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2/25/2008
09:34 AM
Rajan Chandras
Rajan Chandras
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India Outsources to US Tech Workers

The buzz in the local Indian trade magazines is about IBM recently grabbing a multi-year outsourcing deal from the Indian operations of Vodaphone, the global communications giant. Deals like these demonstrate that countries like India and China are more than a source of competition for US-based IT jobs, they offer a solid opportunity for those willing to brave the geographical and culture gap.

The buzz in the local Indian trade magazines is about IBM recently grabbing a multi-year outsourcing deal from the Indian operations of Vodaphone, the global communications giant. Deals like these demonstrate that countries like India and China are more than merely the source of competition for US-based IT firms (and US-based consultants), they offer a solid opportunity for those willing to brave the geographical and culture gap.

As I pick my way through Indian news and newsmakers during my visit here, it's becoming abundantly clear that looking at India as a source of competition for the West is only half the story. Consider the following major outsourcing deals struck in 2007, all happening in India:• IBM wins five-year Vodaphone outsourcing deal mentioned above; value unknown, but expected to be several hundred million dollars

• HP wins three-year, value-unspecified "comprehensive IT outsourcing and transformation project" with Brittania Industries, a leading Indian consumer foods company. According to the HP India managing director, the Britannia contract would enable HP India to "leverage its worldwide expertise to make the differentiation."

• IBM wins a 10-year outsourcing deal from a large local mobile communications player, Idea Cellular, worth between $600 and $800 million.

The fact is, India (and China, etc.) present a huge opportunity not just for US corporations to offer their wares and services, but also for US technology workers willing to look beyond US shores. As the "wage arbitrage" between US and Indian salaries continues to dissipate and US corporations like IBM, HP, Dell, and others make increasingly wider inroads into the Indian markets, it seems only a question of time before US IT workers find opportunities to help large Indian outsourcing deals succeed, and to share their expertise with Indian companies implementing cutting-edge technologies in areas such as business process management, complex application architecture, enterprise data management and business intelligence... significant cultural and other differences notwithstanding.

The opportunities will arise, but the question is, is the US technology worker willing to brave the journey?The buzz in the local Indian trade magazines is about IBM recently grabbing a multi-year outsourcing deal from the Indian operations of Vodaphone, the global communications giant. Deals like these demonstrate that countries like India and China are more than a source of competition for US-based IT jobs, they offer a solid opportunity for those willing to brave the geographical and culture gap.

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