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India and Outsourcing

In: Business and Management

Submitted By jahmeemah
Words 1192
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The impact of globalization in India has been major, especially due to the call centers that have been outsourced there. The call centre jobs require the young Indian service providers to assume a different identity. They take on a western name, learn to talk with an accent, learn about western cultures to help them deal with western clients. This is forcing Indians to live fake western lives while physically being a part of the Indian reality. What is now emerging is a new dominant culture that is taking over that has changed ways of dressing, speaking, and thinking and has injected a new urban culture with the values of the modernized West. Indians are conforming to the processes of globalization in the name of progress. The cost is losing their identity, culture, heritage and traditions. Some of these cultural changes are reflected in values and religious practices, social interaction and roles and spending patterns. These changes also affect the US companies that have chosen to align or outsource with companies in India.
Indians traditionally value peaceful co-existence, spirituality, respect for elders, nature, art, seeking prosperity, strong family ties and hospitality. It is highly collective in terms of society and family and less importance given to individualism. Indian myths, legends and stories stress that good human beings think of the welfare of others before their own. With the impact of call centers, globalization with its emphasis on individualism and secularism is promoting worldviews that differ from the traditional route and has left the Indian youth with a spiritual void and a mix of cultural identities. India is fast assimilating into what one could call a global culture. Parents are seeing firsthand the cultural shift as they see their children respecting less of the value systems Indian's have been known to follow. Indian Parents feel that children now have role models which don't belong to India or represent materialistic success and have no regards values. This is because family bonding activities are eroding leading to a loss of the safety and strong family dynamics that have traditionally been the case. The youth are living alone and by staying away from home and the environment where they grew up learning and respecting religious rituals, they have stopped following certain religious practices.
Social factors and roles is yet another cultural change due to the impact of call centers in India. Traditionally, Indians get an education in Indian universities and went to work in other countries due to the lack of local conditions, which obliged them to adapt to other cultures other than that in which they had been brought up. Today, with the contracting of Indians in their own country there is an increase in the number of qualified people who do not need to leave home to work. That brings many improvements to the life of the Indian population and many changes in the cultural field. The few barriers to accession caused by the caste system are no longer as visible. The caste system does not exist today in the more developed cities due to the creation of these and other jobs. The role of children and women in the family has changed. They have become the major influencers in taking purchase decision. Women are coming forward and taking the opportunity provided by increased employment opportunities and enhancing the role of women in India. Women were traditionally not allowed to work and live just for their husbands and single women not usually seen living an independent lifestyle as they do now; with arranged marriages happening less frequently. Socio economic trends have caused cultural changes to occur. There is also a very modern side to India, including Bollywood, internet cafes, and Indian MTV music videos. This new culture is most prevalent in the cities and among higher income groups, but it is also part of the everyday life of all Indians. There seem to be many layers within Indian society and the gap between the generations appears to be magnified. The gap between the rich and poor is also increasing due to the economic growth caused by the call centers.
Disposable income increase for the middle class has also caused a cultural change by shifting the buying behavior of Indians. Indians are more brand conscious and materialistic due to television, newspapers, magazines and billboard marketing influence. The Indian consumers today wants to live in the present and prefers a life full of luxury and comfort and are highly aware about the product, price, quality and options available to them. Indian consumers now purchase products on credit and pay tomorrow leading to the growth of shopping malls and turning the market to a ‘buyers’ market from ‘seller’s market’. Regarding expenditure, it is found that consumers today spend more on non food items and medical, health care, transport and communication spending has grown. People have become more conscious about their looks and there is a growth in the beauty service industry to support it.
All these changes are affecting the leadership differences in India and the US by allowing a blend of both cultures to emerge and one country learning from the other. One of the most important things successful Indian leaders do is to lead with a sense of social purpose by investing more in employees, taking the long term view and having effective leaders that act as role models. This is reflective of the culture and US leaders are adopting these principles and incorporating them into their effective strategies. By outsourcing, US companies gain competitive advantage from reduction of cost. Organizational cultures and structures are focusing on customer perspectives and how best to sustain competitive advantage. Organizational structures have also changed to be more flexible and willing to build continuing change into the organization. US and India are both seeing roles in the family, community and workplace being reshaped based on changing national roles and a new work culture. As India's economy continues to grow, the wages are getting higher and companies may eventually look for cheaper alternatives. Having a win-win approach is the best for both the US and India.
Many of the cultural changes are seen as positive but with unemployment rates going up some argue that it is negative. Globalization is here to stay; Organizations and leaders should therefore be prepared to meet the challenge.
Reference
http://www.uoguelph.ca/cids/indiasemestr/culture.html Retrieved on September 25, 2012 http://ajgs.org/index.php/AJGS/article/viewFile/87/128 Retrieved on September 25, 2012 http://blogs.siliconindia.com/srikala/India_has_gone_through_a_cultural_change-bid-PGzb5oAW43679839.html Retrieved on September 25, 2012 http://www.cnn.com/2010/BUSINESS/03/05/india.leadership.lessons/index.h Retrieved on September 25, 2012 http://www.watershed.com.br/article/195/what-did-the-call-centers-change-in-india.aspxtml Retrieved on September 25, 2012 http://useconomy.about.com/od/tradepolicy/tp/How-Jobs-Outsourcing-Affects-US-Economy.htm Retrieved on September 25, 2012
The Affect of Outsourcing on Cultures--(View Video/DVD-Thomas Friedman-Outsourcing in India) http://www.destinationcrm.com/Articles/Editorial/Magazine-Features/The-Changing-Role-of-the-Contact-Center-Agent-44368.aspx retrieved September 25, 2012

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