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.
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
Americans awoke yesterday to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police, who responded to the violence with tear gas and rubber bullets. Tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. However, many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Vehicles and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
EXTRA INVITATIONS: Russia, Australia, South Korea and India would be asked to a later summit dedicated to countering China, Donald Trump said US President Donald Trump has been forced to cancel a planned face-to-face summit of G7 leaders this month and now wants to host an expanded meeting in September dedicated to countering China to which Russian President Vladimir Putin would be invited. Trump on Saturday announced that he had canceled the June meeting, which he had billed as a symbol of the US “transitioning back to greatness,” after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told him in a telephone call that she saw the summit in Washington as a health risk. Hundreds of security staff, journalists and officials also attend the two-day summits. Reports suggest