Why the future is with Rajiv in India
If only he understood my jokes a bit better
My third book and outsourcing overseas
Outsourcing overseas. I’ve written three books, called the Ten Truths Trilogy. The third book I’m most proud of, I think all three are good, useful, fun books but the third one is the most betterest, in my opinion. It’s called: “The Ten Truths for Making Business Fun and building a business that sustains you for years to come” (you can download the book for free here)
One thing’s very different from my first two books. To complete the book I’ve joined the globalisation movement and outsourced overseas to produce the book. After finishing the writing and editing, I engaged an illustrator and designer in India. Rajiv created all the drawings in the book and he is completed the design and layout work to get it ready for the printers.
Fascinating process… I’ve never had so many of my jokes and double entendres fall flat on their face, but Rajiv’s work is excellent.
But let’s be quite clear about this: By engaging Rajiv, I’ve taken work away from an Australian designer and illustrator and I’ve done so because it’s cheaper… Much cheaper.
Superspeed internet makes overseas outsourcing a doddle.
Collectively, I think it’s clear that the world is going through a massive shift. Now that the NBN is connected to a significant portion of our homes and businesses and other superspeed internet options have become available as well, the wave to outsource overseas has become unstoppable. More and more of the work that can be outsourced to India, The Philippines, China or Tajikistan is. Fewer and fewer businesses are still resisting it, because it’s all too hard and the language problems and cultural differences etc etc.
Resistance is futile.
But in the words of The Vogons: Resistance is futile.
A client of mine is an architect, and he has embraced the opportunities for his business in overseas outsourcing.
Half his workforce, designers and draftees live and work in the Philippines. Cost pressures simply forced it on him. He’s made it work though. He’s set up the right systems and processes so that he can respond quickly throughout his business and he’s able to offer a great service for similar cost to his competitors but make a lot more margin. Architecture firms often struggle to do good work and make money. my client doesn’t.
Do I think this is a good thing? Yes and no. Obviously if I was a young architect, or designer or web developer or computer programmer, I would be worried… Very worried for the future. My career is probably not going to be there anymore in 10 or 15 years, maybe even sooner, because architects in the Philippines will be doing most of my work.
That’s not great for our society here in Australia or elsewhere in the Western World.
The bad and the good about overseas outsourcing
But you could just as easily argue that it is a positive development for the world as a whole. It seems to me that over time the rates we will be paying architects and software programmers in India will get closer and closer to rates we pay in Australia, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. There is clearly a great imbalance in wealth and cost of living between the West and the Third World. Maybe this kind of movement is going to redress some of that imbalance. I’m sure that is already happening. Rajiv advertises his hourly rate on his profile as $4.50 per hour, but I’ve actually engaged him for $8.50 per hour (yeah, I know, I’m being ripped off right!).
I was talking to an Indian friend of mine the other day and he reckons that working in India, the designer would be lucky if he could charge $2.50 per hour. So contracts like mine are causing wage inflation already (on a miniscule scale, but you see what I mean).
So what would I be doing if I was a young designer or programmer, bookkeeper or architect or any other profession that is outsource-able?
If you can’t beat them, join them
Keeping your fingers crossed certainly seems like a bad strategy. The old saying: If you can’t beat them, join them, strikes me as the approach to take. You see, I think there is an enormous opportunity for people to provide go-between services for people like me and Rajiv in India. What would be perfect for me is if I could engage an actual designer here in Australia who manages the process of getting the work completed easily in India or wherever. The problems I and Rajiv have faced in this project so far have largely been about language, culture and some technical glitches. (and this is more or less exactly what my client in Perth does in outsourcing the bulk of the work overseas)
I think If I was a young designer coming out of college, I’d make sure I learn Hindi or Tagalog or Chinese and establish a network of designers in one of the prime outsourcing countries. Then I’d develop a service for people like me and the contractors that facilitates the process, so that instructions I have for my contractor actually get understood the first time. Rajiv and I find ourselves going back and forth quite a lot, because I use words and sentences that mean something very different to Rajiv than they mean for me. Having someone in the middle who understands design and has design skills and speaks Indian would be invaluable.
Not to mention that I’d love my brilliant jokes translated into Hindi and hear the raucous laughter clear across the Indian Ocean.
The world will change completely in the next 10 years. There really is no point hoping it won’t.
People and the 7 Big Questions of Small Business
Business owners frequently ask 7 Big Questions about how to Build a Beautiful Business and Life.
The first of these Big Questions is: How do I grow my business?
To answer that question I have identified the 11 most important strategies to create Business Growth.
The third of those strategies is Grow your business with People. This is one of many more articles on this site that explain how People and Growth hang together, in some depth.