Are you adding value to your company? Or are you just outsourcing jobs to India?
<![CDATA[I am writing this blog post in India where we are doing a project for one of India’s largest companies. This project is designed to help a large call center (18,000 people) move from just executing scripts to finding ways to add more value for its customers. The underlying driver is management’s belief that the lower-level, low-cost work that had been the basis for their growth is going to be replaced by automation and even lower cost providers. Thinking ahead, management is looking for ways to move from just answering phones to adding some real value, like reading x-rays and helping with approval for loans and similar functions. I have some ambivalence about this work. I wonder if I am being disloyal to my country by helping an Indian company, since this work is very likely to result in jobs currently performed in the U.S. moving to India. On the other hand, as a capitalist, CEO and owner of a company, I have a fiduciary responsibility to my company (Cerebyte) to pursue good business wherever it is. India is the hub of much of the current political debate about outsourcing jobs and trade treaties. Where should my loyalties lie to my country or to capitalism? There’s clearly a conflict—I can’t do both. I came down on the side of capitalism for several reasons, including:
- – This is an excellent, high revenue opportunity that will enable us to be part of a global company. I simply could not, in good conscious, reject the business.
- – U.S. companies have access to our capabilities too and could be moving up the value chain just like the Indian company. However, few are really making these efforts. I can’t be responsible for weak decision-making in the U.S. that puts American companies in a relatively poor position.
- – In spite of some politicians making promises to somehow roll-back globalization (which can’t be done), the internet, easy and relatively inexpensive air travel and the spread of English as the language of international business, it’s clear that globalization is inevitable and ultimately a good thing.