Subcontracting to India?

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jtaylor
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Subcontracting to India?

Post by jtaylor » Wed Nov 17, 2004 8:41 pm

I've been involved in sub-contracting software testing to India over the past couple of years.
Having had mixed experiences (and to be honest mixed success!) with the whole Indian subcontract operation, I'm looking to find any Old Blues who have experience of this - this could be either in the past, currently, or are planning to sub-con in the future, in any type of business.

Any opportunity to share experiences/ideas would be most appreciated, and hopefully we can make it a mutually beneficial contact.

Please do drop me an email.

Cheers,

Julian

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Post by Hannoir » Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:08 pm

im a business student and we did a case study on outsourcing etc in our international marketing lecture. seems as though it is here to stay, however ethical it is.
not sure whether i agree with the whole principle, but whatever works for the businesses...
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jtaylor
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Post by jtaylor » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:27 am

I have my doubts ethically, in some ways, although if the salaries are good for the staff in India (which they are with the operation we are running) then I feel the operation has net benefits.

The main issue is the cultural differences - always saying "yes" to anything requested, without knowing if it's achievable!

Had an instance the other week where we asked for a basic video to be produced, just walking round the office introducing the main faces and places of the office. Checked if they'd got everything needed to do it, got a camera, etc. etc.
They kept saying, "yes, you'll have it first thing tomorrow" but then never managed to deliver - they told us the day before the deadline that they hadn't got a camera!

Very frustrating.

I've seen the same tendency in Taiwan - always want to say yes to the customer.

J


("5 minutes turkish" - name the quote!)
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Post by Bob » Thu Dec 02, 2004 12:50 pm

jtaylor wrote: ("5 minutes turkish" - name the quote!)

Peter Szakacs (As Charlie) says it to Turkish (Jason Statham) in the Guy Ritchie Film "Snatch".

I'm sure everyone knows that Old Blue Jason Flemyng has a small part as Darren. See more of Flemyng in Guy Ritchies Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

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Subcontracting to India

Post by simonhodge » Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:36 am

Not actually placed any work to India as I have usually found that my freelance programmer can carry out the work cheaper and I imagine better than they can.
Interested about the video production...perhaps we should speak as my company may be able to help you with these types of projects.

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Post by Hendrik » Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:38 pm

Hannoir wrote:im a business student and we did a case study on outsourcing etc in our international marketing lecture. seems as though it is here to stay, however ethical it is.
not sure whether i agree with the whole principle, but whatever works for the businesses...
love it or loathe it, that's capitalism. fantastic for the 20% of us who control 80% of the worlds resources.
whatever works for business? LOL i see a place for you in Blair's Cabinet opening up as we speak...

N.B: i am not opinionating! it's all factual. well, i can't gaurantee a job in westminster but apart from that...

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Indian Help Desk

Post by Chris Moller » Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:43 pm

Hi Julian,

I too have heard mixed reports on Indian software. However, I thought I ought to report a very beneficial Indian call centre experience last week (yes, it can happen!)

I had an obscure problem with a Netgear ADSL modem, and called their freephone number, which was answered in India. The lady carefully and pleasantly took me through a very lengthy and comprehensive set of questions. No matter what I answered to a question, her flow diagram had a path for it. At the end of 50 minutes, and without having to refer to anyone else, she had correctly identified the problem, and a solution that would work in my particular setup. :)

I am absolutely certain that the English helpline would not have done such an effective job. The flow diagram would never have been that comprehensive, and they would never have had the necessary patience. (I don't believe they would have got there any quicker, or even at all).

For me, this more than made up for all the awful outbound call centre calls I get from India.
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interested

Post by paddy » Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:51 pm

Hi

I happen to work in the world of computer graphics, doing visual effects for feature films, and this is something we have been vagualy considering for a few years. Our company has been contacted a number of times by Indian companies suggesting collaborations.

India obviously has a good, strong film business and culture, and the same for computer programming, maths etc. There's at least one major US visual effects and animation studio (Rhythm and Hues?) who have an offshoot in India already. It's quite an attractive idea to be able to subcontract labour-intensive work like rotoscoping or motion-tracking, or skilled, laborious work like pure animation. So - yeah - interesting.

Problems might come in getting large (huge!) amounts of image data securely and reliably between continents. Also whether Indian companies have, or could be expected to develop the technical and managerial infrastructures needed for getting these types of very complex tasks done.

And, as was said above, cultural issues. I worked in Hong Kong and Bangkok for about 6 months a while back, and it was hugely frustrating never really knowing where you stood. It seemed as if "I don't know" and "I'm sorry, that's not possible" were major taboos. So people just told you what you what they thought you wanted to hear. Excruciating.

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Outsourcing, offshoring and India

Post by antiphon » Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:29 am

I have some experience with outsourcing. It is not unethical any more than shopping in Sainsbury is unethical to Tesco. I write regularly about this subject and won't bore everyone with a primer, except to suggest that more information can be found by doing a search for "bpo backchat" on google.
Guy Kirkwood - BaA, LB, MaA 78-85

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Post by Hendrik » Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:06 pm

google, i did just that!
this is the first thing i got:
http://www.antiphon.co.uk/blog/200408.htm

not a whole lot on the ethics of outsourcing, i must say! and since when did quoting oneself count for anything? i won't be trying it in any of my essays anyway....

[and to pick an example from your 'blog':
Internet is capitalised because it is a proper noun! Well, a contraction of 'internetwork' i suppose, but do you really know that many internetworks that it should be a mere common noun? How often do people say they are 'on an internet'? Maybe the capitalised Internet is a proper noun (Guy Kirkwood), and other internets are common nouns (that guy over there). meh, getting academic...]

outsourcing is ok, right? i mean they want to work and nobody's forcing them to, right? hypothetical situation: india has identical labour laws from eachother, minimum wage etc as this country. how 'cost effective' is your outsourcing now? [and since when did sainsbury's and tesco operate under different labour laws?] just a thought... :D

your post on aloe vera, 100% spot-on. my brother fell foul of that scam too.

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outsourcing, ethics and Tesco

Post by antiphon » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:04 am

Hendrick - thanks for the note. If I came across as self-serving or worse self reverential, I apologize. OB's taking themselves too seriously has never been a problem.

I obviously wasn't specific enough about the link. If you are interested, the best place to find out about offshoring, BPO and outsourcing generally is http://www.sharedxpertise.org (I am a member and do write for the organisation but you can avoid those bits).

BTW, Sainsbury and Tesco are not entirely operating under the same labour laws - see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/01/07 ... tech_jobs/

Hope that helps
Guy Kirkwood - BaA, LB, MaA 78-85

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Subcontracting to India?

Post by FrogBoxed » Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:03 am

I worked for a publisher which had done extremely well during the late nineties. Eventually sales slowed and the managerial team decided that outsourcing Editorial to India was a good idea... Trouble was, the company lost control of the overall quality of the end product. Although the UK editors would see some of the chapters, they'd be returned to India and often "re-edited", thus putting back in the grammatical and spelling errors that had been corrected. The move certainly raised a few eyebrows in-house (and outside of it; negative feedback from buyers both trade and public increased after the move).
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Post by Hendrik » Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:58 am

the link was to some article about tesco outsourcing. so does sainsbury's: http://www.computerweekly.co.uk/Article23566.htm
relevance? :?
perhaps we should stop relying on google and you just tell me in simple terms (as i am simple) why outsourcing is infact ethical.

[the dig about 'internet' was indeed unecessary, was just the only thing that grabbed me about the blog.]

i guess subcontracting to india is a mixed blessing :D

as regards call centers in india, apparently they are taught to recognise regional accents, and even emulate them! impressive or wot? so next time you're cold called from newcastle, it may infact be calcutta :)

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outsourcing and the Left

Post by antiphon » Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:50 pm

As an obviously dedicated follower of adbusters.org, I'm not convinced I could persuade you. ;)
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Post by ben ashton » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:31 pm

The 'Orange' helpline staff are suspiciously geordie, make you wonder...
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