will help ease the company into the market.

Read the rest at the website.

Damage from internet outage

Monday, July 4th, 2005

A story running on NewKerala estimates some figures on the impact of the internet outage in the range of 40-60 million dollars (revised to 1.5 million dollars). There are 40 call centres with 3000-3500 people in their employ. One of the call centres claimed they had complete outage for 3 days and 10% bandwidth on the fourth day. The best bit:

The paper quoted Wahaj-us-Siraj, an IT and Telecom expert, as saying: “It has been a criminal negligence on part of the PTCL as well as the government. They knew about the likelihood of such a fault in the cable that was the sole provider for the entire country’s linkage to the outside world.”

A class action lawsuit seems to be in order here.

The current status is that the repair work has started. The repair is being performed by a Etisalat which won the PTCL bid (overbid actually by more than $1 billion, coming out ~80% on top of next highest bidder) for a 26% profit sharing stake and 58% voting rights just 9 days before the outage. Wierd coincidence. Could Etisalat have something to gain from this outage? Doesn’t a bid topping the competitor by more than 1 billion dollars seem conspicuous?

Update (5 Jul, 2005): Dawn reports that the actual repairs have not yet started. Currently the repair crew aboard Niva are still trying to localize the faults (initially localized to a 5 kilometre using sonic testing and electroding). India, Djibouti, Oman and the United Arab Emirates will be affected by the repairs and have agreed to a 2 hour downtime during repairs.

IBM shifts 14,000 jobs to india

Friday, June 24th, 2005

The New York Times reports:

Even as it proceeds with layoffs of up to 13,000 workers in Europe and the United States, I.B.M. plans to increase its payroll in India this year by more than 14,000 workers, according to an internal company document.

…An experienced software programmer in the United States earning $75,000 a year can often be replaced by an Indian programmer who earns $15,000 or so.

Countries like India and to a lesser extent Pakistan redefine the landscape. Simply put, the workers in these countries work harder and cheaper. Many work on contracts, making them easily dispensable without any repercussions. They have lesser health costs and don’t file whimsical lawsuits.

As the software development methodologies and business processes evolve, this trend will only escalate. If and when can we expect to see a software development assembly line where individual intellectual capital has diminishing value?

Indian call centre sells customer information

Friday, June 24th, 2005

BBC reports that The Sun newspaper was able to purchase customers’ personal information from call center in India. This impacts not only on the reputation of Indian call centres but also Pakistan and adds to the risks of offshoring.

Credit card theft is already a very prominent problem which is getting increasingly harder to mitigate. As global boundaries diminish, identity theft may become a problem half way across the world; get medical treatement on someone else’s health plan and by the time the foriegn company or person gets the bill, it’ll be too late. The problem will only escelate.

Corruption is quite high in these parts of the world at the lower echelons of society. Are information workers in these regions more ethically challenged than the west?

Extreme offshoring: Pakistani Virtual Secretary

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

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?