Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reverse outsourcing

I was talking to a friend who is in India. She was trying to conjure up an excel sheet and word document out of a pdf file. No points for guessing that she is studying for a management degree. I don't mean any offense or ill-will towards my dost log enrolled in management programs, but it seems that Microsoft office is the most complicated software they can use. The degree of complexity in order of the components of MS-office is excel, powerpoint and word assuming wo log html MS access mein databases nahi banaya karte. A database sounds too techie.

Gosh! I am taking such an evil joy in describing the computing (dis)abilities of management students. After all, I am supposed to be the techie guy. Its a different matter that I always have the MS office for dummies by my side whenever I am trying to write a report. I have realized that my mind has only so much memory. If I learn to work with the neural network toolbox in MATLAB, I most definitely will forget how to put proper line spacing in a MS-word document.

Since I have not yet learned to use the neural network toolbox, I still know how to work with MS-office. This friend which I mentioned in the beginning was having some trouble with her pdf reader and was unable to transfer images. I knew an alternate way (Mr. know all!) And hence I ended up assisting her in a step-by-step process to do what she was trying to do.

I could not stop laughing my mind of at the irony of it all. A guy in US, assisting a girl in India on some technical issue. Given the current scene with outsourcing it is the people in India who are the providers of help and the Americans, the beneficiaries. Figuratively speaking I managed to sher ke muh mein se maans kheechkar khaana. Not that I have become a complete American in my short stay here but this one is definitely for the keeping.

For a few seconds, imagine what would happen when all the technical assistance for Indians is outsourced to US. A guy by the real name of Michael taking the call and greeting the caller in a very fake Indian accent: "Namaste, Mikrosaft aafice ke ujer support center mein aapka swagat hai. Mein Mukesh aapki kaise madad kar sakta hu?". If this happens in my lifetime, I would be the first one to make a movie by the name of Chicago Blues both part I and part II. There is an irony in that too, bole to Hollywood lifting ideas from Bollywood and Americanizing it.

Rewind to reality. The firefox browser's spell checker is so American that it won't understand that offence is the same as offense, realised is the same as realized and Americanising is the same as Americanizing.



Sui Generis said...

While skimming your post, for a moment, i was engrossed in my version of "Chicago Blues"... :)

Still not able to decide..rev. outsourcing is good or bad..??

An obverse thought says..."definitely an asset" for India... but after musing a bit more it questions the root of it...
What is it that'll lead to rev.outsourcing?? Is it not the brain drain??

Are we, the Indians, not adept enough to rock the world...WE ARE.

Rev. OSr.. is an asset, provided the need of it arises after "we all" have conduced to it.

Huzefa said...

Sui generis, The original title of this post was 'India-2020'.

Regarding whether brain drain will lead to rev. outsor., I am inclined to think that it will be the reverse brain drain!

Alefyah said...

I'd love to live till 2020 and see the reverse customer support at least :) (Take my revenge on all the times my clients couldn't understand my accent!)

Hatim said...

Well reverse outsourcing is possible, but it depends on what kind of outsourcing you are talking about:

for instance customer services outsourcing, which without question is the most prominent, because customer service is vital for american businesses.

I haven't seen any major Indian instituition providing customer service to its customer base in India in the first place so the chances of them getting outsourced are next to null.

Hatim said...

What I think which is already happening is this:

US business outsource to India for cost savings and Indian business outsource that work to Vietnam or Thailand which is on a rise. So we could outsource our work to these countries or may be Africa, imagine training ppl to speak in Hindi or other local languages.

Indian business outsourcing work to US ( considering thats what you mean reverse outsourcing is) is higly unlikely.

BPO Services Company India said...

The Subject of outsourcing should be analyzed before moving towards reverse outsourcing concept