The mythology of outsourcing

Let us start with a simple scene. I had done the mistake of taking my daughter to watch Hanuman movie and after that she has been extremely fascinated by all the Ramayana characters. One afternoon she caught me and asked me to become Hanuman and said that she will be Rama. Do I really have an option to say no to such an offer. Promptly she hands over a toy to me which is supposed to be my bat or ‘gada’. So the scene is set and the characters are set.

The first instruction for me(Hanuman) from my daughter(Rama) is go and find Seeta for me. Hmmmm… why? Not my wife? Why should I find?

Here response was very straightforward, it almost felt like it was below her dignity to do this type of job. Hunting for wife, no way I am doing that. I might have broken a bow and arrow before marriage to get you but now things have changed.

So just tough to imagine that thousands of years ago somebody outsourced the job of wife hunting. The concept of nations might not be there at that time but the concept of outsourcing was certaily there. One more scenario I can remember is subsidiary agreements East India company did with princely states of India where control of foreign affairs, defense, and communications was transferred from the ruler to the company and the rulers were allowed to rule as they wished (up to a limit) on other matters.

The first model succeeded as Seeta was found and they lived happily after(almost). But the second one lead to all the states coming under british domination in the long run and even the company died a sudden death in 1858 after India’s first struggle for independence.

So the lessons taught to us by history are clear. In the first case the outsourcing deal was based on providing value to each other whereas on the second case outsourcing was due to fear of other princely states. All the businesses follow a simple logic that manufacture it where it costs least and sell it where it can be sold for best margins. There might be short term deviations from this but long term goal will always align with this philosophy. Don’t be surprised if all the IT companies in Bangalore move to Bhogaon as the cost of living in Bangalore keeps shooting up. And if you loose your job due to this you get added to the list of people who got Bhogaoned……

  • sunson

    Nicely written.