July 13, 2004
India on My Mind
Posted by Gordon Smith

Just a few months ago, it was hard to buy a business magazine without reading something apocalyptic about outsourcing to India. In tomorrow's NYT, Saritha Rai reports that all of the furor had little or no effect on business for Indian companies, with Infosys reporting a 39.2% increase in quarterly profit. Still, the story contained this sobering tidbit:

Though the furor in the United States has died down some, the National Foundation for American Policy, a research group, says more than 100 bills are pending in 38 states to curb the use of offshore contractors by state and local governments, and legislation has been passed in 5 states and vetoed in 2.

This story comes as I am writing a report on my India experience for CIBER. At that time of that visit, anti-outsourcing sentiment was peaking in the U.S. Our group visited a GE call center in Delhi, and I was very impressed by the professionalism of the employees. In addition, the importance of this sort of activity for the development of an Indian middle class was obvious. Moreover, the broadening of the Indian middle class would lead to a more stable democracy and a more fruitful trading partner for the U.S. This seems like a big win for both sides, and not just in the long run.

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