back to article India's grip on offshoring eases ever so slightly

India's dominance of the offshoring industry has eased ever so slightly, with Mumbai losing its position as the world's second-best place to outsource to Filipino capital Manila, according to the new Tholons 2014 Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations rankings report. The news isn't all bad for India: it's still home to six of the …

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Anonymous Coward

Having finally got used to the Indian accent and nuances when 'Bill' from Mumbai phones I will now have to start all over again.....

'Hewwo is that Mr Wichard Wedmond of Wamsbottom, ,,,,'

I feel my anxiety levels and frustration rising.

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@AC

Has Jonathan Ross taken up out sourcing?

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Anonymous Coward

finding skilled peiople in India is a nightmare

We have a big project for India. The contract stipulated that the majority of S/W dev would be done in India.

Frankly after 4 months of interviews we are only at 50% of the required headcount. Most of those have worked in the UK or the US. The problem is the lack of technical skills and even basic problem solving. sure the CV's boast of this that and everything but once you get through just the surface veneer, you find that they don't mean very much at all.

It looks like we will have to recruit Indian workers from those working outside of India. Sad state of affairs.

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Re: finding skilled peiople in India is a nightmare

A touch of racism going on here?

What is wrong with UK people who CAN do the job?

At the end of the day it will be cheaper!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: finding skilled peiople in India is a nightmare

1) the contract specified that the work would be done in India

2) the contract amount would not allow UK people to do the work in India AND be paid UK salaries + expenses for the duration.

No racism at all. More than half of my team here in the UK are Indian/Polish/Russian/Chinese. Just the facts of life in the IT Industry.

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Re: finding skilled peiople in India is a nightmare

so not racist, just cheap

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Anonymous Coward

Re: finding skilled peiople in India is a nightmare

I've just left a company that was moving the exact same way: about half of the team in the UK were of Indian descent or actually Indian and we worked well as a team. I learnt samosa's were the correct snack food for every occation, and how to swear in Punjabi, everyone was happy (at least with each other) then (top level) management enforced outsourcing to India. Middle management just couldn't find anyone out there that met their standards, so the top brass enforced taking just anyone. I quit (allready in train before this happened) before I saw the results, but we weren't opptimistic...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: finding skilled peiople in India is a nightmare

That'll be because the skilled people who are upwardly mobile will move to the UK or US. They practically write much of Windows these days.

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Silver badge

I remember a few years ago an Indian company opening a call centre in N.Ireland as it was cheaper than opening one where they were based.

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Having lost my team of UK contractors to a team of "off shore" resource I don't have a great story to tell. As said earlier in the thread, lack of problem solving ability is the biggest problem. Then there is a total lack of proper testing mentality, wanting to be spoon fed every technical detail and the quality of the code when I review it is shocking. Short cuts taken, layout is awful and inconsistent and as for hard coding everything...my god. After much fighting with management I've been made to lower my standards and accept is like working 20 years ago when that kind of practice was acceptable.

When I enquired about the skill levels I was told most of the team have 1-2 years experience at best. And it shows. Don't get me wrong, we've all blagged a job or claimed to be better than we really are and there are genuinely a couple of 1/2 decent bodies in the off shore capability but the vast majority (in my experience) are inexperienced and not very good at even basic problem solving yet alone technical skills.

Everybody needs to earn a crust so I can't blame off shore companies that make a (relative to their own market) lot of money - I just think you get what you pay for. You want to pay 500-700 a month for you techie you be my guest - but I'm not staying late to sort out their mistakes. (which I now refuse to do)

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same experience here, the main issues seem to be the hierarcy though. I have been in meetings where the actual developers wouldn't speak directly to me, everything was relayed from dev to an offshore coordinator to an onshore coordinator to me.

No developers would raise any issues or problems either, or would admit they didn't know something, so things just got pushed to one side and ignored, rather than say I don't know this I need to find it out... So we got into the suituatuion of a weekly progress meeting where everything was fine, and on schedule, no issues whatsoever, every week, right up until the deadline and they couldn't deliver.

Or, at least, it would have been if we hadn't been monitoring it closely. The people doing the planning, monitoring and reviewing the output from the oceans of devs were confident that they could have delivered the work themselves, to a much higher standard, in a shorter timeframe, but it was 'cheaper' somehow to not have them do that.

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I had the exact same situation. I lost my team to an economy drive by a newly installed MD 'making his mark'. He disappeared within 18 months to another company - no doubt spreading his magic touch to those poor souls.

The only saving grace for the remaining management that helped implemented thisfiasco, was that they recognised their folly after 2 years of disastrous service levels and brought support back home to Blighty.

Might have saved a few quid, but did nothing for our reputation, or our customers. Or my poor colleagues that lost their job.

During the transition to the outsourcing company (a long and protracted, painful affair) we interviewed each of the workers. It became blindingly obvious within 10 minutes (including pre-amble waffle time) that apart from a single solid candidate, they didn't really have any useful knowledge or experience. The majority of qualifications they held were dished out in-house.

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Anonymous Coward

Not that it's any consolation,

...but my little corner of the Construction Industry (draughting/CAD) has gone the same way. The comments above are typical of my experience.

When I started in the mid-90s, the thinking was that there weren't going to be any more engineers, just software operators like me. And then later like me, but a lot cheaper. A lot of work evaporated for a time. Then the sheer lack of quality began to be apparent. Everyone else had to absorb the cost of cutting corners on the design info.

These days I can compete with these offshore warehouses not just on price (which is possible when you are way, way more efficient than they are,ETISSM) but mostly by not being a jobsworth and not needing to be spoon fed. Not ignoring problems, being responsive, etc..... "adding value" I think they call it. Something the offshorers would struggle to do (one advantage is they 'work through the night' relative to the UK. But then they're not around during the day) and would doubtless charge extra for. As more people experience the negative effects of the 'bottom-line' mentality, the easier it will be to sell them an alternative. I'm hoping.

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Bronze badge

Socio**istics

Or something

My kingdom extends around the globe. I have people in far east somewhere, central Europe somewhere and south of USA as well as a few UK people.

No one team is good at everything; the deal is to recognize what they are good at, through their linguistic skills, their intellectual approach, and their customer empathy and so on. I get them to visit and stay at each location so they get to know their colleagues in different parts of the world so they can rely on each other.

It works fantastically well, which is why I can spend time on here.

Its all about recognizing people as individuals and working hard to give them stretch goals*

The awkward buggers - the Brits - which I inherited through a company take over are by far and away the worst to manage and get running as part of the global team. But I do recognize I need a few so when the shit hits the fan and some non-normal activity is required they will get cracking

But I do wish I could put them in a cage between times.

And no, no of this deployment has anything to do with wages or knowledge - they all have over the local median in both.

*Some twat will down vote that comment. Do fuck off.

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Re: Socio**istics

I would imagine the shit hits the fan a lot. Otherwise you wouldn't need the Pain of the Brits, moaning about their 'above local median' pay, knowing full well that their jobs would be gone in a flash if you could work out how to get it done by all your low grade monkeys . You value them as individuals, but want to see them in cages? Interesting.

Sounds like your Global Kingdom has a very fingers-crossed attitude to quality to me.

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Re: Socio**istics

Troll

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Re: Socio**istics

@CADMonkey - where in my post did you get any of that?

Your interpretation not mine, as usual some little boring git in a cubicle sees the world through the prism of their tiny tiny life.

There jobs would be gone in a flash - where does it imply that? Where does it say the non Brits are low grade monkeys - that is your view - mine is the oppposite.

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Re: Socio**istics

In your words, you "inherited"..."a few"...."awkward buggers" who are "the worst to manage" and yet you recognize their apparently crucial importance in being able to deploy skills and experience that are obviously unavailable in Mexico or wherever else life is cheap.

These Brits have possibly watched several of their colleagues vanish as a result of the takeover you mention, lost in the name of Offshoring. I bet they think the world of you.

FYI, I'm a Director. And my life isn't tiny tiny, it's just a looong way away...

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Re: Socio**istics

@Getriebe your "awkward buggers - the Brits" probably are awkward because you clearly appear to be a right berk to work for and your total lack of empathy for your UK counterparts makes them awkward. Much easier to get a good result if you use sugar rather than salt.

When off-shoring is forced on you and all your team is located in the same place you don't have a culture to take the best bits from - they are all the same but less rounded than the UK people. That's not 'having a go' at them but a fact that they aren't as experienced. When they are all equally as wet behind the ears it causes problems. When the shit hits the fan as a result the UK people get a bit miffed because it becomes their problem - one that if it had been done in the UK probably wouldn't have happened (annoyance number 1). You devalued them off-shoring their job (or thats the perception they have thus annoyance number 2) but you want them to sort out the mess by your own cost cutting (annoyance number 3). Oh, and you don't want to pay them any extra. (annoyance number 4)

I understand that off-shoring can make commercial sense when done correctly - but if it affects the general morale this will eventually lead to poor customer satisfaction - which will make your business ultimately less profitable. Its not a magic wand that you can export your whole business - it should be used in balanced moderation.

You should also consider if doing this is actually best for the UK economy. Given the lower tax earning thsese days, higher unemployment - sometimes its better to see the bigger picture - if every business had kept a few more jobs in the UK the bigger impact my actually help us all. Mind you, you don't sound like that kind of guy.

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Re: Socio**istics

"In your words, you "inherited"..."a few"...."awkward buggers" who are "the worst to manage" and yet you recognize their apparently crucial importance in being able to deploy skills and experience that are obviously unavailable in Mexico or wherever else life is cheap.

These Brits have possibly watched several of their colleagues vanish as a result of the takeover you mention, lost in the name of Offshoring. I bet they think the world of you.

FYI, I'm a Director. And my life isn't tiny tiny, it's just a looong way away...

"

Again - your interpretation of what I said

I have a bunch of people in Mexico and they provide a level of customer care and desire to do a good job that escapes the Brits

The reason I did not answer until now was because I called a meeting to point out to the Brits a number of mistakes and run some customer complaints past them. Furthermore I then had to arbitrate at a meeting where the central Europeans had picked up an Oracle stats/histogram error as the Brit had not done what he was supposed to and the other shad picked up as the world turned.

The Brits have not seen anyone go, in fact as my company took over their failing company we have effectively kept their jobs and threatened the central Europeans.

I am not feeling well disposed to the Brits, and no number of weak assumptions you make is going to change my direct and long experience.

In IT we have been part of a global business that is able to move from location to location easily and with little downside for a couple of decades. Brits have no exclusive right to any line of work. Why I entitled my post Socio** was to hint at the need to understand the cultural differences that need to be understood and used to advantage to understand the difference.

And for the other poster - despite what you think I have a queue of people within the company wanting to come and work for me. It’s fun and well paid. What more can I say?

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Re: Socio**istics

Blimey do you ever stop moaning? It's no wonder you're so unpopular.

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Anonymous Coward

Middle Ground

From what I've heard (no first-hand experience), it appears that the only successful offshoring businesses in India, in terms of delivering on quality and on time, are those that are managed on-site by one or more expats who are familiar with the local social and cultural conventions and, of course, with European / American way of doing business and ideas about what represents a quality product.

What about Poland or Ukraine though? Any experiences there?

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Re: Middle Ground

"What about Poland or Ukraine though? Any experiences there?"

Yes lots & Rep Slovakia and Hungary

In a sweeping statement - they, in my experience (see above), are the closest to an English zeitgeist.

Also as far as I am concerned when one visits - they party the hardest. Always important when choosing offices.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Middle Ground

Thank you. Well noted about the partying. :-)

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In other news, managers still stupid enough to believe what they lose in productivity they can make up for in volume.

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Anonymous Coward

Money going out of the country is bad enough, but you then have to pay higher taxes to fund the unemployment benefits for others.

Cost reduction seems to be a noble thing, staying efficient and all that. But given how this sort of off-shoring is more popular in the bigger global companies it creates so many problems.

Some big firms don't pay much corporation tax and by off-shoring they're not paying someone who pays NI and PAYE. Thus the welfare system doesn't get funded.

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Silver badge

Knowledge economy

It seems if you work in a sector that globalization has rendered outsource-able, you are doomed to accept low pay. Better to deliver services locally. Cutting hair, plumbing, teaching, selling cars, renting houses, all these are beyond the touch of globalization. Grass always greener I suppose.

As the AC draughtsman pointed out, the answer may be to add value.

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Anonymous Coward

The funny thing is that I see people coming to my country to get jobs here that were off shored from their own home countries. Yes, dev positions.

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Joke

At least barge Poles are allowed to touch Windows systems ...

BTW, barge in French means crazy, which adds another dimension ... ;-)

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