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Outsourcing: Health problems may cost India $200 Bn in lost productivity!

Globalization downsides are beginning to show. The strong dynamic workforce is beginning to show signs of fatigue, heart problems, family discord and other issues. India is a country full of talent, but if these young men and women work and don't play, then India (or any other country for that matter be it China, Malaysia etc) is bound to lose its competitive edge.

A very tricky situation, as they can't lower these wages. There are obviously other options: "Move the monster to the other hemisphere". They did create a monster when they offered cheap labor. Now they are moving out and opening sites across world to do the smarter outsourcing or better said, Sourcing 2.0.

What should Sourcing 2.0 take into account?

  • Swarming: Use workforce across the globe to do things faster, easier and cheape. A fully laid out "Global Delivery Model" across the globe must help you get out of the "dumb jobs"
  • Innovate: You cannot be at the receivers at for long. Some cheaper nation might take that job from you. Countries like Philippines, Malaysia etc are already competing. And besides one innovation from the west and all the "non-automatized" jobs will soon be usurped in the automation stream.
  • Evolve: You business model has to evolve, you haven't reached there yet. You competive advantage can turn agianst you in no time. Think of this example: Should AI take over the translation stuff and should Virtualization make things so easy that firms start relying on an efficient "self-service" and "self healing", why would they need a "Ramu aka Jason" across the globe. Watch out in the future for firms like Apple, they will bring back the innovation in America. Apple for instance has already asked patents for services and is tying up with StarBucks to do an automated "order pop corn" via wireless. Who says that it won't come to your cricket games?
  • Partner and C0-innovate: Same as swarming, here executives to employees should keep making friends and co-innovating.
  • Hire Versatilists (mini-CSOs, evangelists etc): You need publicity and you need people for that. In this fast moving world, you need smarter folks who can seamlessly move across planes. Versatilists are a great assets, they can learn skills faster than you can imagine. Hire them not only for what they do but also for what they can do!
  • Do the "walkabout": Go around and internalize. Talk to your people. Get their ideas and please treat these people well. These are smart people who are running your company!
So lot of work to do, a mere acquisition will not help ;-)

They are, however, facing sleep disorders, heart disease, depression and family discord, according to doctors and several industry surveys. Experts warn the brewing crisis could undermine the success of India's hugely profitable outsourcing industry.

Heart diseases, strokes and diabetes cost India an estimated $9 billion in lost productivity in 2005. But the losses could grow to a staggering $200 billion over the next 10 years if corrective action is not taken quickly, said a study by New Delhi-based Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations.

The outsourcing industry would be hardest hit, it warned. Reliable estimates on the number of people affected are hard to come by, but government officials and experts agree that it is a growing problem. Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss wants to enforce a special health policy for employees in the information technology industry.

"After working, they party for the rest of the time ... (They) have bad diet, excessive smoking and drinking," he said at a public meeting last month. "We don't want these young people to burn out."

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