Thursday, November 25, 2004

Go East, Young Man

Ultimately, offshoring is about cost-of-living arbitrage. Because it costs less to live in India, employees there are willing to accept lower salaries. No law states that those employees have to be Indian!

At least one enterprising fellow, Prashant Sahni of Tecnovate, is taking advantage of this oft-overlooked fact. He hires young Europeans to work in his call centers on Indian salaries, and they couldn't be happier.

For these young adventurers, they get to work in an exotic land and live well, even if their paychecks would be poverty-level in their home countries. Sahni recognizes that the value he provides his employees is beyond monetary. He provides free housing, money for furnishing their apartments, subsidized meals, and time to travel and explore the country.

It's a win-win situation for everyone. And while this story is limited to a few Western tourists, the death of distance means that in the future, more and more people will follow this same path. People in Silicon Valley get paid 6-figure salaries, yet can't afford to buy a house. You don't think some of them would be willing to telecommute from a lower cost area where they could afford a 9-room mansion?

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