With outsourcing to India gaining popularity in countries like the US and the UK, it is important to know its pros and cons before deciding on whether to use it. Starting with the back office operations in the early 1980s, the outsourcing process to India evolved in the new millennium. This became possible with the growth of software development and web designing projects outsourced to India. Finally, the rise of the BPO industry strengthened the concept and cemented the trust of global companies in the Indian outsourcing community.
However, there is a constant debate on the effectiveness of outsourcing work to India. The following looks at various aspects of the practice and the pros and cons of each.
If one goes back to the 1990s, the Indian infrastructure available to the foreign companies outsourcing to India suffered from a number of flaws. Lack of telecommunications, for example, was one major drawback. However, things have changed drastically in the past 10-15 years. Telecommunications and other infrastructure have seen a lot of new investments. An exceptional change has been brought by the growth of IT infrastructure, which is now capable of catering to many more of the demands of outsourcers.
Still, there is a huge gap between the infrastructural facilities available in India and the countries like China. The ever-present corruption at all levels has been diluting the overall productivity one can expect from a country with world’s second highest population. Development of rural areas and small and medium sized enterprises is still an issue of concern.
Skills and Talent
The idea of outsourcing to India is supported by the availability of a huge pool of talent in fields like custom software development. Implementation of the modern technologies and conceptualization of innovative ideas can be expected from the talented workforce in some industrial sectors.
However, this advantage has not been extended to all the sectors where the country could have gained the best outsourcing advantages. It would be inappropriate to say that no other country in the world can match the talent and skills of what Indian workforces possess.
Difference in Working Style
Having a huge population with English speaking capabilities is an advantage for the country. There are more English speaking people in India than in any other Asian country. However, a problem lies in the issue of accent, which bears a regional influence.
Moreover, there is a huge difference in the culture of India and countries like the US and the UK. There are cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Noida and Hyderabad striving to adopt similar working cultures as those followed in the developed countries. However, a fully professional attitude cannot be expected from all regions boasting of outsourcing services. Employee attrition and the habit of getting spoon-fed for even the smallest of the issues are some cons that plague the outsourcing advantages.
Time Zone Difference
There are both advantages and disadvantages caused by time differences as far as Indian outsourcing is concerned. A company in the US, for example, provides work to an Indian outsourcing company when it is daytime in the US. Indians start working during night hours of the US. This forms a 24×7 working schedule that helps in the on-time delivery of work.
Cost is considered as the most important of the factors that draw global companies to the practice of outsourcing to India. However, rival countries, including China and Taiwan, are making attempts to cut costs further. There are many countries in Europe that meet better quality expectations for the outsourced work and this can bring lower overall costs in the end.
Outsourcing to India is often regarded as a double-edge sword and there are personal opinions on whether outsourcing pros outweigh the cons or vice versa. Every company considering sourcing in India needs to look at the benefits as well as the risks.