Project Offshoring - It's all about PEOPLE


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Getting the right set of people to manage offshore projects is one challenge that is normally ignored or played-down in today's scenario. US and European Companies need to look beyond project management and insist on offshoring partners hire and deploy the right executives for the right job.

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Project Offshoring - It's all about PEOPLE

  1. 1. [ Offshoring: It’s all about the People ]
  2. 2. Offshoring: It’s all about the People Key parameters that drive success in offshoring The right strategy and structure: Own, Partner, BOT, etc. Infrastructure, Processes and Tools People, People, People ~1~ Confidential
  3. 3. It’s going to be a long-term play Offshoring is now a strategic imperative It’s not about costs alone anymore; it’s about survival and competitive advantage You will need to plan for some very rapid growth Most companies’ offshore operations have grown to be as large as a few hundred, if not a few thousand people in 2-3 years You will potentially expand to do functionally diverse work in the offshore center within a short period. Many companies (Dell, IBM, GE) that started with IT offshoring have now expanded into other areas • Software Development • Technical Support • Back office operations for Finance and HR • Customer Support You should plan that it will not be smooth-sailing all the way Strong C level commitment to offshore is an essential pre-requisite The Offshore Center’s services will need to be ‘sold’ / ‘evangelized’ within the company’s global setup on an ongoing basis ~2~ Confidential
  4. 4. Executive Leadership is a key determinant of success in offshoring You will do well to invest in a C level executive to head the set up: ‘A CEO of India’. The right leader will be one who Has the ability to set up an operation from the ground up, and scale it quickly Assemble a top quality cross functional team and lead it. Set up robust infrastructure and process across functions (IT, HR, Finance etc) Recruit, train, retrain the team at a rapid pace – attrition rate in IT industry is as high as 14-15% for IT and 30-35% for the BPO sector! Will be a strong ambassador for the company in India • With the Government, local community, industry • Among potential recruits • Most importantly, among the employees Will be a strong ambassador for the Indian Operations within the company’s global set up • Ensure adequate work moves to offshore center • Ensure Customer Satisfaction within the company Is a strong team player who can ensure that the India team works collaboratively with the rest of the global operations Has a strong orientation for • Process / Quality • People • P&L In short, you need an outstanding business leader with a global mindset, and strong understanding of local operating environment and culture ~3~ Confidential
  5. 5. Executive Talent: A view of the Indian landscape Remember, the Indian IT / BPO industry is very young! The entire industry was only about $2b in 1995; today, it’s over $16b and employs almost a million people Average age across the IT industry is 26 yrs; in the BPO industry it is 22! Demand for senior talent completely outstrips supply Two new global companies per week being registered in Bangalore alone! It’s a boom environment! Very high, sometimes unrealistic, expectations among potential candidates today Managing expectations early is CRITICAL! Very mature non-IT industry in India offers wealth of talent Heavy Engineering ,Textiles ,Banks, Insurance, Government, Military, Defence Labs, Consumer products Outstanding managerial talent available here that can be tapped. Very high salary differential between BPO / IT and the other industries . Significant differences in the way executives make career decisions in India Very strong family influence – wife, mother, father, older sibling etc. Relatively low sanctity in offer ‘acceptances’ • Pick up the offer and then start thinking! • Use offer as a way to negotiate with current employer! Fixed Compensation is the compensation people predominantly use to decide on the offer and variable pay is seen as ‘just a bonus’ Money is not as key a determinant as it is in US • Span of control. Designation, Status, Hierarchy & Brand are important • Responsibility, Job content and Growth potential matter a lot Reference checks are a critical step in the recruitment process. People give very frank and objective references in India without fear of any legal liability issues Some of the best leaders are deeply Indian (read non-western) and tend to be overlooked for that reason. Conversely those who have excellent ‘Western’ packaging are often not the best leaders to hire! ~4~ Confidential
  6. 6. What can you learn from others before you? [GE, IBM, Oracle, CITI – great offshore success stories you may want to emulate] Hire a strong business leader at the top Support him with strong functional / technical heads whom you can depute from your global offices, or hire locally Think big in terms of what the scale of the center can be Do not underestimate! Treat hiring of the offshore executive team as strategic hires Pick the best people you can find Involve your global exec team in the interviewing and selection process Hire the Offshore Head as a C level executive on your team Give importance to pedigree – hire people with the best educational qualifications from the top schools – IITs, IIMs, etc. Cast the net wide to include non-IT industries, when you look for key executive talent Ensure that the executive has international, cross cultural exposure and experience Design attractive compensation structure & designation as per local norms Check references locally – this is critical ~5~ Confidential
  7. 7. What can you learn from others (…contd) And avoid some mistakes that have led others to false starts … Undue emphasis on infrastructure, process and tools THAN on key people Failure to view the key India hires as STRATEGIC executive hires. • Recruitment with a narrow objective (typically cost control ) or a narrow functional focus (engineering manager or a call center manager) • Non-involvement of company’s senior global executives in the recruitment process; process followed akin to a departmental hire • Sub-optimally transfer one of the company’s US based managers of Indian origin to head the India Center without ascertaining a full profile match Excessive micro-management of the India Center Underestimation of the speed at which the operations can / will scale, both in terms of breadth and size! Inappropriate compensation design for the Indian exec team • Over pay; expat packages, over-emphasis on variable pay, etc. ~6~ Confidential
  8. 8. We are Global Executive Talent A unique Cross-Border Executive Search Firm Set up to exclusively cater to the unique executive recruiting needs of enterprises with offshore outsourcing operations. Specifically, we work with American companies setting up offshore operations in India Asian companies setting up US sales and marketing operations. Founded by Anuradha Parthasarathy (Anu) A graduate of BITS Pilani, Anu has over 15 years of experience in cross-border executive search based both in India and the US Having been involved with the Indian technology industry from its inception, Anu has a deep understanding of • The Indian market for talent • The complex cultural issues involved in cross border offshore operations and • An excellent rolodex of contacts in the industry As a cross-border executive search firm, we help US corporations recruit senior executive talent as they set up offshore operations in India for • Technology development • Maintenance and tech support • Customer support operations • Offshore back office processing of business operations • Sales and marketing into the Asian markets Asian companies recruit senior executive talent as they set up US Sales and Marketing offices. We have offices in Menlo Park(CA), Chennai and Bangalore(India). ~7~ Confidential
  9. 9. Thank You
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