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India, Breeding Ground for Outsourcing Billionaires
ST Team
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Now it is clear that India dominates the outsourcing business in the world. A Forbes magazine survey says that five of the seven billionaires whose primary source of wealth is outsourcing are Indians.

Three of them are from Infosys Technologies. The non-executive Chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy, Co-chairman Nandan Nilekani, and the CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan are these tycoons. The others are Wipro Chairman Azim Premji and HCL Technologies’ founder Shiv Nadar.

All these five made their billions through providing global software and IT services. In contrast, the other two outsourcing billionaires, Terry Gou and Barry Lam, both of whom hail from Taiwan, run companies specializing in contract manufacturing in the electronics sector.

Premji tops the Indians’ list with a net worth of $12.7 billion. His Wipro had acquired a business process outsourcing arm in 2002. Following Premji is Nadar, with a net worth of $3.9 billion. Forbes writes, “With the clients like Cisco, Boeing, and IBM, HCL is one of India's leading global IT services companies that emphasize ‘transformational outsourcing’."

Narayana Murthy, with a net worth of $1.4 billion, is also the chief mentor of Infosys, a software services company he co-founded with only seven people and $250. The fourth rank occupant Nilekani, who is also one of the co-founders of Infosys, has $1.1 billion as net worth. He ran the company as Chief Executive and Managing Director until June 2007.

Gopalakrishnan, who is part of the founders’ team, has a net worth of $1 billion. He was President and Chief Operating Officer of the company until last June when he took over from Nilekani as Chief Executive and Managing Director. The magazine reports that Infosys pioneered the global delivery model of outsourcing. The premise is to take work to the location where the best talent is available; the philosophy that helped stimulate the rise of global offshore outsourcing and added to the company's wealth.

The world topper Terry Gou, whose net worth is $6.1 billion, is Chairman of Hon Hai that has capitalized on the popularity of iPods, cell phones, game systems, and other devices the company assembles.

Barry Lam, who comes just behind Narayana Murthy, has a net worth of $1.3 billion. Lan runs Quanta Computer, the manufacturer of the notebook’s original design that has clients like Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell.

These seven billionaires, Forbes clarified, made their fortunes through a phenomenon called offshore outsourcing. It is a combination of outsourcing and offshoring, two similar concepts that are often lumped together.

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