Wednesday, August 10, 2005

MBAs head to India

The NY Times reports that India has become a hot destination for MBA interns from top schools in the US. Widespread use of English means the students can function well at Indian companies such as Infosys or Wipro. It should be obvious from the article that Indian companies are gearing up to apply formidable local brainpower to outsourceable jobs well beyond call centers and software development. The next frontier is business services such as accounting and investment banking research.

Among the Infosys interns is Caton Burwell, 28, from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. "India has come to symbolize globalization and I wanted to participate in the workings of the global economy," he said. "Besides, it would look great on my résumé."

Mr. Burwell said that, since arriving in India, he had developed a better grasp of the workings of the global economy and the logic behind the choices companies and countries make. "Being here is a powerful experience; it is impossible not to think differently," he said.

Also, his attitude toward outsourcing has changed since meeting Indian employees, who he said work very hard and care a great deal about the quality of their work. "To come here, meet these people, and to return home and turn your back on outsourcing is hard," he said.

Jeffrey Anders, 29, from the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T., is similarly stirred. Mr. Anders is halfway through his internship at the business process outsourcing division of Hewlett-Packard India in Bangalore.

"I can't help but feel that I am witnessing the creation of a new global economic order, a new reality that most people back home don't realize is coming," said Mr. Anders.

After a meeting with the recruiting head of Hewlett-Packard India's back-office unit at a conference at M.I.T., Mr. Anders came to India to help build a group of Indian economists and statisticians to perform complex analytics and predictive modeling for Western multinationals. "These highly educated and qualified people are not stopping at call centers and back-office work," he said. "They are getting ready to compete for every job."


Anonymous said...

There is too much hoopla about outsourcing of white collar jobs...

My friend worked for big New York firm, that has/d an office in India for many years as an early outsourcing...
My friend's experience with outsourced quality, work performance, etc was highly negative -- the cultural difference and time difference is too important for a financial institution to allow for outsourcing.

Software development (although several other examples point to poor execution here as well) which do not require immediate interaction may work out...

About MBA's going there. Well it is much easier to become a millionaire in Russia than in the USA. But it is also much easier to get killed in Russia than in the USA. MBA going to India is buying a call option...

Steve Hsu said...

re: white collar outsourcing.

I would say give it some time. I see no reason why accounting and I-banking analytics won't eventually be done in India. The road may be rocky, but that's why the people doing it now are real entrepreneurs.

Do you really think they can't find people (at a fraction of the cost) who are as capable as some fresh ivy grad at preparing powerpoints or some spreadsheets? That's like saying that they'll never find workers in Korea who can weld car doors as well as workers in Detroit.

Also, don't underestimate how good teleconferencing and collaboration technologies will be in 5 years.

Anonymous said...

1. Time difference (people have to sleep at night in India, no? :)
People will demand higher compensation for this depravity.

2.Presence right now, within an arm reach, so you can shout in his face "Fucking idiot, give me the quote!" -- do you see teleconferencing developing to that level? Maybe in 20 years, but then the living standards in the rest of the world will be at par with US, so salaries will catch up much quicker.

I think you overestimate the present level of technology -- I had several webcasts and they all sucked in quality (forget India, it was Europe!)

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shelly Tivari said...

Thanks for sharing this like interesting news among us.. i have also share it on my social account for more viewers.. thanks

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