Tag Archives: india

Should India’s government be involved in employee training?

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I was just looking at a graph of top economically performing nations. Ten years ago, India was not on the top ten list. Now it is. Japan on the other hand took a huge economic dive in 2014. I’m not sure what happened, but I read that people in Japan were spending a lot less, and also getting older. Personally, I’m glad that I’m not getting older! China’s growth was astounding despite all of the economic and banking problems they have. I’m not sure how much longer they can keep growing now that there is heavy competition for investments in West Africa which is now the new “place to be” as far as business is concerned.

India’s economy is growing, but their people skills are shrinking
Every time I visit India I am amazed at all the new buildings that were not there a year or two previously. I am also amazed at all of the new cars that have replaced the 1940’s style British Ambassador style sedans which looked so old school (but are great in accidents since the metal is so thick.) However, every time I call India I am also amazed at how pathetically hopeless their phone etiquette is. People are so inept they cannot announce their personal or business name when answering a business call at an office. Additionally, secretaries routinely put you on hold without permission only to be disconnected if you ask them a trick question such as, “what city are you in?” Simple questions requiring a kindergarten education are too difficult for most of India’s staff. So, I believe the solution is training. But, small and even large businesses don’t want to bother with much if any training. So, what is the solution?

Government training
The government of India takes great price in their economic growth and why shouldn’t they. But, imagine how much faster they would grow if they could eliminate some of the stupid behavior that goes on in businesses. High turnover, incompetent phone etiquette, and disorganized management top the list. What if the government could have schools to teach people how to check people’s work, answer the phone, answer basic questions, and stick to a job for more than three months? The entire nation would be turned around! Additionally, if the government would systematically test people from time to time to see how good their work skills are then workers could be given a formal written assessment which could be shared with all employers. I feel that workers that jump from job to job should also be penalized in their government score sheet as job hopping makes it very hard for upper management to run a company.

India’s professional future
Maybe India will one day turn around and learn phone etiquette. But, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Even the big companies hire incompetent secretaries and receptionists. If the best companies who have overseas investors can’t get it right, how will smaller businesses? Perhaps foreigners need to go to India and create some competition. In America, we have twenty nationalities (in large numbers) living under one government. We all compete against each other. Having some competition in India would do their country good. Maybe one day!

Is it safe for women to take cabs in India?

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I keep reading more on this topic. Apparently, I am not the only one concerned with women’s safety. They are not concerned with my safety though — but, that’s another issue.

A fleet of pink cabs!
A new cab service in India has opened with pink cabs that are designated for women. I thought of a similar idea years ago that was for pink rickshaws. The vehicles would be driven by women, and the stops would have security, and the vehicles would be pink in my idea too. I thought of this first by the way!


Pepper spray & panic buttons
This cab company with the pink fleet offers pepper spray and panic buttons. One woman in India was raped by an Uber driver recently, and this is a huge reason why women need to take precautions. But, over the last few decades in India, women have not been safe, and taking more precautions seems like the best step to take.

Taking a photo of the cab
I read another article where a woman says that you should not get into a vehicle unless you take a photo of it with your mobile phone and perhaps send it to someone for safe keeping. Once in a while, drivers will take you to an undisclosed location and rob you. It doesn’t happen that often, but women, and foreigners need to be vigilant.

Registered cabs from airports are safer
As a foreigner, I don’t know which cabs to take in India. I normally take rickshaws and deal with their tricks and bad manners. I have a few tricks too which they don’t like which include getting out of the rickshaw when they try to bill me for a 20 minute stop at a gas station. But, airports normally offer the possibility of getting in a registered cab, and you can inform your friends or family what the cab number is just in case.

Martial arts are a good idea!
Indian women are not known for their acumen at violent sports. Neither are the guys for that matter. But, ladies who I know in India are routinely harrassed in parks, and by rickshaw drivers. It is a serious problem. In addition to pepper spray, women need to know how to defend themselves from a headlock, grabbing, or an oncoming bully. If enough women know how to defend themselves, the bullies will be afraid of everyone! Having a good command of Karate or Tai Quan Do is an excellent idea. Long ago I heard a story of a short Chinese lady who was attacked by three huge thugs in New York City. After about 2 seconds, the thugs lay lifeless on the ground. This tiny lady took them all out in the blink of an eye because she was a deadly martial arts master. In addition to Veena & Tabla lessons, some Kung Fu might not be a bad idea.

Plain clothes protectors
Conditions are so bad for ladies in India that they need separate cars on trains, and separate cabs, just to avoid being molested. Additionally, the government doesn’t provide clean places for ladies to go to the bathroom in public which is a huge problem. But, what if there were unmarked guards who roam around parks, railway stations, and roads to protect women from harrassment and other dangers. So many men go around India bothering women, that after a few months, these guards could arrest tens of thousands of these troublemaking rowdy gundas!

It is not safe for women to take cabs in India, or even go for a walk in the park, or down the street. However, women need to go to work, go shopping and get around. So, taking the right precautions makes sense. And I wish you luck. Just remember — use your newly found Karate skills on the bad guys, not on me!

India in 2140

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Rahul had a dilemma. He wanted to get married, but in 2140, nobody in India could get married to anyone from a good family unless they worked for a BPO department of a MPC (multi-planetary company.) Rahul had finished school in anti-gravity device repair and Gorkonian anthropology. He was an expert at understanding all of the various life forms on planet Gorkon which was a job requirement. The last round of Indians didn’t bother understanding the locals which led to a huge fight.

Rahul was chosen by the Gorkonians to do all types of tasks. Fixing issues with their spaceships was one of the main things he was good at. But, he got into trouble because there was a serious problem with the mother ship and Rahul insisted on taking a 45 minute samosa and chai break at the critical minute. But, Rahul made it up to them. He found a great way to punish those who broke Gorkonian law. They would be banished in an interstellar flight for 200 years. The irony is that by the time the space craft would come back, it would be 200 years for those in the space craft, but only 4 years for those on Gorkon due to interstellar time lag. Rahul was the star of the planet (no interplanetary pun intended.)

Next, Rahul was assigned to fix their flying rickshaws. They were to fly at exactly four feet of altitude at all times except when docked and have air-friction reduction technology added. Rahul fixed every aspect of these machines perfectly, or at least they thought. In the mean time Rahul needed to go back to planet earth as his mother had arranged his marriage to Rajeny. Rahul returned back to earth after three years working in Gorkon to learn that his wife to be had only aged one year. Apparently time didn’t move as fast on Earth as it did on Gorkon. Rahul thought for a while for how to solve the problem. They decided that they would have to live in the same planet, otherwise their marriage would be doomed. He wouldn’t be able to work for two years, come back for a year and go back to work for two years otherwise he would be grandpa while Rajeny would be only twenty-five. So, they both went back to Gorkon. Of course that way, their parents would be younger than they were after a few decades, but they didn’t think that far in advance.

Everything was ready for them. The spacedock they landed on was perfect. Rahul’s buddy Vipool was responsible for the programming on that dock. Then, they had a vegetarian space burger with chutney. Finally it was time to go to their home. So, they got in one of the rick-shaws Rahul had designed. It has plugins for computers, voice activated commands, interplanetary phone systems, and even a mini movie screen where you could see movies from 290 different planets translated into any language you wanted. Rahul asked, “How much is it to get to my flat in Sarkun?” The rick-shaw walla said, “200 Gorkon rupees.” Then Rahul said, “Can you use the meter?” The walla replied in fluent Gorkonian,

“Sorry, meter broken!”


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24 tech workers for each manager?

Categories: Management, Of Interest, Software Development | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Too many Indians and not enough chiefs!
I am always amazed by India. India has mastered the art of spreading valuable assets thinly. The meat is tiny pieces in Chinese fried rice in India. The portions of chicken are minute in biryani (to my dismay.) Managers are also spread thin at Indian software companies.

Managers are expensive in India
The reason why the ratio of managers to workers in India is so bad is because the pay rate for managers is very high since managers are in such short supply. In America, a manager might get paid 20-100% more than a worker. But, in India, a manager might get paid 2x to 8x the amount a worker gets in a high tech company for example. I don’t know the exact number, and the numbers change over time — but, this is the approximation of the reality.

You can’t watch your workers
The problem with having too many workers and not enough managers is that you can’t really watch your workers if you are so spread out. If you have self-managing workers, you don’t need to watch them much, and you don’t need to critique their work.

My way of looking at this problem is as follows.
If you have twenty-four workers who are all completely self-sustaining and know exactly what to do with hardly any intervention, then you might be able to have ten or more to a manager. I’m not sure if twenty-four works even under ideal circumstances. But, many workers play tricks, or don’t know how to get things done. If you have a team of twenty-four, it is likely that many will be trouble in some way, shape or form. New workers who have not been screened should ideally be placed in smaller teams so their work can be evaluated. If they do flawless work and can function without intervention, then perhaps they can be transferred to a larger team. New workers and problem workers need to be in smaller teams where you can keep more of an eye on them. In my opinion, the value of a worker is proportional to their productivity minus the amount of hell you go through trying to manage them. In many cases, many workers might have a sub-zero value (put on your sweater and winter hat.)

My personal story
I have too many things to do and several people to manage. I can’t manage them and do my own work at the same time. I have to put something on the back burner since I’m so busy. Unfortunately, it is common for me to get behind trying to manage my programmers. I just wonder how far behind a manager with twenty-four workers gets? Perhaps they just are not really managing those people at all…

The right sized company to outsource to

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In my quest to find the right programming companies, I have learned a lot. There are different cultures, different skill levels, and different sizes of companies. Some companies have workers who work remotely, while others have everyone in an office. I learned that I didn’t generally do too well with one-man shows unless they were above average in skills and always answered their phones. I found a writer who fit that description. But, programmers have the “Don’t answer your phone” gene that prevents them from matching my criteria.

I was thinking that bigger = better. But, the bigger companies were often too snobby to work for me, or too uncoordinated to even know what their schedule was like. They also lacked the intimacy of smaller companies.

After a lot of looking around, I found that companies that had 6-12 people total were ideal. Unfortunately, in America there are very few that match this criteria. I hired a company in India with 20 people who was good. But, they grew to 45 members and now it is too crazy to deal with them. They lost their star employees and replaced them with chaos and more chaos. In my case, the closer a company gets to having 9 employees, the better they are. But, if they have less than 6, it never works out. I’m not sure why this math determines a result, but the numbers don’t like.

A company of the right size is important. You can get to know the boss well. If that company grows out of control, the boss will be too busy to talk to you or manage things well. So, I need a lot of backup companies. What if I find someone perfect, and then they grow too much? They might stop being perfect — what a scary thought. Additionally, I might add that in India the companies with 6-20 people generally make it easier to talk to someone really smart. At larger companies in India, you start off talking to someone who is so dumb, they can’t even answer the question, “What city are you located in?” They always need to transfer me the minute I ask them a trick question like that. I can’t figure it out!

(1) In my quest to find the right companies to hire, I have learned a lot.
(2) Companies with 6-20 people generally make it easier to talk to someone really smart.
(3) Large companies are often too snobby to accept smaller clients.

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Accounting India in the News

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Accounting India Outsourcing News

prnewswire.com’s December 8th outsourcing article states that Outsource Partners International has partnered with financial software provider Blackline Systems to bring accounting and finance software to OPI’s global client base, many of whom are interested in outsourcing accounting. India has a very fast growing accounting outsourcing industry which could be very heavily effected by software developments in any part of the world.

Outsource Partners International has 3700 specialists working in its offices which span five countries including the U.S., India, U.K., Bulgaria, and Malaysia. This company focuses on drawing upon best in class practices, continuous improvement (called Kai-Zen at Toyota), and using outsourced accounting talent and enabling technology to make the clients’ experience optimal with finance and transform operations.

According to thelawyer.com, Eversheds has begin offering a support services outsourcing deal, sending procurement work to Accenture. Most of the HR, administration, accounting and BPO work will be outsourced to India.

Outsourcing Quickbooks services saves companies a lot of money. Bookkeeping can be done by a specialist company domestically or overseas. They might provide more reliable, efficient, and cost effective services.

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KPO India News

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KPO India News
Gujarat IT Growth
According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), Gujarat will experience significant IT growth in the next ten years.  The improved IT infrastructure and education are the reasons why this is possible. Land, is also more affordable in Gujarathi metros than the four large Indian metros making it a more cost effective place to do business.  90% of IT services work in India are done in the top six IT cities in India such as Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune.  The indications are that in the future, more growth will be occuring in more modest sized cities in India.
India-Russia Forum
The Fouth India-Russia Forum on Trade & Investment hosted many discussions about investment and trade between the two giants.  News regarding India KPO companies cooperating with Russia were that both countries should cooperate and collaborate in the establishment of techno-parks, BPO, KPO, IT, and Tememedicine.   Both countries were pleased with their progress in pharmaceuticals.   Industrial cooperation discussions included the two nation’s long history of cooperation in the steel industry and modernizing their pursuits.  Banking, finance, trade and investment were other issues on the table. 
Bangalore is still the overall outsourcing city in the world according to Tholons with Manila was called the BPO Capital of the world.  Krakow, Poland and Beijing, China were the leading emerging cities.   Tholons is an advisory for investments and research for IT, business services, and KPO. India has the highest concentration of KPOs in the world.  Another interesting point made was that Tier-II cities in established outsourcing countries are now encountering fierce competition from newer outsourcing countries in Eastern Europe, and Latin America.  Other articles have indicated that the quality of the typical skill sets of workers really vary from place to place.  Some nations have a large workforce with great technical skills, while others are better at communication, or manufacturing.

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Do you start emails with: “Dear respected sir?”

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Don’t do this!

People in India use archaic British English. They routinely omit the person’s name who they are addressing as they systematically don’t know who they are writing to or why. Don’t do this. If you write to someone, know why you are writing to them — specifically. Don’t write to them about “the job” or “the project.” Know which project or job you are writing about and make sure that job actually exists in real time (which means now.) I get 10 job applications for jobs that I am not offering every day. What a clueless waste of time. No wonder India is a 3rd world country. The labor that they do have is systematically either completely wasted or used ineffectively.

Do your research, and make quality interactions — not spamming people with nonsense job applications. And don’t say, “Dear Sir.” Use the person’s name or at least their job title so the reader will know if they are the one being addressed!

The Rupee Mentality

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I used to watch every penny
When I was younger and poorer, I used to watch every penny. People would make condescending remarks about my frugality. But, what could I do? I had to conserve the little that I had. As I grew older, my appetite for spending grew. I realized that I would have to make more money — a lot more money. So, I worked and worked and worked. I kept finding better ways to get ahead and succeed. Success is a difficult path. It is like forging your way up a steep mountain with many snakes, mountain lions, enemies, disloyal friends, pitfalls, and no marked trail. In any case, I started doing a lot better financially about ten years ago. I am still struggling to get ahead though.

I started being a big spender
A few years after my income picked up, I started wanting to experience the joys of life that I could never dream of before. I sampled fine wines. I ate great steaks. I even engaged in rum tasting. My cholesterol went through the roof, and my liver started complaining tremendously. I had to cut back. But, I had become a big spender. At least I was no longer frugal.

My five trips to India
A strange phenomenon took over me whenever I went to India. I developed what I call, “the rupee mentality.” I watched every rupee, and was very conscious of who was trying to cheat me out of a rupee. I took the train instead of a plane to save one or two thousand rupees. Why did I care? In American money it was pennies that I was concerning myself over. On a brighter note, whenever I came back from India I had lots of savings because my business was making money, but my bills for lunch and dinner were only a few dollars going to the best restaurants in my part of town! I got my web programming done for pennies too.

Fighting over 35 cents
The worst part of my rupee mentality was dealing with rick shaw guys. They always try to cheat you at a train station by asking for triple or quadruple what a fair should cost. From the train station to Dekkan in Pune costs about 60 rupees, but they were asking for 200 or 300. I told one guy 100, so he could rip me off a bit, but he kept bargaining with me all the way to my hotel for 120. I told him 100 fixed. These guys are desperate for whiskey money, so they’ll do anything for a fix. I now see why one of my friends always takes cabs and won’t get in a rick shaw unless she has to. It is a hassle dealing with these crooked and rude characters, not to mention dangerous being in such an unstable tiny vehicle. If a truck hits you, you’re done! But, why did I care about 20 rupees extra. It was only about 35 cents in the USA. The minute I’m back on American soil, I never think about such small amounts of money.

What is it with me. Why do I think big in America, and small in India? Am I picking up on India’s national attitude about money which is watching each fraction of a rupee no matter how rich or poor you are? Wherever you go, you pick up on the consciousness. Maybe this is what happened!