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Reverse Off-Shoring 216

punkish writes "India is becoming more attractive to information technology workers from Western countries. Some local IT companies, such as Infosys Technologies in Bangalore, are now able to offer salaries and other perks that are comparable to what Western IT talent would find in their home countries. Infosys, which is currently training 126 Americans at its cutting-edge complex in Mysore, expects to employ 300 Americans by the end of 2006 and add a large contingent from Great Britain next year."
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Reverse Off-Shoring

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  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @06:34AM (#16071042) Homepage Journal
    Its not exactly reverse outshoring, but it shows how tides change.
    Which country will be the next cheap target?
    When will we come full circle and realise that there are dedicated capable individuals in the original countries?
    I speak to people from all around the world and there are examples of in-country outshoring occuring (jobs in London being replaced with staff in Manchester - its simply cheaper up North) and the London staff were just as outraged, its peoples lives the managers are playing with and sometimes the bottom line isn't that important.
    I would make a terrible manager because as long as I could break even in my field I would be happy.
    • by leeum ( 156395 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @07:13AM (#16071100) Homepage Journal
      I thought your post was particularly interesting, so I feel moved to comment.

      The bottom line is, unfortunately, very important. Remember that the companies that can afford to offshore/outshore are generally larger companies which tend to be shareholder-owned and require either equity or debt financing.

      The trouble with being beholden to shareholders is that capital really is mobile and shareholders are normally a greedy bunch. If the business does not offer a good bottom line - leading to all the things that shareholders like to have, for example a good dividend or a good rise in the share price, shareholders will tend to want to move their money elsewhere. Assume that you can invest in company A which offers a 4% return on equity or company B which offers a 10% return on equity. Which would you invest in as a shareholder?

      You may argue that shareholders are increasingly placing more importance on things like corporate social responsibility and so on, but as a shareholder myself, I can tell you that it's really really hard to make an assessment based on that. The corporate social responsibility movement is plagued by the fact that MANY companies make promises (to varying degrees of compliance) and it costs me a LOT of time and effort to check which ones actually comply with their statements or not. Ultimately, I throw my hands up in the air, give up, and use ROE for my investment decisions.

      I disagree that you'd make a bad manager, I think you'd be a great one in certain conditions. You might not be a great manager in a profit-driven, shareholder-owned multinational corporation but the business world isn't exclusively those. There are lots of smaller companies which are more local and people-focused which is where I think your refreshing attitude would be a valuable asset.
      • What most managers fail to realise is that a skilled staff can actually decrease that bottom line using innovation and skill instead of buying an endless stream of products, licenses, and investment in training of 'cheap' outsourced staff. That is the situation I run into all the time with my own company. There have been situations where we have taken the time to run the numbers and prove that we had a solution, already in place except for one component (that was the decision to be made) that performed be
        • by plopez ( 54068 )
          There are a number or replies as to what this is about, why even when you can make a business case it get seemingly over ruled by managers.

          I suspect there are a number of things in play, such as distrust of internal staff, the managers' egos etc. but I will put forward my own hypothesis as well.

          I refer to it as 'Cargo Cult Management'. Managers are very much 'herd' animals. The herd heads off in a direction and they follow. After all, most managers are *not* selected for risk taking.

          An aspect of this herd
      • I agree that the bottom line is very important (shareholders or no shareholders), but I want to add a couple of additional thoughts about "shareholders" today.

        First, when people think of "shareholders" they think of individuals -- even if it is wealthy individuals like Warren Buffet. But that isn't the reality. The "shareholders" with weight are the large institutions -- i.e. mutual funds and pension programs. The NY and California public employee pension funds are 2 of the most powerful investors on Wall
        • There are other reasons that profit margins may increase besides reduction of incompetence or slash and burn tactics (though those two things most certainly do happen). Among the other reasons are the following:

          New products
          New markets
          Reduced costs due to things such as the streamlining of processes by which the product is made

          One of those three things may cost jobs (#3 due to things like automation). However, the first two, if done properly, can be performed in a socially responsible way and actually lead
        • I have to say, this is a really excellent question but one which, I'm afraid, takes an entire treatise and months of intense study to get a reasonable grasp of the subject. I'll grab the bull by the horns and try to summarise it in one post. :)

          Remember that shareholders get return on their invested money from two sources: dividends and the sale price of the shares when they get around to selling them. Theoretically, it shouldn't matter if the company doesn't pay any dividends at all, because the increase in
          • Thank you & bladesjester for taking on my naive question. My understanding, however (and probably wrong) is that the metric isn't the quantity of earnings, but the percentage relative to costs. So companies that predict a $.10 return this quarter are smacked if they don't predict $.12 next quarter. I agree that some companies should grow through opening new markets or entering existing markets. But my preception is that a healthy company that serves a particular market and is content to earn the sam
    • by Destoo ( 530123 )
      Which country will be the next cheap target?

      China.

      There are currently great opportunities within IBM for those who speak mandarin.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        For things that don't require a large population with a good command (albeit with accent) of English, yes. India benefited from having been a British colony prior. The only part of China I can see that's similarly advantaged with respect to language is Hong Kong.
    • First, you're wrong. If you were a business owner, you would have to make a profit to pay yourself. It's not an easy thing to do. I know this as the battle-trained owner and partner in several different business ventures.

      Second, I'm living proof that this concept has appeal. I plan to move to the Philippines when I have my new venture somewhat sorted. Why? Because if it can make $2,000 a month I can live very well, even a bit extravagently. I think I have found something that has potential to make th
  • Why not? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nz_mincemeat ( 192600 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @06:38AM (#16071045) Homepage
    The cost of living in India would be lower than the home country + comparable wages = ability to save.
    • Re:Why not? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Umbral Blot ( 737704 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @06:48AM (#16071058) Homepage
      But crappier infastructure + being a cultural outsider + far from american friends and family = lower quality of life
      • Re:Why not? (Score:4, Informative)

        by freedom_india ( 780002 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @07:02AM (#16071080) Homepage Journal
        Crappier infrastrcuture??? At 300 million mobile phones, i wish to think different. GPRS/WAP/MMS/ ask and you will find ATLEAST 3 providers fighting to provide you service at terms that you would find juicy when compared to US.

        Cultural Outsider: Agreed. But cities like Bombay and Pune are so culturally varied with Americans, Germans and even French indians think themselves as outsiders.

        Far from american friends???: Do you know the local DSL provider provides you with 1 Mbps connection at $100 a month? Agreed it is costlier, but the connection is 89% uptime.

        Think abd verify before you answer.

        • by onion2k ( 203094 )
          89% uptime = Offline for more than a month every year = Absolutely terrible, and definitely not good enough for keeping in touch with friends.
        • by nxtw ( 866177 )
          There's more to infrastructure than mobile phone networks.
        • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rbarreira ( 836272 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @08:05AM (#16071180) Homepage
          Far from american friends???: Do you know the local DSL provider provides you with 1 Mbps connection at $100 a month? Agreed it is costlier, but the connection is 89% uptime.

          Are you crazy? First of all 89% uptime is bullshit, it means the connection will be down for 3 days a month. Second, what does "far" have to do with a DSL connection? You have to be very nerdish to think a DSL connection compares to being actually close to your friends.
        • Do you know the local DSL provider provides you with 1 Mbps connection at $100 a month? Agreed it is costlier, but the connection is 89% uptime.

          Is this supposed to be good? Here in the UK, I am paying about half that for four times the bandwidth and I can't remember the last time there was any downtime.

          I can see the advantage in moving somewhere with a rich cultural heritage and a low cost of living, but if infrastructure is that much more expensive then it looks like a much less interesting proposition

        • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Darkman, Walkin Dude ( 707389 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @10:39AM (#16071472) Homepage

          Crappier infrastrcuture??? At 300 million mobile phones, i wish to think different.

          You can wish all you like, but you'd still not understand what he was talking about. He means things like roads, indoor plumbing, you know... infrastructure. Not mobile phones. This whole story is laughable in any case, I mean what, in 2004 25% of India's population was below the poverty line, which is, wait for it, about 8 dollars a month. Indians won't be getting western wages anytime soon, and if they do, you know what will happen? The companies will move straight on to China. Or south east asia. Or Russia. Companies don't go to India because they like the curry, they go there because its cheap. Thats what we call the bottom line.

          • No. There's some element of cheap, plus English speaking. But of course, otherwise you are right. Cost is everything. You do not, of course, have to make a western wage to live and settle there. You have to make a wage that will buy you a cool house and more than cover your expenses. There is, of course, the little matter of ever returning home...

            C//

            • There is, of course, the little matter of ever returning home...
              and the matter of old age, poor countries don't exactly tend to have good free medical care (the US wrings out your savings first but i belive in the ultimate they do give it free to those with nothing left).

              • My wife, a disaster physician, has a great deal of contact with international medicine. Basically, the rule of thumb for american physicians, is this: if you have a serious medical difficulty in anything less than a top-of-the-line first world country, pay the expense, any expense, to travel to one. Including chartered helicopter by air, if that is what's required. That is, if you care about the life of your loved ones.

                C//
          • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Informative)

            by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @01:13PM (#16071878)
            The infrastructure isn't as bad as Americans might think, and its not as gooda s the Indians want you to believe.

            From first-hand experience, I can tell you that on a middle class US salary, you can live like a rich man in India. The western standard of living, with not just indoor plumbing, but central air, a luxurious house, satillite or cable TV, will all be present and accounted for. If you live in a major Indian city, the electricity will be highly reliable as well. You'll also get some perks middle-class westerners are not used to, namely a personal cook, maid, nanny, and often driver. This will be your standard of living at home, and at work, and often at the shopping areas and restaurants other well-to-do Indians frequent.

            Now, the bad stuff. Your power will go out more often than here in the states, with how much more often depending on the exact area. Worse of all, as soon as you leave the comfortable world of the upper-classes, which will happen unless you shut yourself in, you'll have to deal with the masses of India's urban poor. Most Americans would not be comfortable wandering around anything but the posh areas of an Indian city. The filth, the poverty, the sheer number of beggers, the traffic, the pollution, etc, are something that are totally alien to all but America's hardened inner-city residents. Then there is the climate --- much of India is tropical, and if you're from a temperate part of the US, the heat and humidity will kill you. Imagine the hottest, most humid day in Georgia or Florida, summer torrential-downpours and all, except 10 degrees hotter, and with more frequent torrential downpours. Last but not least is the pervasive corruption. India is a lot better in this regard than some of its surrounding countries (Pakistan and Bangladesh), but the level of corruption is still something alien to Americans. For as much as Americans bitch about corruption, day-to-day corruption among the rank-and-file beauracracy in the United States is almost non-existant. Living in India, you WILL eventually have to pay a bribe to someone, whether it is to get your phone connected, pay a parking ticket, whatever.
            • From first-hand experience, I can tell you that on a middle class US salary, you can live like a rich man in India.

              Absoloutely. However, my point was, why would they give someone a middle class salary in India, when they can give someone the same in the US without any of the associated problems? Reverse outsourcing is nonsense.

              • by be-fan ( 61476 )
                It's still much cheaper. You can pay an American in India $50K per year, and he can live the way he would in the US for $150K per year. Also, the cost of all the overhead (a rule of thumb is that the total cost of a worker is 2x is salary), is also a lot lower over there.

                More generally, it's something that some Americans have been doing for a long time. Anybody who works in foreign development knows somebody who has taken a posting in a developing nation, because it allows them to save a huge amount of thei
                • It's still much cheaper. You can pay an American in India $50K per year, and he can live the way he would in the US for $150K per year.

                  See your weak link here is believing that corporations care about the quality of life of their staff. Also, keep in mind that they can employ an Indian to do the same job for $10k a year. Why would they waste money on sending an American? Couple this with your savings on overhead, and you can see why reverse outsourcing is ludicrous.

                  Anybody who works in foreign develop

                  • by be-fan ( 61476 )
                    See your weak link here is believing that corporations care about the quality of life of their staff. Also, keep in mind that they can employ an Indian to do the same job for $10k a year. Why would they waste money on sending an American? Couple this with your savings on overhead, and you can see why reverse outsourcing is ludicrous.

                    Most successful corporations do care about the quality of life of their staff. Happy workers are much more productive workers. There are examples of ones that don't, but its a l
                    • by be-fan ( 61476 )
                      I forgot to finish the first paragraph. The overhead savings is actually what makes this more attractive then you'd think, because its the same for both types of workers. If you have a guy making $75k in the US, he's costing you about $150k. In India, you could pay him $50k, with maybe another $10k in overhead. That's a total savings of $90k. Or, you could pay a local Indian worker $20k, with an overhead of $10k. Plus, you might incur $10k-$20k in training costs to get this worker up to par. If its a two-ye
          • This whole story is laughable in any case, I mean what, in 2004 25% of India's population was below the poverty line, which is, wait for it, about 8 dollars a month.

            In 1973 55% of India's population was living below the poverty line. Standards of living are improving rapidly over there.

            Indians won't be getting western wages anytime soon, and if they do, you know what will happen?

            They will in the IT industry. Not US salaries, but certainly salaries comparable to other western countries. Experienced p

        • You really think mobile phones and internet access make up for being around your family and friends?
        • At 300 million mobile phones

          Who cares about mobile phones? They have a negative impact on quality of life when they do work.

          I think the GP was referring to things like: sewers, highways, clean water, state-of-the-art hospitals, good schools, inspected produce and meat, a huge variety of consumer goods, and all the other trappings of Western societies. These things are in short supply in many parts of India, China, and other off-shoring centers.

        • Crappier infrastrcuture??? At 300 million mobile phones, i wish to think different. GPRS/WAP/MMS/ ask and you will find ATLEAST 3 providers fighting to provide you service at terms that you would find juicy when compared to US.

          India's infrastructure is mediocre [economist.com].

          "Infrastructure" doesn't refer just to cell phone providers. It refers to:

          * Roadways
          * Train systems
          * Airline systems
          * Electrical provision
          * Clean water provision

          and so forth. "Infrastructure" refers to all those basic goods and services which form

          • which, of course, IT relies-on as its lifeblood
            you can make up for that with backup generators, i'd imagine communication is actually far more of an issue since there is little equivilent of the backup generator for it (there is satalite but thats expensive and very high latency).
        • thats an average of arround 2 and a half hours per day.

          or to put it another way when you wan't to fire off an e-mail to a friend or worse a buisness contact there is a 1 in 10 chance that you will fail.

      • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Funny)

        by niceone ( 992278 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @08:02AM (#16071171) Journal
        On the other hand, if you're already a bit of an outsider, living somewhere else has the advantage that people will think you're an outsider because you're foreign, rather than because you're just plain weird ;)
        • Another very fine example that a funny post holds more truth then something marked as insightful.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by thinduke ( 150173 )
          I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of slashdotters suddenly booked a one-way ticket to New Delhi.
        • by Danga ( 307709 )
          Funniest post I have seen in a LONG time. Nice work!
      • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nephridium ( 928664 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @08:31AM (#16071223)
        But crappier infastructure + being a cultural outsider + far from american friends and family = lower quality of life

        Widening your cultural background + meeting other people and making new friends + broadening your horizon and learning new things in the process = a richer life filled with more challenges and experiences
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by snoopsk ( 698577 )
        I am a recent CS graduate hired by TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) and am completing a 3 month on-the-job training program in India. I spent 1 month in Trivandrum and am currently residing in Pune.

        As someone who has grown up in the US, I have experienced a drastic reduction in the standard of living to which I am accustomed. Even though my salary is many times higher than the average Indian and even though the buying power of the dollar is significantly better than the rupee (a good meal at a nice restauran
        • by be-fan ( 61476 )
          Indians have a take-life-as-it-comes attitude that spills over into every aspect of their life. Urgency, precision, and planning are not familiar concepts to the Indian unstructured lifestyle.

          Yes! This will drive many Americans nutty, particularly those from uptight parts of the country (eg: northeast). For those who haven't experienced it: imagine the American South, except worse.

          Something as simple as a FIFO line, whether it be at a grocery store or a red light, is not implemented in India. Indians don't
        • Power goes out for hours on end for no reason
          Air pollution is unbearable
          Internet is fairly slow (128-256kbps MAX) and unreliable
          Prompt service is rare (fast food means about 20mins)
          Quality electronics equipment is hard to find and very expensive

          Given that you are earning much above the norm for the location, I offer the following suggestions:

          -buy a generator?
          -just foreign smells or toxicity?
          -no youtube for you, move
          -you have no patience?
          -outsource
    • cost of living (Score:5, Informative)

      by beaverfever ( 584714 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @10:44AM (#16071485) Homepage
      "The cost of living in India would be lower than the home country + comparable wages = ability to save."

      Westerners who have lived in developing countries know this is not entirely true.

      If you're an "average" local living in average conditions, your cost of living will be lower than an "average" person in North America, but if you want to live at western standards (house in a nice neighbourhood, car, big TV, stereo, washer dryer etc.) then expect to pay the same or more for the products/services you want. In a developing country, public transport may not even be an option; a car could be an absolute necessity, and therefore an unavoidable expense. To live at western standards you probably won't see many savings in your expenses over actually being in the west.

      On the other side of the coin, you could probably afford such luxuries as a live-in housekeeper.

      Depending on where you live, there may be savings from low or non-existent income taxes. You could come out a bit ahead from this.

      However, in some countries (those in the Gulf region, for example), foreigners are not allowed to buy property. Rent for a nice villa or apartment is as high or higher than what you would pay in Europe/N-Am. If you're paying a mortgage, at least your expenses are adding to your equity, but when you pay rent, that money is gone. This rent is like a defacto tax on foreigners because it is unavoidable, but instead of the money going to the government, it goes directly to the local who owns the property you live in.

      If you have children, expect to pay for them to go to school.

      Healthcare, especially healthcare which is to western standards, is another expense to keep in mind.

      Taking part in leisure activities means more expenses; public recreation facilities which are normal in the west aren't normal in developing countries. Private clubs provide sports facilities, clean beaches etc. etc.

      By living in a developing country, a western professional will probably enjoy a nice lifestyle, but to do so means that savings likely won't be much greater than they would be in the west. Obviously, one can do without many of these expenses, live more like the average locals do and save money, but one can also save money in the west by living a much simpler lifestyle. Many people who work overseas do so for the experience.
      • On the other side of the coin, you could probably afford such luxuries as a live-in housekeeper.

        You misspelled prostitute.
  • Ouch (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 09, 2006 @06:40AM (#16071048)
    MySore sounds like a painful web experience, but it's got nothing on MySpace.
  • Its not just India. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by torpor ( 458 )
    Globalization is a reality. If you are still thinking that your local country offers the only market for your job, you are probably watching too much TV and consuming too much sugary fat, and in my opinion not travelling often, nor far and wide, enough.

    My advice to the new globalist thinker: Travel far and wide and don't bother fooling yourself into thinking you ever actually 'own' a house (it owns you). Go nomad.

    Whats needed in this day and age are people who step across language boundaries, and state bo
    • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @06:47AM (#16071055) Homepage
      Globalization is a reality. If you are still thinking that your local country offers the only market for your job, you are probably watching too much TV and consuming too much sugary fat, and in my opinion not travelling often, nor far and wide, enough.

      Or alternatively, perhaps your job isn't the most important thing in your life. Perhaps you have kids going through school, perhaps you have friends you want to stay in touch with, perhaps your dear old mum needs a hand...

      Cheers,
      Ian

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by leeum ( 156395 )
      I like to think of myself as a globalist thinker however there are many things about the state of the world as it stands that really sticks in my side.

      We absolutely need to be able to cross boundaries freely and work together. It is, economically speaking, the most sanguine decision we can make. However, politics and national ideals intervene.

      I have lived in England for the past decade and, falling in love with the country and Europe in general, I've wanted to work in the European Union for quite a few year
      • If you've been in the UK for a decade, are you not entitled to change your citizenship, or at least some form of permanent rezident status? While I appreciate you might not want to change nationality (I don't want to become a Japanese citizen for example, despite the benefits it would bring me and my family), if you are concerned about employment and entrepreneurship it is surely worth considering.

        Secondly is it really true that you need 200k to start a business (as a foreigner?). A PLC perhaps, but a Ltd.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by leeum ( 156395 )
          The 40 quid and a form allows you to register a company in the UK, which is a requirement for registration with Companies House, I believe.

          The 200,000 quid is a separate requirement that's imposed by the Home Office on foreign nationals, I suppose as a deterrent for people who start little "businesses" that are shell companies and merely used to circumvent the normal immigrations process. The money has to be owned by the business and used for business purposes and cannot be taken out for a period of (I beli
      • Knowledge and capital need a lot less space than large numbers of humans moving from the many poor countries to the very few rich ones. Free movement of labour isn't practical when most of the labour would want to move to a fairly small area of the planet. I would never blame anyone wanting to come to the EU; it's a very nice place to live in comparison to most of the world, but we don't have infinite living space here.
    • "Globalization is a reality. If you are still thinking that your local country offers the only market for your job, you are probably watching too much TV and consuming too much sugary fat, and in my opinion not travelling often, nor far and wide, enough.

      My advice to the new globalist thinker: Travel far and wide and don't bother fooling yourself into thinking you ever actually 'own' a house (it owns you). Go nomad.
      "


      You forget the human element. Repeated relocation comes at the cost of close friends, family,
    • I'm cool with everything except this part:

      "don't bother fooling yourself into thinking you ever actually 'own' a house (it owns you). Go nomad."

      This is a misguided misunderstanding of what owning a home should be. You are absolutely right if you think of a 'house' as your final resting point. You are absolutely wrong when you consider a 'house' to be Real Estate (the only real property in the world) and an investment and further a vehicle for future investment an wealth building. Real Estate values rise con
      • by leeum ( 156395 )
        If you're talking about real estate in terms of things like Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), I agree with you to some extent. It's arguable, however, that real estate is the best security of all available.

        I forgot who authored the study, but it was referenced in a book by Burton Malkiel called "A Random Walk on Wall Street", which said that investments in a diversified equities portfolio over a long period of time (assuming that all dividends are reinvested) have demonstrated the greatest returns over
        • Moving on to more important aspects... real estate appreciates in value regardless of whether you maintain it, rent it or just let it sit there deteriorating. If you finance it then sure your mortgage is an issue. Which is when renting becomes a headache if that's what you're doing... don't bite off more than you can chew. Put a large down payment on any rental property so that you can easily make your mortgage payment whether there is a tenant or not. You can do this by taking an equity loan against your p
  • There might be positions available at the moment, but it cannot last. There is such a baby boom in India that they will shortly see the problem in Britian currently where the OAP's outnumber the youth, thus pentions is in a crisis. Once the baby boom generation in India reach similar age there will be a problem. It's not going to happen for a while.
    • by smoker2 ( 750216 )
      There is such a baby boom in India that they will shortly see the problem in Britian currently where the OAP's outnumber the youth ...... It's not going to happen for a while.
      -5 Incomprehensible

      So your first statement is true for values of shortly ~40 years.

      BTW OAPs do not currently outnumber the youth either. [bbc.co.uk]

  • Should that really be "On-Shoring", or simply "Shoring"?

    We really need more early ante-prior-pre-planning for these linguistic decisions.
  • by smilindog2000 ( 907665 ) <bill@billrocks.org> on Saturday September 09, 2006 @07:16AM (#16071105) Homepage
    Anybody here old enough to remember Japan's rise to a respectable engineering powerhouse? Any of you guys remeber when "Made in Japan" meant it would break in 10 minutes of use?

    There's a natural cycle seem to countries go through when they finally get their act together in engineering:

    - Growth from low-cost outsourcing
    - Growth due to home-grown businesses exporting good IP
    - Imposition of copyright and patent protection
    - Growth due home-grown businesses selling IP locally, and the death of outsourcing

    I think in 1980's, an Indian programmer cost about $2K/year. Now that the outsourcing companies have run out of good local talent in places like Bangalore, salaries are rising to the point that it makes less sense to outsource engineering and programming to India. Countries like Romania look better.

    To continue growth, innovators in India will need to create their own businesses to compete with Silicon Valley startups. To some extent, they seem to be started at this. For example, the customer-relationship software I'm using at the moment, VtigerCRM, is a shameless copy of opensource software from SugarCRM, and it's shamelessly copying Salesforce.com functionality. Indian investors are funding the Vtiger opensource alternative, betting they can beat SugarCRM and Salesforce.com at their own game. Maybe they're right.

    However, the exported software market is only so big. As programmers in India tire of making money from foreign countries where software is actually worth something, they'll force their government to crack down on IP theft. This will create a local market for programmers, greatly fueling high-tech business growth. It also will mostly kill their outsourcing business, since salaries will then be able to rise above the threshold where outsourcing to India makes sense.

    I hope for a similar cycle to be followed in China. When China and India are done with the outsourcing business, we can move to other countries that need to come forward into the new millenium. Outsourcing our jobs is massively painful, but at least we're helping make the world a better place.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rah1420 ( 234198 )
      Very insightful. (Hint to mods - I burned all my points yesterday.) I agree China's next, and another poster mentioned Romania and I'll add the other countries from the breakup of the USSR (and what about Russia itself?)

      Then there will be an equilibrium of sorts, but there's one continent left to consider next: Africa. Now THAT's got to be an offshorer's wet dream, although the political situation and the technical infrastructure isn't in any shape to support it. I give it about 20 or 30 years before
    • The thing is though that those from the "poor" countries are actually rich in comparison to colleagues form the "rich" countries. My co-workers (colleagues at the same job grade) whenever they go home to India will be able to afford a nice house and some servants. I cannot go home because I cannot afford a house, nice or otherwise. Even in the USA things are much cheaper. I was looking at the property prices in various US cities where I could concievably get a job, and the prices are astoundingly low.
      • No kidding... houses around here near Raleigh, NC are amazingly cheap. If you can nail down a steady job, you can probably afford a house. That's one reason I started my company here. In silicon valley, even at outragous salaries, my employees could never afford raise families (unless we went IPO).
    • salaries are rising to the point that it makes less sense to outsource engineering

      Are we talking "engineering" in the slashdot vernacular or real engineering? Please clarify.
    • Anybody here old enough to remember Japan's rise to a respectable engineering powerhouse? Any of you guys remeber when "Made in Japan" meant it would break in 10 minutes of use?

      It's still kinda-sorta true, after a fashion. Technology products made for sale in Japan are typically of lower quality than ones made for sale in the west. They're also typically released months earlier. The Japanese release is like a 'beta' of the product. This happens because the Japanese are more willing to splurge on dubious tec

  • How long? (Score:5, Funny)

    by NexFlamma ( 919608 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @07:18AM (#16071110) Homepage
    How long will it be until you hear Indian comedians complaining about calling tech support only to have some stupid American speaking gibberish to them over the phone?
    • *hindi accented english*

      HA! then the tech support girl said something like "WOT YAH NEED TA DUE EEIS, TAKE THAT THERE MOUHUS AN CLIKKK EEIT RIAHT ON THAT THEYRE IKAHN". I had no idea what she was saying, her accent was so heavy... so I asked to speak to a manager and an hour later I finally go a hold of Rajiv in Bangalore and everything was straightened out.

    • Given that it's a national language [factbook.org] I would guess never.
  • Its good... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bayankaran ( 446245 )
    Reverse offshoring (or whatever its called) is good.

    Traditionally the West gives emphasis on individualism and the East favours interdependence. A western tourist to India will see a lot of colour and crowd - but they may not get the idea behind India - a nation of a billion people with 15 official languages more than 500 languages and 2000 dialects. But someone who works in India for a short while (even on a sterilised IT campus) will get a better perception of the country. They can also dispel the ling
  • by PeteyG ( 203921 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @09:27AM (#16071299) Homepage Journal
    This is a surprise - I am actually in the program discussed in the article. I just graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle, and took this job. I'm typing this from the company's campus in Mysore, India. It's a fun experience, I'm seeing the sights, eating a lot of curry, getting my technical skills rounded out a bit, and then I will be headed back to the States in while to work for them.

    If anyone has any questions about the article, wtf I'm doing in India, what it's like, etc... post here and I will do my best to answer them!
  • I work for a company in Wisconsin and we have recently had foreign government ministers visiting to talk to us about writing software for them. We produce software to be used in many countries that are considered places where programming jobs go. I guess it just goes to show markets are still cyclical.
  • Soon you'll be able to sit at your desk in the USA, doing your job at your current salary, even though it's been
    "off shored"... .. and the boss will still be patting himself on the back for the savings he thinks he must be making.

  • Anyone see this. Quite interesting I thought. Outsourced computer programmer goes to india to find an outsourced job.

    http://www.fxnetworks.com/shows/originals/30days/m ain.html [fxnetworks.com]

    My company is doing hefty outsourcing. My group used to be mostly in Canada/USA with a bit of other countries. Now we are more like an even split between Canada/India/China.

    I used to find it wasteful just dealing Canada/USA when we spoke the same language and had close to the same time zone. Now it is just FUBAR. By the time upper man
    • by dave562 ( 969951 )
      Now it is just FUBAR. By the time upper management clues in, I think it will be beyond too late.

      Splitting development of the same product up into different locations in the same country is not the brightest thing to do. Across international borders that still share the basics, still less bright, but throw in massive language/geographic/time zone divide and you are looking for disaster. But hey the books will look better this quarter...

      It has been long enough at this point that I can probably include facts

  • by coldcanofbeer ( 820296 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @11:58AM (#16071701) Homepage

    I recently outsourced myself to Costa Rica and am enjoying it. Unlike the people in the article who work for companies in India, I do not work for any companies here in Costa Rica. The pay would be lousy. Instead I do the same software development work I did in California.

    Here is link to a writeup I wrote recently on the experience:
    Outsourcing Myself to Costa Rica [bercik.org]
  • by Colonel Panic ( 15235 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @02:01PM (#16072012)
    This isn't reverse off-shoring, this is Westerners moving to India for Jobs that have been offshored from the places they come from.

    In a real example of reverse off-shoring, I was contacted a few months ago by someone from an Indian consulting company that needed someone to do some development work for them who was "closer to the customer" (in this case closer to their customer in the US - I'm in the US). I basked in the irony for a while and then decided against it.
  • This illustrates once more the superiority of free enterprise and open markets. India performed the task more efficiently and things got outsourced there. Now we are seeing that while there was temporary pain for American IT workers, in the end it all works out if people are agile enough to adapt. The end net result is better QoL for everyone.
  • I know everyone thinks that outsourcing because the labor is cheaper. That is not the case.

    Here are some reasons jobs are outsourcing overseas:

    1. The people are better educated. OK, so maybe U.S. comp-sci people from a top-notch University like MIT might be the best in the world, but that is the minority of people in the tech buisness. The average Indian who goes in for an IT tech support job is better educated in the basics of math, science, and a lot of times english, than the average American who goes in

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