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Sunday, October 26, 2003

On Outsourcing to India


Just a brief note on the current trend in outsourcing desk jobs (tech support phone lines etc.) to India: what's all the fuss about? Companies would not be able to get people that highly trained for twice their salary in America (people that highly trained are pulling down higher salaries), and the Indians are in some of the highest-paid and most sought-after jobs in their country. There can be absolutely no shrill screams of "sweatshop! sweatshop!" here. Wipro, India's biggest computer programming company, is in a facility that looks like the Rice University campus and has probably a better cafeteria. I know students from Harvard who have gone to Bangalore for summer computer jobs -- obviously, it's not hell. So what are people complaining about? The most I can figure is that those are jobs not being held by Americans anymore. Well: 1) some of them (telemarketer jobs, for example) are for companies who can't even begin to fill their vacancies in America; and 2) I'm sure the companies would be glad to hire a similarly-trained American at the same or a moderately higher salary, if there were any willing to work for a third of what they could make in another job.

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