BCS interview with Mindtree co-founder

1 minute read

Here’s a cool interview with Anjan Lahiri, one of the co-founders of Mindtree:

http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=ConWebDoc.19390

I particularly liked his response regarding the wisdom of offshoring/outsourcing:

The question is ‘should enterprises look for the most efficient ways of producing and delivering their goods and services’, not ‘is offshoring or outsourcing a good thing?’

The issue is very simple. For example, you need to develop the congestion charge software. Either you can tax your people 10 per cent extra, and get it done right here, or you can get it done in the most efficient way. The question is who is paying for that? If your job is to reduce the cost of producing the services that you deliver, then it’s clear what you need to do. If you stack the amount of offshoring done by various countries against their GDP growth rates, you’ll see a pattern there.

I was recently at a conference and the person speaking was saying how they’d been offshoring and that when 9/11 happened they didn’t miss a beat and their entire operations moved to the UK, within minutes. This person then said that today their disaster recovery site is in Bangalore.

Another speaker said that offshoring was really bad - it destroys industry, destroys society and then he was talking about how he’d improved the process, whereby he didn’t need 35 people anymore, just 14, hence he didn’t need to offshore. My question is, why did he do it with 14 people - what happened to the jobs of the rest of his original company? If his job is to protect jobs then he shouldn’t have improved the process.

People’s lives will only improve by improving productivity. So you need to invest in improving productivity. I don’t think offshoring is a social issue at all, but is a business issue.

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