Archive for the 'Offshoring' Category

Outsourcing, Offshoring and The Many Artificial Niches…

We have seen it, we swear by it, we live in it, we live by it, we are “Bangalored”…and do we love it?

The other day, as I was thinking about what it does to an economy when parts of an ecosystem are by-passed and other parts given a fillip, due to possible economic advantage. Now, in the past this used to be mostly industry specific economic advantage. However, thanks to the information age – what we all see around us is that parts of the ecosystem are spread across varied Geographic regions.

Let us take for example, the life of an application engineer in a semiconductor company in India (I’m not picking the most obvious example of a BPO employee here, because it is not a contained problem, if you were led to think so by the repeated use of that one example). India is not a large potential market for electronics design compared to its more fertile APAC counterparts – like China, Korea etc. – the application designer has no visibility on or access to the end customer or an expert network ecosystem that he can rely on to gain wider exposure or increase his knowledge levels, leave alone attempt to create career path. This forces lateral shifts from company to company and lack of a well-rounded employee creation or a disgruntled radical shift into the management world.

Geographical re-location of parts of an industry in different countries, to create cost effectivness or 24×7 operation capability, creates niche industries and alien worlds not aligned to the economy of the receiving country and creates discord in the lives and careers of the work force employed in these industries/roles. Are there any possibilities that we develop the missing pieces of the ecosystem within the country or is this a sustainable trend of creating artificial niches of excellence? Is it really sustainable for innovation and product development?

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