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Trend Spotting: Indian Outsourcers Coming To Rescue American Youth

Posted on Thursday, Jun 27th 2013

I recently had a very interesting conversation with Wipro’s Roop Singh that made me stop and observe the subtle irony of what’s happening in the Indian outsourcing industry.

Several clear trends stand out:

  1. US customers are asking for onshore resources.
  2. US Visa regulations are making it harder and more expensive to bring Indian employees to the US.
  3. The Indian outsourcers have developed extraordinary expertise in training large numbers of fresh graduates in marketable IT skills.
  4. American youth unemployment is over 16%, and wage expectations are modest.
  5. Indian salaries have inflated, and attrition continues to be a massive challenge.

If you roll all these trends up, you will arrive at the same conclusion that Wipro and other Indian outsourcing giants have come to: it may make better business sense to hire in the US (not in Silicon Valley, but in places like Atlanta, Madison, Columbus, Eugene, etc.) and train large numbers of fresh graduates (including from the community colleges) right here in the US.

On the flip side, American youth is badly in need of training in marketable skills. Many of them are sitting around with huge college loans and do not have the training with which to find employment. IT training from Wipro, Infosys, TCS and others would be a welcome path to productive careers.

I think this is a very promising development, and state governments should take note, create incentives for these firms to set up large operations, especially in towns with large universities.

If the trend continues for the rest of the decade, I expect it will make a meaningful dent in addressing the youth unemployment challenge that America faces.

This segment is a part in the series : Trend Spotting

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