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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Outrageous and Heights of Insecurity



Now tell me how are you all gonna respond to this! I don't really know whether they are talking about India outsourcing work to other countries? Or they are saying by taking too much work outsourced by other countries we are not focussing on work back here? That sounds illogical. Because anyway they don't work. Someone who is aware of the financial sector please clarify!




The Little Clarification I got from my wife who works in the Insurance sector and specifically deals with the financial and capital market for the Little Shop is this:

1) Internal outsourcing. Example: Citibank outsourcing the maintenance, tracking and collection of Credit Card related issues to local Call Centres

2) Mobile companies outsourcing stuff to Call Centres. Am sure all of us would at some point have received phone from our own respective network where they offer you another airtel/aircel/hutch connection. Stupid. They aren't from the Network Operators, but their little stupid call centres that are tucked in all over chennai. I have visited some of them. It's pathetic how they look. They look like a dunghole of some printing press' cutting section.

3) Companies in the insurance sector outsourcing maintenance etc of bonds debentures etc for backoffice work. Actually there is a mega company in Chennai called CAMS whose main work is handling backoffice work for most of the stock/insurance such like companies. You can imagine the amount of backoffice work required these days and you can imagine how much of outsourcing is required because no company can finish these chores even if they worked dutifully their full 9 hours at 6 days a week and some overtime. Work has got cluttered and unnecessarily complicated in the name of division of labour and creation of employment so much. It is pretty interesting how we are fighting internal outsourcing even while there is such a brouhaha about India as the prime destination of Outsourcing for US and Europe and Australia. India as the key competitor with an English-speaking edge over China etc. Imagine why the foreigners from the respective countries are right about grumbling about some little twerp Indian attending their queries posing as Jill or Bill!

20 comments:

Srini said...

Dear (sir) KK,

As regards the previous post, yes I was mistaken... lol. Maybe because he wanted to thrill, what he writes is not meant to be understood either! Just kidding!

Abt this post, I think we have discussed this... as passionately as passion can be. Indeed why oppose internal outsourcing - or should it be in-sourcing or whatver it should be called - when Outsourcing - with an uppercase O from your own post - itself is a bane. Quoting from one of your ealier posts - think you were referring to your brother, then - Murugan becomes Mark - and in this post let's assume Bill is Babu and Jill is some Jeyalakshmi or whoever - and the very identity is lost. Well... at an abstract level, Shakespearean almost, we can discard names, but then aren't they the very founts of our identity? Sorry for the digression: I understand that there is a dichotomy - you oppose outsourcing inside - is that it? - while you invite people from the west to invest big-time?
But then there is a point, perhaps. I am as disqualified when it comes to this sector as you, if not more - my sister is over-qualified (lol) - but then it is clear to understand that the Outsourcing industry (upper case, I insist) is one where there's perhaps lot more money. I mean lot more for us, that's lot less for whoever is paying from UK or across the Atlantic or wherever! Anyone who knows the value of Indian rupee against those of the Western currency would be able to see a design? Anyway who cares sir KK? Once again quoting from one of your posts, this "somehow.... job" mentality must go. Yet the people alone can't be blamed always can they? I antagonise outsourcing - well you may diplomatically still - but if there's a famished or nigh-compromised family at home and five bowels to fill what happens? We are still not a Utopian country where four out of six work.
Something has to give, sir KK, as they say in criket. Returned from a vacation to a place I generally hate - Goa! Took the JNU entrance for Linguistics. Let's see how the rest of the summer unfolds! Oh yeah... all the best for the summer... in all different ways!

Krishna Kumar said...

Hi Srini

couldn't agree with you more actually. are you also giving ciefl a shot?

Srini said...

Sir KK,

I am. Entrance on the twelfth of June. But they have got a daft procedure of using the same entrance test as yardstick for Linguistics, ELT and Literature! Zounds! Doesn't that sound crazy?

Abhinav said...

hey... you ask a question and then answer it yourself! lol
but just to add a bit of perspective, i personally dont think there's any point in being anti-outsourcing. imagine a big MNC comes to india and offers a service at a very very low rate, since we're in a cost-war economy... how can an Indian company offer a competitive price? The margins have to come from somewhere. So you outsource.

Krishna Kumar said...

Abhinav

as a consumer i accept your viewpoint. but when you're on the foodchain you are naturally worried and insecure because it's your work that gets outsourced. believe me, i worked with hcl for 4 and half years or so... and between 95 and 2002 i worked in 3 companies and moved from company to another when work ran out. i mean, i was getting paid sitting literally doing nothing but checking emails and browsing and doing what they call Z projects (internal and of no value except muscle flexing net practice). It is scary to be at work and doing nothing because there's nothing to do. Also, your self-esteem starting pricking you because you receive pay for doing nothing. The scariest thought would be a work place with no work. Or reduced work load not enough to occupy you, i can sort of understand. when this country has enough ppl, why can't the companies recruit more people and implode the work than outsource to other inner-national companies?

Abhinav said...

i know exactly what you mean.. i dont really want to elaborate on public space, but yes, its an absolutely horrible feeling... you feel consumed with guilt, when you have no work at work, and few people understand how depressing it can be.

Srini said...

Dear (sir) KK,

Posted just now on what is quite a passionate and a volatile topic... esp high volt stuff in the months between March and August. You must have guessed it. Do let know your views when time permits, not necessarily about the post but the issue behind it.

Abhinav said...

hey kk, just wanted to apologise for the concerted attack i made on you on my blog... i went a bit overboard.
if u havent seen it already, dont bother going! i deleted it.

Krishna Kumar said...

Don't bother? It's important to me what the younger gen thinks about this nasty little warped man with 70s sentiments. And if there's one thing that makes me lost esteem and respect for people, it's when they unduly apologise. Those were your sentiments. You have a right to. I like open people... you're healthy! Feel free to criticise me anytime.

Krishna Kumar said...

Srini... am on my way bloke!

Srini said...

Dear (sir) KK,

Couldn't agree with you more on all your comments at Abhinav's blog, particularly the third one (your last). Where you say people must stop competing with each other! Though half your age, I advocate the same thing almost and back it to the hilt. You do what you do for you love it, not because that's where the race is good, the adrenaline's pumping and as you say comeuppance and oneupmanship are there. But then who cares? In terms of the word 'passion' - almost read negatively these days in terms of passionate people being fiascos - there's a huge void filled by a noxious vying, whose breath is taking individuality away.
And... I was touched to know the background from which you have come to scale such heights. Hats off! Today, though, what is particularly absent - using your own metaphor - is that even if we have tons of milk (in stead of just half a glass) none wants to share it. The penchant to splice things has been lost; only slices remain.

Anand Ramamoorthy said...

Dear KK,
your photo looks good...although quite different from the KK I conjured up with my imagination..lol

recently a colleague gave me a copy of one night@ the call centre...not a great literary work but certainly a dark and interesting take on the people who work in call centers and what they face...

SARVAM SRIKRISHNAARPANAMASTHU!

Abhinav said...

srini,
i agree with you - kk's a man who does what he loves. congrats on that kk.. hope i get there someday :)

anand,
you're very right - its not a great literary work, but its very interesting, and most importantly, its honest. so many indians are churning out pretentious crap, that its nice to read honest crap for once :)

i'm using :) a lot more than i would like... sigh..

Srini said...

Abhinav,

I guess so, too and though never known him personally, nor ever might, good to just get to glimpse at such people! When you are down, you just set eyes on people like these and inspire yourself. Talk about inspiration, I do not know if you have time and penchant for music! The song I am referring to is not a very popular number from a silly film - Kitcha Vayasu 18. There's song called "Silaneram Silapozhuthu sodhanai varumpozhuth..." Everytime I hear it there are great souls that come to mind!

Krishna Kumar said...

Abhinav

thanks... you got me shy there for once and wordless... i, for a change, am not one who gushes when someone compliments me, coz i embrace life in toto. but you sure got me surprised there. i tell you... i just don't do what i love... but also face its reality blunt and honest and embrace it, hence i enjoy the agony and ecstasy equally. in fact the agony of the lack of material success has become kind of masochistic for me, i think sometimes if i had material success like other theatre groups have, i would start making passionate and meaningful art. thanks dude and btw am sure you're doing what you like... being journo! but sure, when i open my school of drama, poetry and theatre criticism, you'll be on my scroll of prospective faculty!

Krishna Kumar said...

Dear Anand...

I bought a copy of it... there are some books I may not like - some people - but I still would want to own the copy as much as I want to know them or befriend them or be with them. Chetan Bhagat is one writer in that mould. I don't like his kitschy style... but I agree with his feelings. I don't agree with his theses in both books, but he is downright honest and on face value, you're right. I mean, IIT is only a drainpipe to take talents away to US or other western materialistic outlets in return for which we get some dollars thrown in the bargain. Poor returns, money is! And yes, at what emotional cost are we perpetrating the Call Centre culture. Both on target.

Krishna Kumar said...

Srini...

songs i like that give me strength when I hear... Mogathai Kondruvidu by Maharajapuram Santhanam, Theerthakarayinile by SPB (from Varumaiyin Niram Sigappu) (as well as Nalladhor Veenai from the same film same SPB) and Shantinilava... all from Bharathi. Eternal. Been addicted to them for almost a decade now! And there is one great number that Unni sung and got a national award. Very unknown but superbly peace-bringing..."Uyirum Neeye Udalum Neeye, Unarvum Neeye... Thaaye!" from an old Ajith movie called Pavithra. Great song. I keep hearing it quite often and each time I come across it, it leaves me breathless and positive!

Krishna Kumar said...

Abhinav, Srini & Anand

you all must read Crichton's STATE OF FEAR. Need not agree with it, but very good argument.

Srini said...

Dear (sir) KK,

Have heard the song and regard it a good one, too. By the way Crichton's book? How timely! Anand, Manasi and I were discussing Crichton in M's blog couple of days back.

Anand Ramamoorthy said...

Dear KK,
I did read Crichton's novel a year ago...found it somewhat superficial both in terms on characterisation (the scientist is hardly interesting compared to Ian Malcolm of Jurassic park or Andre Marek of Timeline) and presentation of ideas...but as you say,nice argument though

I think his best novel is Sphere, followed by the dino books and Timeline

KK, you refer to the brain drain in your comment, but how about guys being forced out of the country due to lack of opportunities...or how about guys who genuinely wish to learn or do research (specifically from my persepctive)? I am sure you object only to the guys who use the IIT's as a route to Silicon Valley or some such destination...not to Ramanujams and Khorana's who need to showcase their gifts to the world.
KK, G.N.Ramachandran, the discoverer of the triple helical structure of collagen didn't even get published in nature for some time...despite being bang on with his work...he didn't get the Nobel prize despite having done so much for protein structure studies...that of course reflects on the highly political nature of the Nobel prize itself..but think about it...how many Indian students know of him? Indians recognise someone only after the west has recognised him or her. SO our young Ramanujams may feel the need to go to greener pastures, not for money, but for timely recognition and self-expression after all!
I know you like frank comments and those are the only kind I like to make...let's see your take on this!

Best Wishes

SARVAM SRIKRISHNAARPANAMASTHU!