Cottage industries in India ruin India’s outsourcing reputation

Many people feel that the industry relating to call centers in India has had its reputation ruined by cottage industry players. What is a cottage industry you might ask? Tiny companies with one, two or three employees might be considered members of the cottage industry. India has many call centers that are family operations run out of people’s living rooms. Their neighbor, uncle or cousin might work there when they are out of a job. Many of these companies are completely unprofessional. But, here is my take on the matter.

I am pro-cottage industries. My business is a tiny company. We have three people all working from our homes. People who work from home tend to be the least reliable, but we tend to be generally very reliable. We have been running websites for over 12 years you know! But, for new startups, people are not always realistic. It takes money, skill, manpower, connections, and more to run a small business. I say that it is better to start really really small, and build your way up… Slowly!

The faster you rise, the harder you fall is a line from a rap song. It is sometimes true. Grow slowly but steady and you will be more stable. Don’t try to grow faster than nature lets you. Grow step by step, brick by brick, relationship by relationship. If you have been in business for three years, your clientele should be mostly people who have been with you at least a year, otherwise you are not a stable company. Your staff should have stuck it through with you hopefully for a long time so you know them. To grow in a stable way, your relationships need to be stable. Business is about relationships.

But, what can we do to clean up the cottage industry world of call centers in India? The problem doesn’t get automatically solved if you have an office. Offices are not magical, they are just buildings. Unless they were blessed by a god, they are just a hunk of concrete. People who work in large offices often deliver horrible quality work. The solution is simple — just pay attention to the quality of your work and try to always make it better.

Kai-Zen is the Toyota term for constant improvement. Why not try to find new ways to make your company daily. It is not about trying to find new tricky ways to screw your customers out of a few rupees. Then, they will dump you and you won’t have a business. Find new ways of delivering quality to your customers, then they will multiply!

(1) Many feel that home based call centers in India have ruined India’s reputation.
(2) My business functions w/people working from home. But, do call centers do well like this?
(3) Offices are not magical, they are just buildings. Do people all work better in an office?

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