Monday, October 10, 2005

Second Wave of Outsourcing

"Where do you work?" is the one question to which Kyan
Bharucha has no easy answers. The 28-year-old is
physically present at an office in Churchgate, his mind is
thousands of miles away — overseeing a job fair in North
Carolina, chasing an electrician in Kansas; ensuring that a
trash truck arrives punctually at a soon-to-be-opened
store in Manhattan.

Bharucha works for Steve and Barry’s University
Sportswear and is part of a Mumbai-based team that
sets up new retail outlets on the other side of the globe.

He and his local colleagues may never see the actual
space that they are transforming into a cheery clothes
shop, but they are responsible for every little detail —
from architecture and visual merchandising to recruiting
shop managers. "We set up about 70 stores a year, and
in a sense make miracles happen from India,"says
Bharucha who, as head of the Projects Team, has to
ensure that every wastebin, lightbulb and sweatshirt is in
place for the grand opening of each new store.
"We constantly have to use our brains. The most
frustrating part is convincing people that I don’t work
in a call centre."

Indeed, Bharucha is one of a growing number of
Indians who are riding 'the second wave of outsourcing'.
The first breaker hit Indian shores about five years ago
and brought with it an estimated 348,000 jobs with call
centres and back-office outfits — not to mention flotsam
like India-bashing websites and digs about 'techno-coolies'.
This time round, however, the advertisements in newspapers
and on require more than mere Shalini-turned-
Sallys to answer the phone with a faux-Philadephia accent.

Link to article from the Times of India

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