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April 8, 2013

A Lesson from Bollywood for Outsourcing

Posted by Suman Sasmal (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:46 AM

In an industry filled with testosterone-laden wannabes and nubile starlets, one of Bollywood's leading lights has had nearly half a decade in the business. A superstar who needs no introduction. How does he do it? Genius? Beyond doubt. A great work ethic? Absolutely. But above all it's because he has reinvented himself to stay relevant over the years. And repeatedly raised the game. While no one gets a prize for guessing who I am talking about, the septuagenarian superstar is Amitabh Bachchan. 

Is there a lesson here that one of India's greatest exports can give to another?

In a recent survey, a vast majority of 400 enterprises said that their outsourcing initiatives had delivered to expectations on cost reduction, globalization and process standardization parameters. 

Well, no surprises there. IT outsourcing has matured, even as the competition has become stiffer. All of these point to rapid commoditization of the business, as well, where one vendor is believed to be the same as another. And yet, the business scenario is changing rapidly. There are several forces at play -  economic, social and technological.  Their impact has been far reaching. And the motivation for outsourcing is no longer cost and efficiency alone. Outsourcing is  being reinvented from its core once again, like the way it did 30 years ago with the GDM (Global Delivery Model). The big buyers of outsourcing are looking for alignment with business goals, such as agility, outcome, analytical insight and innovation capability.  And business has a big say in where to outsource and towards what end. 

The industry is slowly but surely reinventing itself to go from being an efficient supplier of services to a strategic partner enabling business outcomes. And this time, it is moving beyond fancy presentations and a few tweaks around the periphery. It's serious work that's driving fundamental changes in the outsourcing paradigm and triggering a re-design of the core offerings. The writing is on the wall is unmistakable - the future will belong to those who can quickly redefine the game and change the model once again. The roads are many and wide open - intellectual property, thought leadership, innovation, analytical insight and cutting edge technologies, to name a few. And they all lead to outsourcing superstardom.


"The future belong to those who can quickly redefine the game and change the model once again"...well prophesied

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