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Apple Pulls Out of India 696

Posted by Zonk
from the curious dept.
tanveer1979 writes "Barely 3 months after it commenced India operations, Apple has decided to pull out its software operations from Bangalore. The employees will be given a severance package which is equal to two months' pay. The sales and marketing operations will remain on (these consist of around 30 people) but the software and support will be completely pulled out." From the article: "Apple had set itself a hiring target of 600 by the year-end. After a gala induction ceremony on April 17, the operations team went to Transworks for training. Some of the managers were about to leave for the US for further training when they were asked to stay put."
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Apple Pulls Out of India

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  • Re:$40 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 03, 2006 @08:43PM (#15464226)
    Two months severance pay in India = about $42 and 7 cents


    No.

    I am a developer in India. All my college buddies are too. Not one of us gets less than $800 per month. And that's the 'entry level' for our number of years(3) in the industry.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 03, 2006 @09:05PM (#15464300)
    Most Indian CS majors (not talking about IIT grads here) come out just knowing C#/VB .NET. Its hard to train them to learn Objective-C or any other language they are used to since all of their CS skills are bound to a single language. Go to any job posting in India for .NET and you will get millions of programmers who know everythinhg about .NET. Ask for people who know Objective-C or anything non-Microsoft base, then you will get almost nobody. Its hard to find programmers in India with Mac OS x experiance, or even *nix experiance.
  • by Reaperducer (871695) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @09:07PM (#15464307)
    Holy pop-ups, Batman! The article link spawns THREE full-screen pops that even Firefox couldn't stop.

    Back on topic: There was an article in Crain's Chicago Business a couple of weeks ago saying it's hard times for the Indian outsourcing industry because wages in India are on the rise.
  • an employee's market (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 03, 2006 @09:50PM (#15464442)
    From what I hear Bangalore and other India hotspots are quite the employees' markets, much more so than the US is now, and probably not unlike the way things were in the US in the late '90s. That means it's really hard to keep the best employees from taking their training and crossing the street to join your competitor for a 30 percent increase. And all the big US IT outfits are there. Meanwhile you have to make due with a mixed bag of a workforce, some of whom can't really cut the technology (admittedly, this can be true in the US too, but at least you can interview people face to face). On top of that there's the hassle of managing a workforce on the other side of the globe, in a time zone almost opposite to yours.

    So maybe some of that factored into the decision to cut and run. I guess the true story will come out eventually.

  • There should be absolutely no language barriers at all. All post-11th grade education in India is English-based (India was a British colony after all). So if your staff is university educated, they should be almost as good as native speakers (albeit with an accent). If not, they suck way more than from a technical standpoint and shouldn't be hired in the first place.
  • Re:Socialism??? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Brian_Ellenberger (308720) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:15PM (#15464749)

    Actually most of the European policital forces usually mislabeled as 'Socialists' or even 'Communists' by US right wingers are actually modern Social Democrats who have become moderate to the point where they generally do not see a conflict between a democratic society with a capitalist market economy and their own goals which in turn means they have very little in common with Marxism, Communism or classical Socialism.

    Maybe, it could be that, for example, the UK's labor party describes themselves as socialist on their website: http://www.labour.org.uk/aboutlabour [labour.org.uk]

    The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party....The Labour Party was set up in 1900 to fight for representation for the Labour movement - trade unions and socialist societies

    Now you might not think they are "hardcore" socialists or "true" socialists, but you can't blame crazy right-wingers for labelling them socialists when they use that term themselves.

  • by yhbrn (778243) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:14AM (#15464925)
    A recent trend is for companies to get out of cheap engineering off shoring deals and move the jobs back to the US in rural areas--called Farm Shoring. The cultural differences are obvious to anyone who has used an India off shored help desk. The work force targeted in the US is rural non-technical people who are being trained to do low level support. Expect a small return to computer science majors at rural colleges. India and other places are countering by trying to teach their workers more of the US culture including language variations such as 'Texan', New Yorker, the South etc by holding dialect classes where their students practice sounding like different parts of the US.
  • by Anthony Boyd (242971) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:40AM (#15464998) Homepage
    On May 15, Apple officials addressed us and were highly appreciative of the workforce and the task it would execute in India. I wonder why they never said anything even then," said another fired employee.

    Because employees would react. If they said "we're thinking about closing" or "things aren't working out as expected" then at least a few employees would just bail, or worse. No company wants that -- if there is a chance to salvage the situation, then they would prefer the employees never even knew how close they came to being laid off. Especially if a few employees leaving could damage the potential turnaround. And if there is no chance to salvage the situation, then they want those employees to still be around long enough to finish whatever needs finishing.

    I'm not suggesting that how corporations treat employees is good. I'm just telling you what the thinking is. In fact, I hated that thinking so much that I quit my first high-level job. I'd been a manager of Web teams for most of my career. I got a job with Sabeer Bhatia (the Hotmail guy), and he brought me on as a Director. I sat in all/most of the upper-management meetings. I heard all sorts of private discussions, not meant for the rest of the employees. I knew when the product had serious issues that would hurt our funding. I knew when there was trouble with an investor. I knew when the management team was in conflict. It was never a good idea to let employees in on the issues. I learned that quickly. The first few times there were issues, I took my team to lunch and let them know. You cannot believe the fallout, swift and sure. I grew to hate it. I had to lie to employees when they would ask about rumors. I was supposed to have been doing that all along, anyway (well, maybe "lying" is too harsh because I'm bitter about it, I'm sure a more seasoned person would have simply said "none of your business" to every single rumor or TMI kind of question -- but for me, that just gets uncomfortable when you know the person has a family and will be out of work in a month). Eventually I quit. At my next job, the hiring manager was curious why I was going for a job as a manager of a small team when I was clearly moving up into Director & VP level work. I realized I'd rather be with the rest of the employees, not knowing about the sheer volumes of crap that hit the fan daily.

    As I get older, I get better at things, of course. I'm self-employed now, and I have a subcontractor for the times when the work is too plentiful. If I don't have work for the subcontractor, I just say so. If he ends his business relationship with me due to it, I'll deal with that. I try not to make too big a deal out of anything. But I'm also not running a company with 10,000 employees. If things go bad for me, the impact is tiny.

  • by debiansid (881350) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:45AM (#15465013) Homepage
    Most Indian CS majors (not talking about IIT grads here) come out just knowing C#/VB .NET

    Actually, No. Most Indian CS majors come out knowing nothing more than basic C/C++ and probably a bit of Java. Their projects are almost always in VB6 as development is very quick n easy on it. C/C++ knowledge is more or less theoretical as our education system gives more importance to theory than practice.

    Most CS guys in India go by hype and industry requirement and that means it's either .Net or J2EE. .Net, like VB, is preferred again because it's easier to learn (drag and drop controls, etc.). In fact, many devs here tout C#/VB.Net as difficult platforms to learn as they're not as braindead as VB6.

    Also, there is very less genuine interest in software development and CS on the whole. S/W Development is a means to earn money, nothing more.

    Its hard to find programmers in India with Mac OS x experiance, or even *nix experiance.

    You might still get many with *nix experience but Mac OSX, not a chance. There's hardly anyone in India who *uses* Macs in the first place; PCs are way cheaper, especially with a pirated copy of Windows and all its apps.
  • by Doppler00 (534739) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:33AM (#15465147) Homepage Journal
    I agree with renting. I rent an apartment 1 mile away from work and it's great. I could care less about owning a home at this point in my life. I also drive a 1984 Honda Prelude. Given these choices, I'm able to save over 50% of my income in retirement and non-retirement accounts and I'm only 24.

    The nice thing is, I have money leftover that I can spend $4,000/year on the latest tech toys ;) Not that I'm likely to spend that much.
  • Re:say what? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:08AM (#15465361) Journal
    That's bizarre... You can't even order a quad G5 with a graphics card that won't handle Apple's entire range of monitors.

    -jcr
  • Re:Payback's a bitch (Score:2, Informative)

    by Bruce Allen (978328) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @09:36AM (#15466348) Homepage
    Senior Frac

    There are "H-1Bs for lawyers". H-1Bs are for any "speciality occupation" - the US Government site (the first response you get if you Google "h-1b") has the official government definition:

    A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. For example, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts are specialty occupations.

    So, if you kill the H-1B, you are basically preventing educated foreigners in all of these fields from entering the country to work. Of course, American lawyers, doctors, architects, etc are somewhat protected by the idiosyncrasies of American law, medical practice and building codes. Programming languages and software design methodologies are a worldwide standard. Bear in mind that it goes both ways, though - American programmers can work in europe tomorrow if they wanted to, but American lawyers would have to learn the legal system first.

    At home, compared to an H-1B worker, you have immense advantages - the ability to freelance without an agency (H-1Bs cannot take on freelance gigs at will, they have to do it through a contracting company or else pay a visa transfer fee for each company they want to work at), plus the ability to start your own company. What are you waiting for? Outcompete!

    In reference to your parent post, if the immigrant IT workers had to "jump through the same hoops the immigrant physical laborers do", then they wouldn't come to America. They would either stay in their own countries and start companies, or move to another competing country with a less Draconian immigration policy. If America shuts its doors to talented, hard-working immigrants, the top immigrants will just go to European countries instead. I know a very bright, hard-working programmer who can't take his US job until October (due to H-1B quota being reached), so he took a job in England until then. His American company still wants him so much that they are prepared to wait until October for him. So, what happens in the meanwhile? Uncle Sam loses out on a couple months' taxes on his $80,000+ income and my friend helps the English company expand, outperform American companies and create more jobs in England.

    Of course, I hold an H-1B, so I am biased. I do know, though, that I have helped my company expand and hire more American workers. I don't think we are directly competing though - I am a music video director.

    Bruce Allen [boacinema.com]
  • Re:Payback's a bitch (Score:3, Informative)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Sunday June 04, 2006 @10:14AM (#15466511) Homepage Journal
    ...like?

    Like India won't give you a work visa. Several Americans have tried and been denied.
  • Re:$40 (Score:3, Informative)

    by twelveinchbrain (312326) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @11:07AM (#15466777)
    No, you've got it backwards. Have you been to India? Lower-class Indians live in filth and poverty. The $800/mo. Indian programmer's lifestyle is still not very good. They can't afford a decent car, but everyone else is riding about in a moped or on foot. This programmer's housing is what we would consider middle-class; the lower classes live in shacks, or worse, tents or even huts.
  • by earthstar (748263) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:23PM (#15467513) Journal
    Not Yet.

    http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/4515/945/ [itwire.com.au]

    Apple had been offering and still continues to offer tech support from another third party BPO provider, TransWorks based here in Bangalore.
    But sources claim that this has nothing to do with the kind of quality of service that the India tech support would offer. "I think it has more to do with financial feasibility of the centre rather than the quality of service. You have to keep in mind that no work had started - basically it was just mid-level support staff that had been hired apart from Kharbanda who was expected to grow this the Dell way."

    http://www.ciol.com/content/search/showarticle1.as p?artid=84773 [ciol.com]

    Many of the components used in the company's products are, in fact, produced by third-party vendors in Taiwan, China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. Most of the company's portable products including MacBook Pro, iBooks, and iPods are manufactured by third-party vendors in China. "It makes sense for the company to invest and expand in these regions, instead of having a new facility in India," say analysts.


    http://services.silicon.com/offshoring/0,380000487 7,39157100,00.htm [silicon.com]
    The company stressed it isn't cutting any US jobs, noting that its ranks are growing both in the United States and overall. The Apple representative said: "Our call centres in Austin and Sacramento also continue to grow."

    Moaners can read this too :
    http://www.computerworld.com/blogs/node/2648?sourc e=NLT_MGT&nlid=23 [computerworld.com]

    In a bizarre twist to the offshoring craze, The Boston Globe reports that some Indian high-tech companies that accept "offshoring" work from American companies are turning around and offshoring some of that work back to Americans. According to the May 30 story, INDIA TECH FIRMS SEEK US TALENT IN OFFSHORING TWIST, Tata Consultancy Services of Bangalore can't find enough workers in India to fill the 30,500 positions it needs to hire for this year so it plans to hire talent abroad, including 1,000 recruits in America. Some 9,500 positions out of 62,000 at Tata are Americans, according to the story.
  • by gnuLNX (410742) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:18PM (#15469088) Journal
    Are you serious? Go look what she got for her golden parachute. Screw Carly Fiorina and her billion dollar lifestyle. Who cares if a multi millionaire gets fired..they don't have to feed their families.
  • by mkopparam (979505) on Monday June 05, 2006 @08:30AM (#15471763)
    There are a lot of wrong numbers floating around here... Let me set a few things right. The average Indian salary in the non-tech sector is around 80USD. This is for a guy who's got a few years of experience behind him. The average for somebody who's put in about twenty or thirty years is about twice as much (175USD). 80USD also happens to be the official minimum wage for any government employee - the guy who sweeps the streets, the people who work at government offices, post offices, utilities etc., make that in a month. The new economy brought about a lot of changes as far as salaries go - you could be young, very young indeed and earn in a month what most people do in ten. So the guy above who makes 800$ a month is actually an overpaid fish. Fish? They work in these big glass walled buildings (supposedly to reflect the buildings in Silicon Valley) with their airconditioners on while the rest of the country breathes fresh air out open windows. But that's another story. So does the guy who earns 80$ a month starve and live in penury as some other thread here seems to follow? No, not at all. Costs in India are low: food, clothing and shelter cost almost nothing. The guy on 80$ a month probably has his own house, a motorbike, eats out regularly, watches movies a lot, puts his two kids to school and still saves money for his retirement. Now the guy who's earning 800$ a month has to keep up appearances and buy a fancy overpriced apartment, overpriced car, eat at overpriced restaurants and so on until he hasn't much left to keep. So we have here the irony of the whole situation the tortoise keeps slogging away at his minimalist salary but his job goes on forever while the hare earns quick and burns quicker with his job on the line all the time. A lot has changed in Bangalore - prices have gone through the roof, property has become dear, peak hour traffic is tremendous but all have their own levels of making a life. I noticed another thread here that mentioned that the middle class guy in India lives terribly but that's according to western standards of living, hygiene and circumstance. The middle class guy with a steady job and salary in India today, is king, whatever you might think about it.

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