Recently by Simon Black: The Expat Widow
I was on the phone with a major bank last night. As usual, I had to navigate their automated phone system hitting zero until my finger turned blue I was finally forwarded to an offshore call center where the representative was more keen to follow the script than to actually help me.
Weve all been there. Sometimes its perfectly fine, and other times the communication barrier is just frustrating. When done right, though, it can be a seamless step for the customer while adding significantly to the bottom line.
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Outsourcing is something that large corporations have been doing for decades usually farming out work to international markets in an effort to minimize expenses. Its still a debated practice, but I believe that its an important flag that any entrepreneur should consider planting abroad.
While you can outsource plenty of work to service providers in your home country, going offshore lets you take advantage of lower wage demand abroad. This can be a much more efficient use of your capital.
So where are the best places to establish an outsourcing flag?
Depending on your budget and workload, first you have to know what youre outsourcing. For example, requirements and quality for a one-time project vs. a part-time assistant vs. a full time worker will all vary from country to country.
India is still a top destination for task-based work. There are a number of popular firms that offer on-demand help, charging by-the-hour or per-task. The advantage with hiring an outsourcing company is that you typically get access to a team of outsourcers, and the firm will outsource each of your requests to the most skilled person for the job.
Hundreds of thousands of information technology students graduate from Indian universities every year, and communications infrastructure is reliable within the countrys special IT parks. But India is now struggling to meet demand, and its currency appreciation has reduced price competitiveness.
Eastern Europe is rising to the challenge, marketing its legacy reputation as the center of Soviet technology and scientific research.
Ukraine stands out with the regions fastest-growing software development and IT industry. Labor and infrastructure costs are still mostly buffered from the Eurozone, and Western venture capital funds have made large investments into offshore development centers there.