When Elephants Fly
Miller, Karen Lowry, MacKinnon, Ian, Newsweek International
When Jagdish Dalal first got the idea to hire computer programmers in India back in 1983, most people thought he was taking too big a risk. Sure, the engineers there were smart, and cheap compared with Americans. But as the Indian-born head of management-information systems for a data-storage company in Massachusetts, he had to haul punch cards and printouts back and forth on Air India flights to Mumbai. And indeed the first project was a "colossal failure," he says. The code was unusable. "At first we accused them of not having the right talent," recalls Dalal, but he quickly recognized that he had failed to communicate exactly what he wanted.
Two decades later, there's hardly a chief technology officer in the developed world who isn't just a bit starry-eyed over wages in China, Russia or (especially) India, which are some 80 percent lower than those earned by IT specialists back home. For several years, Western companies have been shifting ever-larger and more complex operations offshore, starting with basic data processing or code writing in the early 1990s and quickly moving up to customer services, such as the Indian call centers that answer …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: When Elephants Fly. Contributors: Miller, Karen Lowry - Author, MacKinnon, Ian - Author. Magazine title: Newsweek International. Publication date: September 22, 2003. Page number: 42. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.