Friday, August 26, 2005

China takes a chip off India mode

Mention software outsourcing and one thinks of Bangalore which has more than 150,000 software engineers. India's Silicon Valley and other well regarded technology hotspots around the country are at the cutting edge because of a highly skilled pool of computer science professionals who have a good command of English. They have made outsourcing software development a viable option for multinationals and overseas businesses.
This was not always the case, but by proving its critics wrong India has made it easy for China to follow suit, says John Cestar, co-founder and co-CEO of Freeborders, which develops outsourced software links on the mainland.
"India is our best ally in this - when India started no one thought it would work," he says. "But now India has already broken through so none of our clients ask themselves should we outsource. The question is rather where we should go and with whom. Because India can do that, you don't have to spend time convincing people that can be done."
While the firm's headquarters are in San Francisco, Freeborders employs just under 500 staff at its facilities in Shenzhen, developing custom software for the financial services, retail, and high-tech/software industries. With a further 120 business experts and analysts based in the US and Europe, the company develops software in China and delivers to a US-based, mostly Fortune 500 clientele.
"The trick to this business is being on both sides of the world. You can't just have a tech team in Shenzhen," notes Cestar.

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