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Blog // Thoughts
January 17, 2006

Reverse Brain-Drain: Expats In Indian Call-Centres

There have been quite a few of these sorts of stories making the papers here recently. Whilst there have always been a healthy number of expatriates working in Indian call-centres and BPOs at a management and training level, it seems the front-line low paying jobs are attracting a fair share of travelling westerns looking to […]

There have been quite a few of these sorts of stories making the papers here recently. Whilst there have always been a healthy number of expatriates working in Indian call-centres and BPOs at a management and training level, it seems the front-line low paying jobs are attracting a fair share of travelling westerns looking to fund extended holidays (or voyages of discovery). Others, it seems, are genuienly trying to fill out their CVs with a foreign experience.

I do wonder how this will be taken locally. On the one hand, the whole call-centre industry here has grown because of the large pool of educated english speakers. However, once other languages need to be learnt, Indian call-centres loose their advantage over call-centres in other parts of Asia. Therefore, it makes sense for the call-centres to welcome these westerns to aid the language aquisition.

But on the other hand there is a potential for an anti-expat backlash (or increased backlash, depending on your point of view) as lucrative call centre jobs are “poached” by foreigners (this has been a sentiment in a few things I have read). Given the recent hightened scutiny by the tax department on expatriate benefits, it seems the Indian media is somewhat obsessed with the role of expats in the corporate life of the country (this is something I will blog more about when we finally leave India).

[tags] India, Call Centre, Globalisation [/tags]

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