Social Networks are a rage these days. There are social networks of all hues and colors! What counts are the numbers – the number of members in those networks. So, where does a fresh start-up social networking company go to get members? INDIA, of course!

Now, here is a social networking company – Famesource.com – that is openly paying Indians 10 cents a sign up. And there is an ad on Craiglist Bangalore as well to promote the deal! The bummer – according to their promoters – they havent got a SINGLE SIGN UP! 🙂

There is obviously a discussion on the “integrity” issue of signing up “fake” Indian members using money here at Valleywag.

Even the promoters of the site have posted their thoughts on this blog clarifying their stand and actions. What do you think?

We are not offering any monetary incentive for people to sign-up, as your article suggests. Like any Cost Per Action (CPA) offer, we are looking to work with a person and/or company that can drive US traffic to our site and we are willing to pay for every new member that registers as a result of this traffic.

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I was in school, when our neighbor sold us a tape recorder for Rs 1000, which I am sure was a great deal for them.. and us sitting in India. After all it was an American tape recorder!

Whenever someone goes to India from the other countries, specially the US, the expectation is that one would take something “Imported”. Things outside are always better and cheaper. Arent they?

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It is being rumored that Infosys may buy CapGemini. Although CapGemini has a total Sales of USD 10.35 billion and Infosys sales are USD 3.1 billion, but its profits and market value are half that of the Indian company.

Some say it is too big a fish to swallow, while the past experience of Indian acquisitions show that it may be brought about. One thing that most Indian companies are not losing sight of is that this is a time when they command fantastic Market Capitalizations, despite lower sales. These times may not last long! The sooner they acquire some big fish and become a global player, the better it will be for them!

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I truly believe that it is all in the mindsets! The systemic model creates the mindsets and they create further opportunities. Chinese system has created a phenomenal manufacturing engine. The mindsets in that country are tuned to domination in that area. They have the brights for dominating the services market.. but the mindsets may be absent… the mindsets that created the Silicon Valley and continues to drive innovation from that small corner of the world. I am sure even New York can provide all those resources.. but can it provide the mindsets? Probably no. Same with China vs India in the services.

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The competition is heating up and biting the Europeans and the Americans. Here it seems that these guys are ganging up together! Well.. that will be a little tough because they are the ones – personally – who really have the best use of the outsourcing.. specially to India! Well it would be fairly interesting.

While a consensus eludes on a broader trans-Atlantic cooperation, the companies in the US and Europe think such an agreement will provide a platform to fight China and India, said a survey of CEOs from the two regions.

According to the survey carried out by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants for the German business magazine think:act, the trans-Atlantic cooperation is finding widespread support among Europe’s top managers, but is being met with skepticism in the US.

"While 95 per cent of European decision-makers would like to see a close cooperation of the two economic regions, about 40 per cent CEOs in the US consider such a cooperation unimportant," the survey found.

However, CEOs of both the US and European companies agree that China and India present the greatest competition and extension of trans-Atlantic relations would serve as a strong platform to fight this situation, it added.

The offensive from China and India is high on executives’ lists in Europe (54 per cent) and the US (50 per cent), said the findings of the survey, which would be published in the next issue of the quarterly magazine produced by BurdaYukom Publishing GmbH.

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Americans are coming to India.. and not for tourism alone. Some are moving for jobs! This trend is seen to be growing over the next few years and the jobs are aplenty in India and hard to come by for some traditional areas.

Indian outsourcing has inspired comments from Jay Leno and a man who is much funnier, George Bush. It has unleashed debates and even suicides.

But for sometime now, Americans have been outsourcing themselves to India for survival. It is tough and sometimes a shocking experience.

But they are also discovering that though India churns out lakhs of graduates every year, there are jobs that Americans are unexpectedly better at.

Joining the Indian workforce from his comfy home in Virginia, Ed Cohen, 46, jumped on to the bandwagon eight months ago, as senior vice-president at Satyam Computer Services’ School of Leadership.

Cohen brought his entire family to Hyderabad where they have built a warm, happy home for themselves. Even their dog came along.

Seeing a camel for the first time, Cohen says their dog, "freaked out". Cohen has been trying to speak to Indians in Hindi only, to be answered in English.

Cohen and the other Americans who come to India see a promising monetary opportunity. Indian companies are paying Rs 20-30 lakh per year to middle-management Americans.

When one year’s salary will purchase a nice two-bedroom home in Bangalore, it seems like a lot to an American who would need four year’s pay to purchase one in the States. There are also others who see an opportunity for career advancement.

The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) has said in its May 2006 Newsline report that the visibly large body of young Indians, "is not directly employable and needs to be transformed into ‘suitable’ offshore talent before it can be used by the country’s technology industries."

According to technology and market research company Forrester Research, "There are problems finding experienced development leaders, program managers, and domain experts."

They say that there is a feeding frenzy in India as companies scramble to find senior staff to keep the more complex projects on track.

"We know that Indians working in the US are being offered their US pay if they return to India." This situation, coupled with job erosion and career plateauing in the States, has spurred a rush of working Americans to India.

Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO of Head Hunters India, says he does not have to advertise in America. With 30 emails a month from Americans soliciting the company for work in India, his company’s presence is known through word-of-mouth.

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Yet another JV in auto industry. Generally they havent been so popular except for the Hero Honda!

Japanese automaker Nissan Motor plans to build a car plant in the Indian port city of Chennai with its French partner Renault SA and local firm Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, a news report said Saturday.

This plant, which is expected to start operating in 2009, will aim to turn out around 500,000 units a year, the Nikkei said, adding that an official announcement is expected on Monday.

The newspaper did not report the size of the investment.

The venture will likely be set up with the Nissan-Renault alliance putting up half the necessary investment and Mahindra and Mahindra providing the rest, the newspaper said.

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After Doctors, Engineers, IT professionals, Nurses and teachers.. now US will get Truck Drivers from India! The funny thing is that this company is going to – of all places – Andhra Pradesh .. to hire their drivers!! Even in India, most truck drivers come from Haryana and Punjab!! And I have seen ads of some Punjabis-led companies who have truck fleets in the US (california) and they train the folks coming over. In fact one such ad is completely in Punjabi! They don’t even bother putting it across to rest of the Indians!. All I can say is for better success, this company should have opened office in Chandigarh.. as opposed to AP! Just because the IT folks come from there.. does not mean that the entire India resides there! (Story Tip: Raj)

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Tom Friedman wrote a book “The World is Flat”.. heck that was an understatement!

Here is an example of how this start-up – GramIt – has engaged youth in a hamlet where it takes over 10 hours by train and bus/car to reach! The guys there are doing – BPO work! Well .. not really for the high tech American or European but for the up and running folks in Hyderabad!

To get there, you take a 10-hour train ride from Hyderabad, the nearest big city, then drive an hour on narrow roads past rice paddies, coconut groves, and ponds teeming with prawns and crabs.

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TCS is going great as is Infosys! It seems that now that the Indian trio of Wipro, Infy, and TCS have their business model tuned up correctly, they are set to expand at a jet speed ahead!

TCS is now looking at 10 deals of $50 mn each! That is $500 mn just from 10 deals in the next FY! It took Indian companies YEARS to reach the $1 bn mark.. and there was enough celebration on that milestones.. now that seems like just a half yearly target by today’s standards!

Tata Consultancy Services has delivered a stellar set of numbers this quarter (Q3). The company posted a net profit of Rs 1104.7 crore (Rs 11.04 billion) versus Rs 991.5 crore (Rs 9.91 billion) in the previous quarter, increased by 11.41%.

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It is finally out! The reason why companies are outsourcing is more because of Growth, Increasing Speed to Market and Improving Productivity. These are the replies of the 114 American software companies.

Offshoring of software development by software companies is not costing Americans jobs, according to a report being announced Thursday by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

The association is releasing its Global Software Development Survey Report, which surveyed 114 American-based software companies last year. In a conclusion that stateside developers probably would not find surprising, SIIA found that software companies are increasing offshore software development efforts. However, companies are not looking to displace American workers, said David Thomas, executive director of SIIA.

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If you still needed any confirmation of the strength of Indian telecom market – here it is. Over the next 3-5 years, Cisco will move 20% – ONE-FIFTH – of its top brass to India!! Now, that is a MAJOR shift in any company. A lot of companies make the shift but this seems unprecedented!

And what prompts this shift?

– Great Market for Mobiles and a growing Internet usage
– Cheap talent that can help Cisco compete with Juniper and Huawei technologies.
– Good technical talent – not just cheap!

Wim Elfrink, Cisco’s (CSCO) chief globalization officer, is at the vanguard of a new initiative. This January, Elfrink will relocate from his San Jose (Calif.) headquarters to Bangalore, India. In a major display of commitment to the Indian market, Cisco plans to have at least 20% of its top executives working in India in the next three to five years, according to Elfrink.

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China’s Forex Reserves have reached a record $1 trillion mark! That gives it a big clout in the world economy. At the rate at which it is growing every year, if it could be extrapolated in the future and nothing wrong was to happen, then China will surpass US in its contribution to the World’s GDP growth by 2025! That is a significant milestone.

There are caveats however. The Chinese growth is very strongly linked to State control. The private entrepreneurs are strong but they have not contributed as much as they should have. More importantly most of the growth is export driven and not so much fueled by local consumers.

The prediction from MorganStanley analysis report:

In his analysis for Morgan Stanley, Mr. Roach extrapolated plausible growth rates into the future for China, India, Europe, Japan, and the US. This is merely a simulation, not a formal forecast, but the results are telling: In its contribution to world GDP growth, China would surpass the US by 2025. That would be up from about 35 percent of the US contribution in 2005, and 60 percent in 2015. India’s contribution would surpass Japan’s by 2025, but remain far behind China and the US.

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India is the world wide champ when it comes to outsourcing! In a survey of the best cities to outsource to, the first seven slots go to Indian cities with – hold your breath – New Delhi – my home – leading the way!!

And what is the primary reason for that? Here is an interesting point made by the senior person of the company which did the study as per the Yahoo story.

“The labour pool remains a huge advantage in India — you don’t have to spend lots of money training people up,” Sabyasachi Satyaprasad, a senior director at neoIT, told reporters in New Delhi.

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Multisourcing: Moving Beyond Outsourcing to Achieve Growth And Agility

I had discussed in my last post that the outsourcing debate is on the wrong track! It is NOT about the cost at all. It is about scalability and efficiency foremost! Here is another opinion that finally sees that light!

Salaries for Indian IT workers are climbing an average 12% annually. As large U.S. companies such as IBM and Electronic Data Systems Corp. expand operations in India, some analysts and competitors contend that pressure on wages will only increase, and the top-tier Indian IT providers will become victims of their own success.

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Paul McDougall suggests that the employment is growing in the US IT sector as well as the Indian IT sector! This runs contrary to what the patriotic and xenophobic pundits like Lou Dobbs have been ranting about all along! So how come this is happening?

IT employment in the United States is growing even as more businesses outsource tech work overseas. Hudson, a professional staffing firm, reports in their July survey that hiring and pay in the tech sector is up, as is worker confidence. At the same time, India’s revenues from outsourcing are climbing–up 32% in the second quarter, according to an Indian trade group.

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