Managing India’s Growing IT Presence

Gateway to India. Taken by me.

Gateway to India. Taken by me.

For the past two weeks I have been in Mumbai, India (Bombay) working on an IT security project. The trend of U.S based companies doing business in India is an ever growing phenomena, but comes with its own set of logistical and technology issues that must be carefully balanced with monetary savings.

Here are some of the positives and negatives from my perspective:

1. India has a growing market full of talented, educated, and hard working IT professionals begging to work for U.S. based companies.
2. Working with India is cost effective.
3. English is widely spoken across India.
4. Outsourcing to India is a great way to ensure 24 hour availability.
5. India is a gateway to Asian markets.

1. Working with and traveling to India is a challenging culturally and logistically. (48 hours of travel in 2 weeks!)
2. It is more difficult to ensure quality or enforce U.S. standards and laws.
3. Ensuring security and privacy standards is difficult.
4. While English is widely spoken, communication can still be a problem.
5. Many customers prefer to work with U.S. based support staff.
6. Staff turnover is high in the Indian consulting market.
7. Infrastructure is poor and less reliable in India.

Does anyone have experience working with Indian based companies? How do you manage remote projects/teams? Was your project successful?

You can check out all the photos from my trip here.

4 thoughts on “Managing India’s Growing IT Presence

  • One company I’ve worked with has many contractors from India, not only onsite but also in India. Turnover is high, and getting unqualified or not very qualified people occurs more than you’d think.

    Sometimes, when you get people trained in, they leave shortly thereafter to get a better paying job with the skills you just provided them.

    Others are very good.

    One place I contracted, when I first started, I asked another contractor what was the hardest part of working at that company, which was a multi-national company. He said “All the accents.” And he had a heavy Indian accent.

    I guess we all have accents. 🙂

    • I’ve worked (remotely) with Indian consultants a lot over my career, but this was the first time I have visited India for a project. I have a post that covers “lessons learned” in a little more detail coming next week. It was a great trip with its own set of challenges from an IT and logistics perspective.

  • Managing the time difference with India – or any across the globe international partner – can be a challenge. Most of my experience involved software development. At first it was nice to be able to hand off requirements at the end of your work day and get completed code at the beginning of the next. But that only worked for the most basic requirements. Real time collaboration was critical for complex requirements. But we’ve found some firms with staff who work according to our US time schedule. It makes it much easier to discuss project status or requirements.

    I haven’t experienced this with Indian contractors, but we have run into some international partners who outsource the work to other contractors/countries. So be sure you have explicit agreements about who will do the work and where.

  • Came across this article again and had another comment…

    Another company I worked with that employed many staff from India (onsite) required them to use clean rooms that were sequestered for only use only to process that company. They also only allowed that staff to access the company network via heavily secured virtual machines that did not allow downloading any data to disk or any device, taking screenprints, or printing.

    Much of the administration of servers, applications, and databases are in the hands of this staff. That way, the company has 24-hour coverage of most administration tasks.

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