Monday, June 11, 2012

No Limits to outsourcing

Thanks to the software industry which has put India on the world map, the word `outsourcing` is mostly associated with the IT industry. If brand India is a name to reckon with in the world market, the country owes a lot to the ‘wiz kids’ from the Indian Universities who constitute the ‘resources’ of the IT industry, providing software solutions to a whole host of multinational companies. They are also the bone of contention among politicians of the Western World who feel that Indians are taking away the jobs of their own countrymen!

Outsourcing has now become a by-word in almost every industry in India. We are all aware of BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing). But did you know about KPOs`- for Knowledge Process Outsourcing: RPOs- Research Process Outsourcing popular in Biotech Industry or Requirement Process Outsourcing popular in the HR industry. LPOs- Legal Process Outsourcing used by corporates, MBPOs- Medical Business Process Outsourcing in which Apollo Hospitals claim to be pioneers. The latest `PO` to be talked about is the MPO- Marketing Process Outsourcing which takes care of all marketing functions of a client, popular among smaller companies.

Be it manufacturing – where companies outsource the components required for their equipment, or the film industry where every support service required for the production of a film is outsourced, almost everyone is looking for opportunities to keep his own organization lean and mean. The idea seems to be to keep the fixed overheads to the minimum and get everything else possible outsourced!

There are service organizations who offer to provide you every conceivable service, for a monthly retainer plus costs. Whether you require the services of a plumber, electrician, carpenter or just a couple of hands to keep the house clean, there are service providers ready with requisite skilled manpower. Some of them also help in paying your bills, help you get tickets or do anything to save on your valuable time and efforts.

I have been using the services of a car cleaning service provider for the last few years. As per the agreement, two boys visit my home every alternate month. They not only wash my car & tyres clean but also vacuum clean the seats and floorings and end it up with a coat of polish to the car. Saving me the bother of taking the car to a service center and waiting there!.

Outsourcing of all wedding arrangements and marriage contracts to event managers is the in thing! From `Kolam` to `Kattu Sadam` we will take care of everything scream advertisements of marriage contractors in all Tamil family magazines.

Today there are experts who even can take care of all funeral arrangements.

`When you are in mourning and desolate, we will stand by your side` claims an advertisement for `ANTIM SAMSKAR SEVA`, projecting themselves as Mumbai`s only dignified funeral and cremation service! They not only provide you the flowers, garlands etc required but also the materials for `Antiyeshti` and bier (bamboo stretcher) etc. A well-appointed air-conditioned hearse to carry the dead body with some seats for the accompanying relatives and two trained, uniformed volunteers is the USP of the service.

Similar services are offered by any number of individual service providers in Chennai. As soon as a death occurs in your family, you just have to make a call to the specialist; the guy takes care of everything. Right from getting you a booking at the electric crematorium, a doctor`s certificate, and providing you a team consisting of a priest and helpers who take care of all physical and religious requirements. The Besant Nagar crematorium close to my residence in Chennai also has an adjacent building run by a religious outfit, where rooms are rented out with full facilities for conducting rites; special cooks and required manpower on a turnkey basis. All that you have to do is to book the room and pay an advance for the required services. From day one to day thirteen when the `Subasweekaram` feast is given, everything is taken care of.

What a boon this is compared to the amount of trouble we went through 18 years ago when my father passed away, when we had to run from pillar to post for the priest, for the helpers and for all other arrangements.

The way the concept of outsourcing is progressing, I will not be surprised if we start looking for somebody to do even our daily chores!

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