High labour attrition, poor infrastructure and lack of data protection laws could derail India's booming outsourcing industry, the CEO of Indian software giant Infosys Technologies said yesterday. \nNandan Nilekani, chief executive officer of Infosys Technologies, India's second-biggest software exporter, said business process outsourcing (BPO) was based on reputation and urged the industry to deliver quality work. \n"Every year, about 70,000 jobs are added and the main challenge is how to attract people," he told delegates at a conference held by National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), India's leading information technology body, in the southern city of Bangalore. \n"The challenge is also how to retain the pool. It's a collective challenge. We require a holistic approach to expand the pool and train people. The question here is how to retain the manpower to deliver quality and value." \nAnalysts say outsourcing labour attrition rates vary between 20 and 40 percent in some companies while at top firms it averages at least 15 percent. \nNASSCOM said in a recent report the outsourcing industry was expected to face a shortage of 262,000 professionals by 2012. \nThe looming shortage, even in the short-term, poses a significant challenge for the nascent industry where foreign firms have outsourced jobs ranging from payroll processing to air ticketing, it said. \n"We're in a situation where customer expectations are going up and we have to invest in people to make this industry successful," Nilekani said. \nNoshir Kaka, Partner, Mackinsey and Company Inc, said the Indian outsourcing industry faced a tough challenge in attracting quality manpower and a "public-private partnership" was the only solution. \n"India churns out two million graduates [annually] and only 5 percent of them are employable by the call center industry. Of the rest, 15 to 20 percent are trainable and recruitable and 80 percent are not even trainable. \n"This industry is going to run out of steam if that 15 percent to 20 percent trainable people is not unlocked soon, at the latest by 2007," he said. \nNilekani, whose firm has an outsourcing arm in India's high-tech hub of Bangalore employing over 1,500 people, said the industry also needed to create an atmosphere in which foreign firms were confident privacy would be respected. \n"For mission-critical applications there's a need for data privacy and intellectual protection laws. It's a big thing ... companies internally have to adhere to this [privacy] and a legal framework must be in place," he said. \nArun Seth, managing director of British telecommunications firm BT Worldwide Ltd, said high wages were also eroding competitiveness of outsourcing firms. \n"Other countries are catching up and we can't be complacent. One has to look at areas such as telecommmunications, where presently costs are high and try to bring down costs to make up for high salaries," Seth said. \nThe flow of jobs into India from the US and Europe has led to an outcry from Western workers but analysts say the cost-savings from outsourcing still make it a good bet for foreign firms. \nOutsourcing contributed 29 percent to India's total software exports and posted revenue growth of 46 percent to US$3.6 billion in the fiscal year to March this year, according to NASSCOM. Revenues are forecast to grow about 40 percent in this financial year to US$5.1 billion.
BUSY DAY: The same day the USS ‘Barry’ passed through the Strait, Taiwan was ending its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it conducted an exercise near Taiwan A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.” “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.” The Ministry
FRUIT SPAT: The COA said China had not given evidence for halting wax and custard apple imports, adding that it would spend NT$1bn on promoting sales of the fruit Taipei threatened to take China to the WTO yesterday after Beijing said it would suspend wax apple and custard apple imports from Taiwan due to pest concerns. China’s customs administration earlier yesterday said it had repeatedly found pests called Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug, on wax and custard apples from Taiwan. It asked its Guangdong branch and all affiliated offices to stop clearing the products from today. China had acted unilaterally, without providing scientific evidence, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news conference, criticizing the announcement’s timing, as it came during the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated in Taiwan
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the