Saturday, March 22, 2008

US Recession, Outsourcing and India Hiring

This is my first blog in three weeks!! Looking back, it has been due to a variety of reasons-some logical and others not so !!

-Hyderabad's new international airport is about 30km away from the city-and the approach roads aren't really ready-and one reckons it is atleast an hour and a half drive away. And considering one can get to most parts of India from Hyderabad by 2 hours flying, it seemed a great idea to pack in as much as travel as possible before the Hyderabad airport moved out from the city!!

-IncreasedWork pressure. While corporates probably hire right through the year, I suspect most professionals -who want to consider a job change-especially those who are willing to relocate across towns- seem to prefer March/April to take decisions regarding the schooling needs of their children as the academic year comes to an end.

-March 31st is the financial year end in India-and so I 've been trying to attend to not just reviewing last year, but planning for the next year's business. And this time- it has been a very challenging exercise. We have had a great year in the last 12 months-and it is natural to be bullish and build capacity and plans to leverage on the momentum. And more so-when most soothsayers advice caution!!

On the flip side, there is a lot of noise about the global economy -and more particularly the recession in the US. I am glad I came across a very interesting post by my pal Jim Stroud "India should not worry about the US recession". While Jim points to a number of press releases across the media cautioning the Indian IT industry, his own mantra is a bunch of strategic multipronged metamorphosis- eg

-Set up a 24-hour Tech Support Service and reach out to other countries with my services.
-Take advantage of sites like
Elance, so I can find clients among the American consumers.
-Use the IT talent I have to create products and transform myself from a staffing company into a software company.

- become a SAAS (Software As A Service) company and charge a monthly subscription fee to keep the revenue flowing.
-Find countries where IT Consultants work cheaper than they do in India (its possible) and outsource work to them, but acting as a middle man. (Oh, the irony.)
-Maybe even pursue the “idea” market. What’s that? Everyone has an idea on the perfect product or website, perhaps pitching my company as a site where we make technical dreams a reality for a reduced cost.

Well, to me it seems a moot point- personally as most of us service organisations are marginal players, and really would not be needing to spend sleepless nights-for there is enough room for innovation and providing value:

- I recall reading a Deloitte Survey on outsourcing called "why settle for less" -which essentially mentioned that outsourcing for cost reduction reasons- are only addressing the tip of the iceberg. If instead, the drivers were leveraging technology expertise/improve customer value/gain competitive advantage/ overcome lack of in-house resources/ increase shareholder value /flexibility, then one could see outsourcing is just another tool- and the the whole game is actually 'transformation innovatively'!!

- In the recent past, some of the enquiries for senior management positions I have been getting from some of my international clients- infact validate some of the innovative hiring trends! Outsourcing isnt just for the Biggies-in fact it benefits the small & medium enterprises too.

A 200 million dollar family business -founded by immigrants to the US about a decade ago, is beginning to think of building its second line of management by hiring foreigners with the 'fire in the belly' -and more so, since their efficiencies depend on global sourcing.

- I see a larger trend of global migration of professionals in the next decade. Perhaps it has to do with baby boomer effect, or the ageing workforce in Europe/US, or the sheer pace of growth of infrastructure in the developing economies, and even the highly rewarding challenges that entice senior professionals away from recessionary markets.

I would like to predict that India will be a global hub for talent very soon. Not just as a source of a few million managers ( a decent percentage of the middle class educated population), but also as a growing market for consumption ( eg telecom and the opportunities thrown up by globalisation aided in increasing infrastructure). We shall see more MNC and SME setting up Indian operations, and more global talent -read not just returning Indians, but also expats of different regions soon.

Yes, I am attending the international conference of the , NPA, The Worldwide Recruiting Network that connects premier independent recruiting firms located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas to facilitate cooperative placements-in the first week of April in Nashville, Tennessee-and check out the pulse firsthand on the mood of international recruiters.

Till I meet them, my next few posts will hinge on the following some fast growing industries in India. I shall be glad to have your suggestions, advice, and pointers to help project India better!

1 comment:


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