Bangalore: Due to high levels of unemployment, call center workers are becoming cheaper to hire in the U.S. According to the head of the country's largest business process outsourcing company, the wages in the country have come down to match the call center costs in India, reports James Lamont and Joe Leahy of FT.com.
High unemployment levels have driven down wages for some low-skilled outsourcing services in some parts of the U.S., particularly among the Hispanic population. But at the same time, wages in India's outsourcing sector have risen by 10 percent this year. Adding to it, senior outsourcing managers based in the country command salaries above global averages.
According to Pramod Bhasin, the Chief Executive of Genpact, the company is expected to treble its workforce in the US over the next two years, from about 1,500 employees. As people in the U.S. are ready to work at lower salaries, the company can hire some seasoned executives with experience in the U.S. for less money, said Bhasin.
According to Suresh Vaswani, joint Chief Executive of Wipro Technologies, half of the company's 110,000-strong workforce will be non-Indians in two years, from the current 39 percent.
The move to expand operations in the U.S. also comes as protectionist rhetoric against outsourcers rises in Washington. Since U.S. business had helped India's outsourcing industry back on its track, Indian outsourcers should also be sympathetic to the deep economic woes in the U.S., said Bhasin.