Jain Temple

Hot Spots

India Links
Call Home


Art & Culture
Book Shelf



About Us

Contact Us
About Us

Article by Mohan Babu


IT job opportunities knock Indian doors through outsourcing

Along with an impact on business models and the economy, a shift to an outsourcing model will have real implications on the IT industry. Instead of the migration of Indian professionals in droves to foreign shores, we will see a reverse-movement of opportunities from foreign markets to India, says MOHAN BABU

The IT industry is currently going through a transitory phase, where companies are slowly consolidating their positions and are trying to differentiate themselves by constantly upgrading their product lines. I was trying to analyse the path in which a typical Indian IT professional’s career trajectory is headed. The rates at which different technologies have been emerging still do not cease to amaze me. Professionals and consultants in the industry are expected to keep pace with the changing scenario or they would lag behind. Along with the change in technologies, IT professionals in India and abroad are grappling with a “strategic inflexion point”—the outburst of industrial-grade outsourcing projects.

A few previous columns of mine talked about outsourcing of software, services and business processes and how it is a win-win business model both for Indians, who get to do some high-end work, and for the outsourcers who benefit from the low costs. The outsourcing model fascinates me, and actually has attracted the attention of a number of entrepreneurs and professionals. In the truest sense of globalisation, outsourcing moves work to locations where it can be done cheaper, and in a more efficient manner.

Having worked in the IT industry for nearly eight years, and experiencing the work culture in India, UK and the US, I think the industry is undergoing a major transformation. There is little doubt that outsourcing of IT systems is leading to a shift in management thinking. Along with an impact on business models and the economy, a shift to an outsourcing model will have real implications for Indian IT professionals. For once, instead of the migration of Indian professionals in droves to foreign shores, we will see a reverse-movement of opportunities from foreign markets to India.

I consider myself fortunate to be in a vantage point to observe the happenings in the industry both in India and the US. One of the ways by which I keep myself updated on the happenings in the Industry in India is via regular mails from readers of this column. The mails stimulate me and prompt me to explore ideas that I might otherwise not have thought of.

I was corresponding with a reader in India who has experience of about two years in the IT industry. He works for a large Indian software powerhouse (name and location withheld). He wrote to me asking about opportunities in the US, and sounded desperate to “get a break and fly to the US” just like his cousins did three years ago. He wanted me to try and land him a job here. “Any job, anywhere in the US”, he wrote. Firstly, even if I wanted, I could not provide a job to anyone because I do not run a

headhunting consultancy. Although I could empathize with him, I find it hard to explain to such enthusiastic youngsters that times have changed and a lot has happened between the time his cousin flew to the US (three years ago) and now. The Y2K mania passed us by. The global economy has started slipping into a downturn. And of course, the incidents of September 11th have lead to a tightening of American immigration laws. Along with all this, there is also a gradual shift in the job market place taking place. The tide has changed: instead of Indian professionals flying out, jobs are flying in (or rather being transmitted in through high-speed connections). The net result is still the same, Indians (or Indian companies) are getting high paying technical jobs. They are working on cool technologies and systems right at home without leaving for the Silicon Valley or Singapore.

Young professionals who bet their focus of education and career on going abroad to make a “quick buck” are fast finding it hard to fathom the change in the market. Some of them perhaps invested a good part of their parents’ savings to attend courses at technical/computer academies and are finding that it will be difficult to immediately recoup the investment. The reality is that a good percentage of Indian IT professionals will still be able to earn “big bucks” in Indian rupees. However, they will not be earning forty, fifty or sixty thousand dollars (pounds or yen). While those trying to ape their cousins may find the going tough, others who think outside the box and are willing to pursue a career with globalised Indian companies will find opportunities knocking.

The bottom-line: there are still IT jobs and programmers who can code, and analysts who can design and direct systems are still going to be needed. Most reports in the trade press suggest that the demand for skilled professionals is on the rise. IT outsourcing companies that set up two thousand or five thousand seat facilities will need to staff them with as many professionals. Instead of working for I2, GE, Microsoft, Sun or IBM in Santa Clara, Redmond or Poughkeepsie, Indian professionals may well be working in Chennai, Bangalore or Gurgaon. Who said we don’t live in a dynamic world?




About the Author

  • A Bio and profile of the author, Mohan Babu, can be found at his homepage
  • Mohan has authored a book on Offshoring and Outsourcing (Publisher McGraw Hill, India), a link to which can be found here
  • Mohan has also authored an Online book on "Life in the US," available for free download.
  • Sponsored Advert

    Advert: Visitor's Travel Insurance

    Click for free online Quotes


    For FAQ, Trivia and Information on Life in America, visit the Ask-A-Desi section

    ©Mohan Babu: All Rights Reserved 2005

    Mohan Babu is an international consultant trying to find the ‘sweet spot’ where IT meets business. E-mail: mohan He is also the author of a recent book on "Offshoring IT Services"

    All rights are reserved. Mohan Babu ("Author") hereby grants permission to use, copy and distribute this document for any NON-PROFIT purpose, provided that the article is used in its complete, UNMODIFIED form including both the above Copyright notice and this permission notice. Reproducing this article by any means, including (but not limited to) printing, copying existing prints, or publishing by electronic or other means, implies full agreement to the above non-profit-use clause. Exceptions to the above, such as including the article in a compendium to be sold for profit, are permitted only by EXPLICIT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT of Mohan Babu. 

    Disclaimer: This document represents the personal opinions of the Author, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Author's employer, nor anyone other than the Author. This Article was originally published in Express Computers


    GaramChai® 1999-2005