Multinationals in India choose political correctness

Multinationals in India choose political correctness

Summary: The success of Indian IT continues to spark backlash in the developed world. This is one concern multinational corporations (MNCs) may have to live with.

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TOPICS: India
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The success of Indian IT continues to spark backlash in the developed world. This is one concern multinational corporations (MNCs) may have to live with. I experienced this recently, when I approached several MNCs for a story on how India is fast emerging as a hub for low-cost development.

The queries were rather simple, intended at finding out what kind of development work actually took place at the R&D centers of these MNCs in India. A majority of the MNCs never got back to me. Most said their key executives (who were authorized to answer these queries) were traveling. Some were more forthright and said they can't reveal such information due to strategic reasons. Yet, others said nothing at all. There was one company that responded quite promptly. But then, it didn't do any development work in India (the company was Acer; it undertakes R&D at its headquarters in Taiwan).

A prominent industry person finally spelt out what I had begun to anticipate. "Large MNCs need to be politically correct. Back home, they have to give the impression that they are outsourcing simple jobs to India and not more high-skill jobs. Otherwise, they could draw more flak," the source said.

For many Indians, this resentment may not be easy to understand. Look at it this way--if the Tata group was to downsize heavily in India, and get all its development and backoffice work done at R&D centers and BPO (business process outsourcing) outfits in other countries, many Indians would be rather agitated and upset.

Then again, it's impossible to suppress the growing prowess of a country--and market size--as large as India (or any other emerging economy for that matter). How long can they ignore media queries? Nothing can stop the inevitable from happening.

Perhaps, there is no easy solution to this particular fallout of globalization.

Topic: India

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4 comments
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  • Multinationals in India choose political correctness

    If and when Indian companies outsource, many Indians will follow their jobs to _any_ "phoren" country. That's an option MNC home country employees are not taking up often enough in the new order of things.
    som_thomas@...
  • Multinationals in India choose political correctness

    MNCs simply do not want to project themselves as relying on India/China for high skilled jobs due to PR reasons.
    My friends working in one of the largest MNCs in India told me how strategic are the India development centers are - this is highlighted by the headcount. His project employs 100 developers worldwide and 90 of them sit in India. The ratio increased in India in the last 5 years.
    India is loosing the PR battle in this front.
    anonymous
  • Multinationals in India choose political correctness

    It made an interesting reading but just a thought..living in an information age ..to quote you."Large MNCs need to be politically correct. Back home, they have to give the impression that they are outsourcing simple jobs to India and not more high-skill jobs" it would not be difficult to find out what an MNC is doing for a persistent detrmined person from the MNC'S home. Information is everywhere from patents emanating from the centre, white papers, new models being developed, moles in the MNC etc..If you want an information, it will come, though sometimes from an inappropriate sources.
    anonymous
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