The world of outsourcing is baffling. So many of these companies out there are unprofessional and fly-by-nights. If you look at outsourcing directories, many host companies with disconnected phone numbers, or companies whose websites are long gone. It is a scary world, and is like a jungle. So, how do you play the game? First, find stable companies that have longevity and you will be safer. Get to know the company bosses who you will be dealing with as well. Visit these companies in person if the work you are giving them matters a lot. But, what country should you target?
India – My personal experience has been with India.
I live in Los Angeles where we have boatloads of people from all over Asia and Latin America. I am familiar with all of their cultures since I’m amongst them on a daily basis. But, I have not sampled life in their countries except for Taiwan which does more electronics and manufacturing and doesn’t engage much in the type of outsourcing tasks that we promote on 123outsource.net. India has more companies doing the type of outsourcing tasks that we promote than any other country, and they seek work more agressively than other countries as well.
Honestly, India is a very sloppy country where there is a hair raising incompetent way of doing everything. There are no doors on the inner city trains, so people can fall out and die (and they frequently do). Instead of picking a number at a hospital, you sit in a row of 50 chairs and play leap frog everytime the person in the front of the line is picked. All 49 of the remaning people move over one seat. At the airport, they always inspect my passport and then lose it under a bunch of papers — or drop it on the floor and then can’t find it (as a matter of practice). I always get diarrhea, food poisening or dyssentary almost every trip to India — otherwise I start asking why I didn’t experience any gastro-intestinal disorders. It is common for the sidewalk repair people to just abandon a large pile of dirt or bricks for months at a time on the sidewalk. The only traffic rule that exists outside of Mumbai is that you bribe the cop if pulled over. No other rules apply — not even driving on the left which is merely a recommendation and not a hard fast rule (or so it seems). 70% of rick shaw drivers either try to cheat me or proudly announce that their meter is broken.
If you hire companies in India, you will be dealing with people who grew up in this mess that I began to describe. PROCEED WITH CAUTION. I’m not saying don’t offshore to India. The cost benefit is definately there, but you will be putting up with a lot more nonsense than in most other places. More than 90% of companies in India do not even announce their company name when answering the phone — how unprofessional. Workers in India usually have some technical skills (varying degrees of competency), but lack people skills. The owners have good people skills, but those are not the people who will be doing the actual work.
The Filipinos are catching up in the technical outsourcing professions. There are more programming and internet marketing companies in the Philippines than before. They are known for call centers and they just overtook India as being #1 in the call center industry a year or two ago. Medical transcriptions are another profession that is popular in the Philippines. Filipinos have very good people skills, and there are many who have excellent English skills. For jobs that require communication, you could start your search here.
There are many types of outsourcing companies in South Africa. We have found many web design companies, and companies that do a lot of translations, editing and writing. There are many high end people who will do very professional work for you for a great price in South Africa.
There are some call centers sprouting up in Kenya. These are popular with British clients since the Kenyans speak British sounding English. You will find a large work force with great people skills in Kenya.
Known for its cultural affinity with the west, many companies find it easier to do business with call centers and web design companies in Costa Rica. They are swimming distance (well, not quite) from Florida, and on a similar time zone as the Eastern United States. Once again, just like the Philippines, Costa Ricans have comparatively good communication skills and there are many with supurb artistic abilities too.
This is a country that we found to not be very businesslike. However, the artistic skills seem to be the best in the world, and at bargain basement prices. Web design or any other type of design should be done in Argentina — at least they should be the 1st on your list.
I am about to try out a company who has one leg in the United States and another in Vietnam. I have no experience or knowledge about outsourcing to Vietnam. There are many programmers there, but English skills are somewhat limited based on what I have heard and experienced with Vietnamese living in California. I do not know how their technical skills typically compare to those at smaller companies in India. Is Vietnam a hidden outsourcing gem that few ever think about? We shall soon find out!