Not all Americans are tourists

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Indian outsourcing has actually inspired comments from Jay Leno and a man who is much funnier, George Bush. It has actually unleashed debates and even suicides.

But for sometime now, Americans have been outsourcing themselves to India for survival. It is tough and sometimes a shocking experience.

But they are also discovering that though India churns out lakhs of graduates every year, there are jobs that Americans are unexpectedly better at.

Joining the Indian workforce from his comfy home in Virginia, Ed Cohen, 46, jumped on to the bandwagon eight months ago, as senior vice-president at Satyam Computer Services’ School of Leadership.

Cohen brought his entire family to Hyderabad where they have built a warm, happy home for themselves. Even their dog came along.

Seeing a camel for the first time, Cohen says their dog, “freaked out”. Cohen has actually been trying to speak to Indians in Hindi only, to be answered in English.

Cohen and the other Americans who come to India see a promising monetary opportunity. Indian companies are paying Rs 20-30 lakh per year to middle-management Americans.

When one year’s salary will purchase a nice two-bedroom home in Bangalore, it seems like a lot to an American who would need four year’s pay to purchase one in the States. There are also others who see an opportunity for career advancement.

The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) has actually said in its May 2006 Newsline report that the visibly large body of young Indians, “is not directly employable and needs to be transformed into ‘suitable’ offshore talent before it can be used by the country’s technology industries.”

According to technology and market research company Forrester Research, “There are problems finding experienced development leaders, program managers, and domain experts.”

They say that there is a feeding frenzy in India as companies scramble to find senior staff to keep the more complex projects on track.

“We know that Indians working in the US are being offered their US pay if they return to India.” This situation, coupled with job erosion and career plateauing in the States, has actually spurred a rush of working Americans to India.

Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO of Head Hunters India, says he does not have to advertise in America. With 30 emails a month from Americans soliciting the company for work in India, his company’s presence is known through word-of-mouth.
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