What I Am Upto

While things keep me occupied on the personal front, I have been refashioning my professional work to fit it. And it’s been going surprisingly well.

First, I have started taking on consulting work. Most of it is strategy and business performance related work and it is quite energizing and interesting. Most of it is of course in the Offshore Services industry where I can bring my experience to bear upon problems that managements are facing as growth levels off in the industry and companies really have to compete for business.

Second, I am writing a book. Some people want to be able to bungee jump before they die. For me it was writing a book. “Regret minimization”, to paraphrase Jeff Bezos.

The book is going to a business book about the Offshore Services industry. Not a history, more of a guide or a how to book on the market side of the business. My co-conspirator on the project is my good friend Gaurav Rastogi. (Check out his recent posts on Afterlife – thoughtful, creative stuff.)

The reason we are writing this book is that we feel that for a $50 B industry there is little out there in terms of a body of knowledge on the Offshore Services industry. Sure, there’s a lot on software engineering and quality, but not on how to run the business itself. We hope to make a contribution to that body of knowledge.

Anyway, details will follow as we make some progress. If anyone is willing to contribute their ideas or just anecdotes, we’re very keen to talk to people outside our circle of acquaintances which naturally is skewed towards Infosys or ex-Infosys people. Any ideas on publishing – in India and in the US – will also help.

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15 Responses to What I Am Upto

  1. Javed says:

    Good luck for the book …..my only piece of expectation/suggestion from such a book is to be Frank , honest and non-diplomatic , more of a literary piece of work coming from a business guy .

    Would like it to focus more on the dark realities , the pitfalls , the ground realities in a very bold way ( a kind of Expose ) rather than painting another rosy picture about things that have been said and heard so many times .

    Like

  2. Javed says:

    Some of the topics I would like to see :-____

    1. Globalisation through offshoring – Has it really worked to make people happy ?? If not are we just laying foundation for our future generations to live in a gloablissed world wich we really think is better world to live in ?? Do we believe its going to solve all our problems or will it add more ?Where is it headed to ?________

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  3. Javed says:

    2. Should not Indian IT companies start practicing what they preach ?? Shouldnt their so called secretive value systems wich no ordinary person can understand become more braod minded and more inclusive in real sense ?? Shouldnt they break the glass doors of their top executive comitee and start including people from varied cultural diverities and not just including them to make puppets but to give them free hand and free mind in taking decisions in ways they think are right ?? ________

    3. Labour artibtrage is it synonymous with employee exploitation ?? Doesnt offshoring/gloablisation grossly ignore the human aspect of it . Why should an offshore employee beg on kneels of foreign client for no mistake of his but becuase the rules governing the offshore employee and foreing client is grossly skewed in favour of foriegn client ??__

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  4. Javed says:

    4. Is thinking working/executing ?? I dont think a CEO who thinks and philosophises can be called a CEO as he doesnt execute anything on his own ,he doesnt understand the pain involved in executing .

    5.Also can a majority share holder be CEO of a company ? Ideally he shouldnt be ….as his views/ideas would be always keeping in mind the value of his shares . The CEO should ideally be thinking only about two stake holders the employee and the client and Share prices should be an external barometer of whats happening in the company , it shouldnt be the sole factor to take decisions wich most of the Indian IT companies have been doing for too long .

    6. Is growth in profits and cutting costs the only way to look at picture ?? An Indian IT company cuts cost during economic downturn by harassing its employees and boasts of profit growth . Isnt it really very unnatural to grow during downturn , whats so proud of it ??

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  5. iptiam says:

    If possible, try to do something unique on how you publish the book. Today there is a missing link between author and reader, see if you can reach them directly.

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  6. skag says:

    I would surely expect a chapter on customer acquisition. How do you go about getting a customer from US when you are in a start-up mode in India?

    Like

  7. Rao V says:

    Basab,
    Honestly, if you take away the labor arbitrage, what has really come out or has been created out of this $50 b industry ? Neither there has been a single true innovation or they really have been able to climb up to do high value consulting or Products/Productized Services.
    We all know that the so called global delivery and engagement models, stripped of its fancy constructs do not mean much. Of course, this is not to discredit the sheer value/wealth which been created over the years by this Industry single handedly and the work behind that. But as a Industry when benchmarked against its Peer Cos in other Industries (Retail,Auto) has consistently underachieved and has been Overrated. It had an easy run due to Market "push" , and High margins without trying too harder. How much of the business awarded to Offshore Co's is really based on its value creation potential rather than Cost arbitrage? There in probably lies some thing to explore for your book, on the direction Cos need to go in future if they have to step up and has been one of favorite thinking themes. Currently they are too busy counting the easy money, IMHO and are in no hurry to think about this.

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    • "Currently they are too busy counting the easy money, IMHO and are in no hurry to think about this.

      This may be changing quickly. I can sense that for the first time companies that have had it easy in a growing industry are having to compete for it, and hard.

      That is why this book will be timely.

      Like

  8. Krishna says:

    Having gathered enough intelligence and being an early insider, I guess you will focus on "what India's IT vendors should not be doing and what overseas clients can reasonably expect". My two cents for starters – India's IT vendors should stop masquerading callow coders as "business transformation specialists" that they vow to engage under SLA clauses thereby making a fool of themselves. Overseas clients should insist on a representative of the actual team to be present at the kick off meets and be a signatory to the SLA so that hollow, inexecutable promises don't find place in the operative gospel. The days of management promising one thing and the team on the turf not being able to keep up with it are clearly last decade.

    Like

  9. Dip says:

    Hi Basab,
    Congratulations. Incase you are planning to touh upon socio-economic changes due to this IT phenomenon or HR related challenges in offshore I may like to contribute few cents.

    Like

  10. Paddy says:

    Hi Basab,

    Will be great to see a book from you. Your blog posts have been an interesting read and the book will be as well.

    I would like to see the evolution of BPO and what future has in store in terms of impact due to technology, internet etc.

    Paddy

    Like

  11. Kumar says:

    Hi Basab,
    Looking forward to the book! I'm sure it will be as interesting and logical as your blogs 🙂
    Good luck and best wishes…

    Like

  12. Rao_v says:

    How far is the book from its release?

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  13. Alok says:

    Basab, I would be interested in reading the book. Your blogs are thoughtful and so will your book. What I'd like to see in the book is – what are the key points on which a customer makes a decision on whether or not to outsource/offshore. During the opportunity assessment, does the customer thinks of cost arbitrage due to wage differences and does he also take into consideration productivity of offshore resources as compared to resources present onsite ?

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