Friday, December 02, 2005

Off-shoring / Outsourcing: Living under India’s Shadow

The newest entrant in the world of off-shore / outsource providers is Dubai, a United Arab Emirates city state. Using the unusual pitch: “India is a tough place to live.” Dubai is pursuing companies to off-shore / outsource work to the region. Kick-starting an operation for landing a slice of the outsourcing pie, it is determined to grab some of the work being off-shored / outsourced to low labour cost countries, mainly India and China. A David facing battle with two Goliaths, the city state is hesitant to compete in a head to head tussle with the two off-shore / outsourcing giants. But, it is subtly positioning itself as the headquarters of senior or more qualified employees who do not wish to live in Mumbai or Bangalore.

Ironically, it is a plan that has managed to appeal to at least one Indian firm. Dubai Outsource Zone (DOZ), the government agency responsible for the free trade zone project, only recently signed a MOU with a large Indian off-shoring / outsourcing company to bring work to DubaiCity.

Employees of the Indian off-shoring / outsourcing firm with a couple of years work time in the company will be qualified for the move to Dubai. Dangling the carrot of a work transfer is bound to scale down employee attrition rates, a major problem faced by Indian off-shoring / outsourcing companies. It, also, ensures continued company loyalty, as quitting the job will result in the loss of their job permit, end result - deportation.

DubaiCity may be 30% more expensive, but it is possible to get more productivity from the employees, and there will be few who will refuse a transfer to the city state. With potential to become a centre for services e.g. tele-medicine, Western doctors will be able to pass on work to doctors in low labour cost countries.

The article sponsored by A-1 Technology Inc, dealing in offshore outsourcing and offshore software development