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BPO Backlash
<b>Many top Indian BPO outfits under threat: Gartner</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> As many as 70 per cent of the top 15 Indian Business Process Outsourcing start-ups will cease to exist in the coming months, analyst firm Gartner has said.

"By the end of 2005, 70 per cent of the top 15 Indian-owned BPO start-ups that offer customer call centre services will be acquired, merged or be marginalised," it said. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Gartner also predicted that through 2007, 80 per cent of organisations that outsource customer service and support contact centres with the primary goal of reducing cost would fail.

Up to 2008, 60 per cent of organisations that outsource parts of the customer-facing process will encounter customer defections and hidden costs that outweigh any potential savings they derive from outsourcing, it said.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->She also pointed to risks related to knowledge management and retention, accentuated by the fact that customer service outsourcing providers have staff attrition rates of up to 70 to 80 per cent, compared to an average of 19 to 25 per cent in in-house contact centres.

There are benefits to be gained from outsourcing non-core processes, but rewards will not be instant and organisations should adopt a controlled and phased approach, Gartner said.
<b>China big threat to India on outsourcing: Premji</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Premji said that the Chinese were very hard working, competitive, and dedicated, as a result of which they were able to overcome any odds by dint of labour.

He said that China had chalked out a massive programme on primary education with focus on training in English.

Premji warned that India should not remain complacent and the IT companies and the Government should invest in quality processing and other related areas to stay ahead in global competition.

China had also offered academicians staying outside to come to the mainland and give training to students.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
This is serious.-
<b>US clients hit by ex-employees</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pune, April 8|01:05 IST
It's not the first BPO-related crime in the country, and it's definitely not going to be the last.

The Pune police has unearthed a racket involving<b> former call centre employees who siphoned out about $3.5 lakh (around Rs 1.5 crore) from the Citibank accounts of four Americans and went on a spending spree, buying cars and mobile phones. Twelve persons have been arrested</b>.

Police commissioner DN Jadhav said the <b>30-year-old main accused, Ivin Thomas, illegally procured the Personal Information Number (PIN) of the US nationals while working with a call centre in the city</b>. After quitting the BPO last December, he and his friends opened bank accounts using false names and used the Internet to transfer the money from the US accounts to their accounts.

The police refused to divulge the name of the BPO, which is based in Bangalore.

The transaction was made between January and March this year, the police commissioner said, adding that the police swung into action after the bank registered a formal police complaint.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Indian techies arrested in Malaysia </b> <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Kuala Lumpur, April 25: Malaysian authorities arrested two Indian software engineers on suspicion of being illegal immigrants even though the men had valid visas, Indian officials said on Monday. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
They should arrest Malayasians in India and have them taste of Indian jails.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BPO under fire, India feels heat

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NEW DELHI: If you thought outsourcing had disappeared from the American firmament after George Bush returned to White House, think again. Outsourcing or offshoring is back, and how. And India remains the favourite target.

Just in the first three months of 2005, over 112 anti-outsourcing bills are coursing their way through some 40 states in the US. In 2004, there were 107 bills in 33 states, of which only five became law, says the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) in a new study.

What is the reason for the quantum jump in protectionist legislation in the US and what is India doing about it?

Well, 2006 is election year for the US Congress, and whatever else you may say about the state of the US economy, you don't need to read Thomas Friedman's book on globalization to see that it's increasingly getting to be a bijli-sadak-paani issue in heartland America. Heightened concerns about jobs being snatched away by cheaper markets in the run-up to the elections is therefore, natural. For politicians to cash in on this is par for the course.

The NFAP study lists several bills of concern - a New Jersey bill, which prohibits state contract work from being performed overseas; bills in Oklahoma and Mississippi about call centers outside the US; Montana bill keeping state work in the US; Washington bill putting checks on outside contracts and a Maryland bill prohibiting the federal government from binding the state to international agreements.

Most of these bills will fall by the wayside, and some may violate the US' international trade obligations, so will be non-starters. But the fact remains that over the next year and half, the outsourcing clamour could intrude into bilateral ties.

The Indian government has sensibly stayed out of the debate and left it to India inc to tackle, which it is doing with increasing sophistication. The strategy is simple - educate American people, politicians, lawmakers and companies that outsourcing is "good for America." Whittling away at the opposition, Indian industry groups like Nasscom have engaged one of the US' top lobbying firms, Hill & Knowlton to put India's message across. In this, they have been helped by no less than US Chamber of Commerce and IT Association of America.

Indian companies are tackling robustly next generation issues like data privacy and security, pet peeve of high profile US senators like Hilary Clinton, who is piloting her own anti-outsourcing bill. And think-tanks like NFAP are spreading the good word about outsourcing. The study concludes that ultimately bills like these send negative signals to international companies wanting to invest in the US and "not welcome" signs rarely attract business.

The world may be flat, but it is taking a lot of elbow grease to go around<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Indian call centers to swell with foreigners soon</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"There will be a potential demand for over 160,000 foreign language professionals in the Indian offshoring industry by 2010," say analysts at the research firm Evalueserve. Evaluserve estimates that currently between 20,000 to 30,000 expatriates are believed to be working nationwide.

According to Evalueserve estimates, "not more than 40,000 Indians with foreign language specialisation will qualify to meet this requirement, creating a substantial supply-side constraint. Hence, India provides a huge potential for foreigners who have now begun to consider the country as an attractive destination for job opportunities."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"India is an ideal place to work... with comfortable accommodations and suitable stipends. After me, several of my friends have joined here. It's fun," says Jeanne Moore, who is working at a BPO centre in Gurgaon.

Backpackers and college graduates from US and several European countries are being hired by  American and British companies to work in India-based call centers in an attempt to bridge the culture gap between agents and customers.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
A Race to the Top

Published: June 3, 2005
Bangalore, India
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It was extremely revealing traveling from Europe to India as French voters (and now Dutch ones) were rejecting the E.U. constitution - in one giant snub to President Jacques Chirac, European integration, immigration, Turkish membership in the E.U. and all the forces of globalization eating away at Europe's welfare states. It is interesting because French voters are trying to preserve a 35-hour work week in a world where Indian engineers are ready to work a 35-hour day. Good luck.

Forum: Thomas L. Friedman's Columns
Voters in "old Europe" - France, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy - seem to be saying to their leaders: stop the world, we want to get off; while voters in India have been telling their leaders: stop the world and build us a stepstool, we want to get on. I feel sorry for Western European blue collar workers. A world of benefits they have known for 50 years is coming apart, and their governments don't seem to have a strategy for coping.

One reason French voters turned down the E.U. constitution was rampant fears of "Polish plumbers." Rumors that low-cost immigrant plumbers from Poland were taking over the French plumbing trade became a rallying symbol for anti-E.U. constitution forces. A few weeks ago Franz Müntefering, chairman of Germany's Social Democratic Party, compared private equity firms - which buy up failing businesses, downsize them and then sell them - to a "swarm of locusts."

The fact that a top German politician has resorted to attacking capitalism to win votes tells you just how explosive the next decade in Western Europe could be, as some of these aging, inflexible economies - which have grown used to six-week vacations and unemployment insurance that is almost as good as having a job - become more intimately integrated with Eastern Europe, India and China in a flattening world.

To appreciate just how explosive, come to Bangalore, India, the outsourcing capital of the world. The dirty little secret is that India is taking work from Europe or America not simply because of low wages. <b>It is also because Indians are ready to work harder and can do anything from answering your phone to designing your next airplane or car. They are not racing us to the bottom. They are racing us to the top.</b>

<b>Indeed, there is a huge famine breaking out all over India today, an incredible hunger. But it is not for food. It is a hunger for opportunity that has been pent up like volcanic lava under four decades of socialism, and it's now just bursting out with India's young generation. </b>

"India is the oldest civilization, the largest democracy and the youngest population - almost 70 percent is below age 35 and almost 50 percent is 25 and under," said Shekhar Gupta, editor of The Indian Express. Next to India, Western Europe looks like an assisted-living facility with Turkish nurses.

Sure, a huge portion of India still lives in wretched slums or villages, but more and more of the young cohort are grasping for something better. A grass-roots movement is now spreading, demanding that English be taught in state schools - where 85 percent of children go - beginning in first grade, not fourth grade. "What's new is where this movement is coming from," said the Indian commentator Krishna Prasad. "It's coming from the farmers and the Dalits, the lowest groups in society." Even the poor have been to the cities enough to know that English is now the key to a tech-sector job, and they want their kids to have those opportunities.

The Indian state of West Bengal has the oldest elected Communist government left in the world today. Some global technology firms recently were looking at outsourcing there, but told the Communists they could not do so because of the possibility of worker strikes that might disrupt the business processes of the companies they work for. No problem. The <b>Communist government declared information technology work an "essential service," making it illegal for those workers to strike.</b> Have a nice day.

"This is not about wages at all - the whole wage differential thing is going to reduce very quickly," said Rajesh Rao, who heads the innovative Indian game company, Dhruva. It is about people who have been starving "finally seeing the ability to realize their dreams." Both Infosys and Wipro, India's leading technology firms, received more than one million applications last year for a little more than 10,000 job openings.

Yes, this is a bad time for France and friends to lose their appetite for hard work - just when India, China and Poland are rediscovering theirs. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Indian BPOs lose business
India to fight with US at WTO on outsourcing battle

India Remote Controls IT Trade

Do you know what's common between a $50 billion support service provider in Great Britain, a small telecom infrastructure company in southern Europe, a large utility firm in US and a medium retail chain in West Asia? The IT infrastructure backbone of all these companies is connected to a single point, and that’s India. In fact, the country monitors, maintains, manages and protects the entire IT infrastructure and storage systems of hundreds of small, medium and large global companies. All done from here, remotely and in real time.

Protectionism at HIGHER level!

The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has rejected consignments of MNCs Coca-Cola India, Hindustan Lever, Procter & Gamble and Britannia <b>from India </b>on the grounds that they are ‘unsafe’ or not conforming to US laws. According to information sourced from the USFDA, a shipment of Fanta sent by Coca-Cola India from Mumbai to the US was rejected on May 19 on the grounds that it contained ‘unsafe colour’. The regulator said the ‘article appears to be, or to bear or contain a colour additive which is unsafe’.

This is a BIG BS from them.
despite NAFTA, US Customs still prevent shipment of MADE N MEXICO products like Tylonol, Duracell, Tide, Halls Vapour Action, and many others.
<b>Crying shame </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->What makes the scandal intolerable is that Bahree got the data from his workplace and from friends and acquaintances at other call centres. The Sun showed the data to security experts who authenticated it. Bahree, according to the mass-selling tabloid paper, boasted that he could sell as many as two lakh account details, including those of American banking customers, every month.

This exposure comes on the heels of another scandal, involving Mphassis, sixteen of whose employees were arrested in April for a $350,000 online credit-card fraud involving Citibank customers. Nasscom, the Indian software lobby, has been quick to react this time, calling the exposure “terrible”, and saying it is in the process of establishing a national registry of IT employees in response to mounting concern over the security of out-processed data.

But the government’s response has been typically nonchalant. Describing it as a freak occurrence, the communications and IT minister, Dayanidhi Maran, said, “Please remember that incidents like this happen all over the Western world. We do not believe that it is a matter for us to get into, as it relates to private parties.” <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> <b>Henry Kissinger in the Seventies called Indians deceitful and untrustworthy, and we have generously and shamelessly kept to that image in all these decades. </b>

When did we start going corrupt and crooked? Mrs Indira Gandhi is often described as the fountainhead of corruption, but political corruption began before her time, in her father, Nehru’s regime, when the Mundra and Jeep scandals were exposed, one incidentally by her own husband. But political corruption as we see it today was her creation, she established what is called the license-permit-quota raj, and it has never been wholly dismantled. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->All the same, it is a wake up call, and Maran’s hands off attitude will not pay. While regulation does not appear the answer, unless it is privately managed, the government has to show concern, and make pronouncements that would boost sagging confidences abroad. It is hard not to compare, but Arun Shourie in Maran’s place would not have been so complacent. This is shameful.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> After nearly twenty years, we are being told to swallow the lie that no kickbacks were paid in the Bofors deal. The last poll fought on a corruption plank was in 1989, and it elected India’s worst prime minister, V.P.Singh. So revolted did his middle class supporters become by his Mandal politics that they voted in the Congress regime of P.V.Narasimha Rao, and turned their faces to its corruption<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>US meet to focus on checking BPO frauds</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Information security has been a sensitive issue in the US, flogged repeatedly by opponents of outsourcing. But the United States’ own record on this has come into question lately. Earlier this month, Citigroup lost computer tapes containing data, including social security numbers, on 3.9 million customers.

This has been followed by the revelation of a far more serious negligence, which has compromised the security of data of some 40 million holders of Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards.

The San Francisco conference, the third of its kind, has been sponsored by Goodsoft Inc. Its co-sponsors include the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Bay Area World Trade Center, Bay Area Economic Forum, TiE Sillicon Valley and Madaan.com.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>FRENCH FRIED FRIEDMAN, The Nouvelle Globalizer</b>
by Greg Palast

Friday, June 3, 2005Vicente Fox got a well-deserved boot in the derriere for saying Mexicans come to America for taking jobs "not even Blacks want to do." But Thomas Friedman earns plaudits and Pulitzers for his column which today announces that East Indians are taking jobs the French are too lazy to do ["A Race to the Top," New York Times, June 3]. His fit of racial profiling was motivated by his pique over France's rejection of the globalizers' charter for corporate dominance known as the European Constitution.

It's not the implicit racism of Friedman's statement which is most irksome, it's his ghastly glee that "a world of benefits they [Western Europeans] have known for 50 years is coming apart," because the French and other Europeans "are trying to preserve a 35 hour work week in a world where Indian engineers are ready to work a 35-hour day."

He forgot to add, "and where Indian families are ready to sell their children into sexual slavery to survive." Now, THERE'S a standard to reach for.

In his endless series of pukey peons to globalization, Friedman promises that free trade, an end of regulation, slashing government welfare and privatization of industry will lead to an economic nirvana.

Yet, all he and his globalization clique can point to as the free market's accomplishment is the murderous competition between workers across borders to cut their wages for the chance to work in the new digital sweatshops.

Friedman praises the New India, freed of the shackles of Old India's socialist welfare state. I've seen the New India: half a billion people in dirt huts supporting a tiny minority's right to shop in air-conditioned malls. It is a Fritz Lang film in Hindi.

There is, of course, a hopeful, growing India where the much-heralded cyber work is based. But, Mr. Friedman, please note these brains for hire are found in Karnataka and Kerala, states whose cussed adherence to social welfare makes them more French than France and nothing like Thatcherized dog-eat-dog Britain or Reaganized America.

The computer wizards of Bangalore (in Karnataka) and Kerala are the products of fully funded state education systems where, unlike the USA, no child is left behind. A huge apparatus of state-owned or state-controlled industries, redistributionist tax systems, subsidies of necessities from electricity to food, tight government regulation and affirmative action programs for the lower castes are what has created these comfortable refuges for Oracle and Microsoft.

And the successful Indian states, unlike the dreadful free-market Uttar Pradesh, have labor unions so tough they make the French CGT look like a luncheon club of baguette biters.

A few years ago, I dropped in on a fishing village in Kerala in Southern India. Most fisherman worked from motorless dug-out log boats. Their language is Malayalam, but a large banner slung between two cocoanut trees announced in English, "WordPerfect applications class today." After they brought in the catch, the locals practiced programming on cardboard replicas of keyboards.

What made this all possible was not capitalist competitive drive (there was no corporate "entrepreneur" in sight), but the state's investment in universal education and the village's commitment to development of opportunity, not of a lucky few, but for the entire community. The village was 100% literate, 100% unionized, and 100% committed to sharing resources through a sophisticated credit union finance operation.

This was the communal welfare state at it's best. Microsoft did not build the schools for programmers -- the corporation only harvested what the socialist communities sowed.

The economist Amartya Sen won the Nobel Prize in 1998 for predicting that Southern India, with it's strong communalist social welfare state, would lead the economic advance of South Asia -- and do so without the Thatcherite sleight-of-hand of pretending that riches for the few equates to progress for the many.

When I asked the fisherman on their way to programming lessons what the West could do to encourage their efforts, they did not suggest privatizing Kerala's social security system. Rather -- and this was before the Seattle demonstrations of 1999 brought the World Trade Organization to the West's attention -- they called for the abolition of the WTO and greater protection for their wooden fishing fleet against the foreign factory boats marauding in their waters. With protective trade barriers, they could do as the US did for a hundred years: build up local resources and industry that creates the infrastructure of growth.

And the programmers themselves do not dream, Mr. Friedman, of stealing work from indolent Frenchmen or slothful Seattle geeks. Indians are not in love with the new method of brain-drain by satellite. They would hope for the opportunity to write code in their own languages for their own industries.

Friedman ends with the typical globalizer's warning that, "it's a bad time for France and friends to lose their appetite for hard work," or they will lose their jobs to Indians and Chinese willing to work for noodles. What Friedman means is that the French should give up their taste for old age pensions, universal health care, top-quality public education, protection of their skies and waters and all those things we used to call advances but now, according to the Friedman world order, stand in the way of progress. <b>It is too bad that the Times' opinion columns have not been outsourced to India. Were it so, a Keralite might explain to Friedman that
human advances are measured not by our willingness to crawl lower and lower to buy ourselves a job from Bill Gates, or by counting the number of Gap outlets in Delhi, but by our success in protecting and nurturing liberté, égalité and fraternité among all humanity.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--emo&:furious--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/furious.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='furious.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BPO's do it again: Aussie data on sale


Citibank NRI Offer 

NEW DELHI: It's Karan Bahree reloaded for India's burgeoning and scam-tainted call centre industry. Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) has alleged that employees of a Gurgaon-based call centre are illegally selling personal information of thousands of Australians for as little as 10 Australian dollars (Rs 335) per person.

The accusation comes at a time when India is working hard to convince the world that the data with its call centres are safe. In June, the British tabloid Sun claimed that Bahree, an employee of a Gurgaon call centre, divulged personal details of over 1,000 Britons for $5 per head.

ABC TV — in a preview of Four Corners programme by undercover journalists — claimed that its reporters were offered names, addresses, telephone numbers, birth details, medicare numbers, driver's licence numbers, ATM card numbers and even passport information of 1,000 Australians.

Four Corners said it was offered, through an unidentified broker, a deal on the information, but it turned down the bargain. The leaked information would enable fraudsters to assume false identities for online transactions, ABC said.

ABC was able to verify that the information belonged to real people.

Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC), through a programme aired on Monday night, has claimed that a call centre in Gurgaon is divulging personal details of Australians.

Though it did not divulge details of the purchase, ABC said a sample of identifications included personal details of Diane and Keith Poole. ABC neither named the company operating the call centre nor the journalist who had earlier conducted a similar sting operation at a call centre in Gurgaon.

Australia's attorney-general Philip Ruddock said he had asked the federal police to look into ABC's allegations. He said he was unaware of any evidence of customers' details being sold, but wanted the charges to be probed.

When contacted by TOI, Kiran Karnik, president of India's IT industry body Nasscom, sought to play down the incident.

"I haven't seen the programme but it just seems to be a follow-up of the Bahree case rather than being a fresh incident. But, let me also assure you that India is among the safest processing hubs around," he said.

The ABC programme quotes Karnik as saying: "I can assure every Australian customer whose data is being handled in India that in a comparative sense at least, this is among the safest places." <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


<b>Is India's outsourcing honeymoon over</b>?<i>Report: Labor shortage and wage inflation in outsourcing market has other countries in hot pursuit.</i><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A new report from market research firm Gartner, Inc. warns that a labor crunch and rising wages could erode as much as 45 percent of India's market share by 2007.

Indian industry watchers acknowledge that the country's outsourcing industry -- its golden goose of the moment -- is indeed facing a "serious" problem.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Unless India devises a long-term roadmap to improve infrastructure and consistently grow its skilled labor force, he said India will see some of its offshore BPO clients shift business elsewhere.

<b>"Although India's infrastructure is improving, it is not keeping pace with the rapid growth of the industry,"</b> the report said.

The Gartner report pointed out that while no single nation yet poses a direct threat to India as a high-quality/low-cost location, over the past two years, <b>more than 50 other countries have emerged that together could pose a viable challenge to India in the months ahead. </b>

Gartner estimates that <b>India's current 85 percent ownership of the BPO market share could dwindle to about 45 percent by 2007.</b> <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
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<b>Two BPO staff held for cyber crime in Gurgaon</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The owner of a UK-based company -- that had an exclusive deal with a call centre to bring business -- was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly leaking the call centre's confidential information and diverting BPO deals to its competitors.

The Cyber Crime Cell of Gurgaon police booked Harish Parmar, owner of Leicester-based City Credit Management Limited and his wife for illegally selling classified data of Cybersys Infotech Ltd (CIL), relating to its European customers, to other call centres. An executive of CIL, Sarita Rawat, too has been booked for the same offence
<b>Britons to work in Indian call centres</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The problem has arisen because although millions of Indians aspire to work in the call centres, managements are becoming more particular about whom they hire, following widespread complaints from callers in Britain about staff being unable to understand them.

There has also been a high attrition rate in many of the centres, as Indians became fed up with punishing hours and abuse from callers. That has not put off the young Britons.

The clamour for jobs in India has reached such levels that agencies have been set up to place them with Indian firms. Young Britons of Indian origin are also finding the jobs offer them a chance to rediscover their roots.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The clamour for jobs in India has reached such levels that agencies have been set up to place them with Indian firms. <b>Young Britons of Indian origin are also finding the jobs offer them a chance to rediscover their roots.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This may well include Pakis who may claim an Indian origin. I hope this scheme does not become a secutity hole.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Caremark Sued for Racial and Ethnic Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation</b>
<i>  Indian-born U.S. citizen Neelima Tirumalasetti announced today she has filed suit in federal court in Texas against Caremark RX, Inc.</i>
Dallas, TX, (PRWEB) December 3, 2005 -- Indian-born US citizen Neelima Tirumalasetti announced today she has filed suit in federal court in Texas against Caremark RX, Inc. and its subsidiary CaremarkPCS for almost daily anti-Indian harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Reference case number: 3-05CV1847-B.

Tirumalasetti worked in Caremark’s Richardson, TX facility, as a senior IT analyst in quality assurance. The lawsuit alleges that, after Caremark announced in December 2003 that it would be outsourcing Richardson work to IBM India, Tirumalasetti became the target of widespread anti-Indian harassment.

The lawsuit states that Tirumalasetti’s co-workers repeatedly called her “brown-skinned bitch,” “dirty Indian,” and other insults, accused her of coming to the U.S. to “take [their jobs,” mocked her accent in team meetings, and excluded her work projects. “Hoping for some relief, I reported the harassment to my manager, my manager’s direct supervisor, Human Resources, two vice presidents and even Caremark’s Ethics hotline, but the reports made matters worse,” says Tirumalasetti. She states in the lawsuit that after reporting harassment Caremark removed her team leader responsibilities on a large project, isolated her from prime work assignments, began auditing her work daily, denied her pay, and blocked her access to leave. The lawsuit also reveals that, days after Caremark requested Tirumalasetti to confidentially disclose the names of co-workers responsible for her racial and ethnic harassment, Tirumalasetti received death threats at work.

According to the lawsuit, Caremark originally told Tirumalasetti that she was making up the harassment as well as faking the physical symptoms of her escalating workplace stress, which repeatedly landed her in the hospital. The lawsuit states that Caremark later conceded that Tirumalasetti was the victim of harassment, but concluded that the harassment was understandable given Caremark’s employees’ concerns about outsourcing to India. Notwithstanding, Caremark prohibited Tirumalasetti from working from home to avoid the continued harassment, a privilege enjoyed by other employees.

The lawsuit shows that Tirumalasetti suffered a final emotional breakdown after Caremark reassigned her to report to a co-worker she identified as one of her chief harassers—a more junior employee—and this co-worker stated that she would “kill the bitch who complained.” Caremark sent Tirumalasetti a termination letter after she reported her situation to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“Caremark’s investors deserve to know how the company conducts itself behind closed doors,” Tirumalasetti states. “This lawsuit is about dignity and assuring that all employees are treated equally regardless of their national origin, race, or ethnic background.”

Tirumalasetti is represented by Dallas attorney Barry Hersh of Hersh Law Firm, P.C. (www.hersh-law.com). Hersh was recently named as a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star by Texas Monthly and Law & Politics magazines. For additional information or a copy of the lawsuit, contact Neelima Tirumalasetti or Barry Hersh.
RPO - Logical extension to BPOs...

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->ABC Consultants bets big on recruitment process outsourcing
K. V. Kurmanath

Hyderabad , Dec. 26

ABC Consultants, a player in the organised recruitment services sector, has set its eyes on `recruitment process outsourcing' (RPO) to cater to the needs of major companies.

"Some companies recruit thousands of people annually. Since we have been in the field for 36 years and have developed an expertise, we think we can tap this opportunity," Mr Shiv Agrawal, Chief Executive Officer of the ABC Consultants Pvt Ltd, said.

ABC might opt to forge a joint venture with companies having an experience in BPO operations. In the next 12 months, the company will set up offices in the US, the UK, West Asia and China. "We would like to focus on recruitment needs that are India-centric," he said.

Besides attending to the company's core business, these global offices will also act as business development offices for RPO activities.

ABC Consultants, which clocked revenues of Rs 30 crore in 2004-05, is targeting Rs 40 crore this fiscal. In October last year, it hived off its IT and ITES verticals to form a joint venture called Manpower. ABC holds a 26 per cent stake in the venture.

Last year, the company recruited over 6,000 people, with a bulk of them in IT (1,800) and manufacturing (1,400). He said has no plans to tap the market in the "foreseeable future." The company focusses on middle and senior management recruitment across various industry verticals.

"We have never seen a better market. It is not restricted to IT or ITES. The growth is across all the segments, fastest of it being manufacturing. The consultants face the problem of supply and not the demand. Too many jobs chasing a few people," he said."As job seekers have more than one offer on hand, they started asking questions on the work culture, training opportunities," he said.

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