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How come so many Indians?

 
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I have worked with and managed Indian Programmers, and they are equal in talent to Americans, with the exception that their English is not always as comprehensible.

The reason so many jobs are shifting to India is because programmers there can work for less money. While this is good for big business, the REASON programming labor in India is cheaper is because their society as a whole is not nearly as advanced as the United States. They have huge illiteracy rates, there is no subsidized healthcare, there is no middle class. They do not enjoy all the liberties that we in America have taken for granted. The safety of ambulances and police forces are not there. Roads and public works are in shambles. This makes living in India MUCH cheaper (imagine if you could hire a team to rebuild the roof on your house for the equivalent of a few dollars). India is essentially an upper caste of intellectuals living on the backs of their countrymen. This makes intellectual tasks such as software development, that do not take huge capital investment, an ideal fit for Indian society. If they brought their societal standards to the level of the USA, they would be more expensive and less competitive in the global marketplace.

I have nothing against Indian people, but Indian society has problems. It is inevitable that by doing business with them, American prosperity and expectations will diminish and Indian expectations and quality of society *may* improve. That is the unfortunate cost of doing business with a less advanced society.
 
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Good point, now can you tell me the sociatal reasons why all the "cacasian" developers in Canada make double of everyone else ?
 
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Nice post Jack..
Only one correction

there is no middle class.



Its in fact people from the lower and upper middle class in cities like Bombay, Bangalore and other metros that constitute the bulk of IT force of India. Think about it, if I belong to the upper class and my dads running a nice business, making a good profit, why the hell would I code at all ?
 
Jack Gold
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Originally posted by Amit Saini:
Nice post Jack..
Only one correction


Its in fact people from the lower and upper middle class in cities like Bombay, Bangalore and other metros that constitute the bulk of IT force of India. Think about it, if I belong to the upper class and my dads running a nice business, making a good profit, why the hell would I code at all ?




OK, how about this: The class distribution in India is much differnt than in the USA. Literacy in India is around 50% (?forget statstic?). In the USA it is 95%+ . A much larger % of the population in India is poor and uneducated.
 
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India is essentially an upper caste of intellectuals living on the backs of their countrymen


This is not true. Other points in your post are somewhat correct.Those day's of untouchability, casteism are long gone(atleast in Urban India). These are the words that are staple vocabulary of evangelical's and christian missionaries(who are trying their best to outsource their religion at the cost of Indigenous culture and religion).


Indian expectations and quality of society *may* improve



Just come to this forum after 20 years(hoping that javaranch survives that far) and post the same line. The person who posts it would be a laughing stock. . Our growth rate may not be as fast as china. But many times stable and sustainable.


American prosperity and expectations will diminish


Programming jobs provide employement to a small fraction of amerocans. Even if they get off-shored that does not result in any significant loss to the american society. You lost many production jobs to japan during 70's and 80's. Did your economy collapse just for that?
[ August 12, 2005: Message edited by: Ramesh Choudhary ]
 
Jack Gold
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Originally posted by Ramesh Choudhary:

Programming jobs provide employement to a small fraction of amerocans. Even if they get off-shored that does not result in any significant loss to the american society. You lost many production jobs to japan during 70's and 80's. Did your economy collapse just for that?

[ August 12, 2005: Message edited by: Ramesh Choudhary ]



The reason I say the quality of living *may* improve in India is that despite huge flow of cash into the coutry and leadership in IT, is the literacy rate really rising? I suspest in 20 years it will still be very low, and no one will be laughing. I do not believe the problem is entirely economic -- I suspect that India root's in a caste system underlies the lack of desire to really improve the lives of everyone. This is conjecture however.

Manufacturing jobs are generally unskilled so this is not a valid comparison to white collar jobs that require a four year degree which is an expensive investment. The impact of outsourcing white collar jobs is beginning to be felt.

Yes, over the past ten years there has been a general decline in the quality of living in the United States, the middle class has been shrinking, and opportunities for hard-working intelligent people who are not wealthy are disappearing. Engineering and technical jobs were the only career path to rise from lower classes. Now, medicine, and law (or gambling in business) are the only paths available and require extensive 100K+ loans and limnited access to pretigious schools, making it unattainable for most people. So yes, the outsourcing of engineering jobs has greatly impacted the quality of living in america.

So the pinnicle of society on earth is being diminished by outsouring jobs to a nation that is cheaper by the vitue that they do not attend to their social ills. I'm sure you are not shedding a tear over this, but you should be.
 
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Be careful how you word your thoughts Jack. What you are saying may by and large be true, but you are talking about our homeland. It's like saying negative things about someone's parents. We wouldn't have a choice, but to be loyal and get defensive.

That said, I should tell you, India is young country. Its less than 60 years old. Your father or grandfather, even you, may be older than India. Please take a moment and think about the implications of that sentence.

By the time India was united under a single government after the departure of the Brits, we were already staggering under immense population, multiple languages, multiple cultures, multiple religions, and much of our resources have been lost. And it has just been 60 years gone.

Even so, we have made many advancements. It would be entirely unfair to compare the society of US and India, because we are not identical in any respect.

But we are improving, literacy rates are climbing. It is 100% in Kerala, 64% in Tamil Nadu, and every other state is showing a climb in literacy rates. Caste systems are disappearing, the number of evils performed in the name of castes are decreasing.
 
Amit Saini
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I agree that the class distribution in India is much different than USA. You are also correct when you say a large percentage of Indian population is poor and uneducated.

Ramesh->Considering how good and devoted our politicians are, I won't be surprised if even after 20 years the Indian society remains unchanged.

Small example with reference to the mismanagement of floods in Bombay. The Chief Minister went and distributed food/grains to a part of the city which was UNAFFECTED by floods. When a local news paper published this fiasco, their office was ransacked by thugs sent by the CM. This is the kind of leadership we have in the country. Need I say more?

Peace,
Amit
 
kayal cox
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Originally posted by Amit Saini:
This is the kind of leadership we have in the country. Need I say more?



When educated people like you and me stay away from politics, what other kind of leadership do you expect Amit?
 
Jack Gold
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I respect both of your intelligent responses.

I do not have any solutions. While India continues to provide quality product, outsourcing will continue. The impact of this scares me because students are no longer studying engineering and IT in the USA. (The rewards have been reduced and job security is limited.) This will be felt more in the future. The engineering minds are at the heart of every wave of prosperity.

I would hope that India is mindful of improving it's conditions. As the social conditions improve, so too will the expense of conducting business in your country. I hope the status quo is not artificially being supported to the benfit of big business. (Eventually, prosperity should "trickle down" and elevate the poor.)
 
kayal cox
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Originally posted by Jack Gold:
I respect both of your intelligent responses.

I do not have any solutions. While India continues to provide quality product, outsourcing will continue. The impact of this scares me because students are no longer studying engineering and IT in the USA. (The rewards have been reduced and job security is limited.) This will be felt more in the future. The engineering minds are at the heart of every wave of prosperity.

I would hope that India is mindful of improving it's conditions. As the social conditions improve, so too will the expense of conducting business in your country. I hope the status quo is not artificially being supported to the benfit of big business. (Eventually, prosperity should "trickle down" and elevate the poor.)



Thank You. I agree with you, and I am also concerned about the impact of outsourcing. Like you had mentioned, I am worried about about the percentage of the benefits that trickle down. It does trickle down, but not near as much as it should be. And one day, when, if, outsourcing finds cheaper destinations, I am not sure what India would be left with.
 
kayal cox
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Originally posted by Amit Saini:

What does one do in such a scenario? How the hell can someone even fight this??



Ok, I think thread is now almost completely hijacked

There are some things that we can do to make the situation better. Its just a pebble on the beach, but like Gandhi said "what you do may be insignifact, but it is important that you do it".

These are some things that have been recommended to me:

1. Give away a percentage of your salary to worthwhile charities. Prefer charities that teach people to fish rather than just feeding them fish.
2. Spend some time volunteering with non-profits to provide poor children with education and vocational training.
3. Never haggle with flower-vendors, vegetable-vendors, housemaids etc over the cost of a product. Let the money trickle down in some small way.

I find 1 and 3 quite easy to do. But trying to give away my time is what I am not very good at.
 
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Originally posted by Jack Gold:
The reason I say the quality of living *may* improve in India is that despite huge flow of cash into the coutry and leadership in IT, is the literacy rate really rising? I suspest in 20 years it will still be very low, and no one will be laughing.



Source please? It is easier to say something but harder to back it up. Do you have official indian literacy data from 1991 - 2005 (IT boom years when the so called HUGE flow cash into the country, that is yet another baseless statement)? I know how much improved since 1991 but I will let you search on the net to back your statement.


I do not believe the problem is entirely economic -- I suspect that India root's in a caste system underlies the lack of desire to really improve the lives of everyone. This is conjecture however.



I am not sure how you came to the conclusion. In my persional experience, I know several of the so called non-upper class, non-upper caste persons occupying high paying jobs. Hard work pays in India, doesn't matter whether you are upper caste or lower castes.

There are still problems in India, but it will be sorted out slowly by the PEOPLE and very few indian politicans, not by the majority indian politicans or outsiders.
 
Jack Gold
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Originally posted by Sankar Subbiah:


I am not sure how you came to the conclusion.

. . .



Here you go. . .
India Literacy

In year 2000, literacy in India was below 60%. You've got a conundrum. Once these people are educated, they are going to demand better wages and compete with you for resources. That will be good for your society, but will price you out of many IT jobs that are shipped to India solely because of cost savings.
 
Ramesh Choudhary
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Small example with reference to the mismanagement of floods in Bombay. The Chief Minister went and distributed food/grains to a part of the city which was UNAFFECTED by floods. When a local news paper published this fiasco, their office was ransacked by thugs sent by the CM. This is the kind of leadership we have in the country. Need I say more?


Politicians are always a level inferior in intellect to common man in any society. There is a rumour that Mr.Bush cannot do math properly and is a dumbo regarding world history. There are good politicians. We had Mr.S.M. Krishna, Chandra Babu Naidu. New generation of leader's who understand our global position are coming up. Many of them understand the importance of creating the infrastructure. For example in 10 year's of Chandrababu Naidu's rule, our(Andhra Pradesh) literacy rate went up by full 15 percent. I would be surprised if we do not achieve 90% literacy by 2015.
Was america of 1910's any way better than our's now? Just look at history. We are destined to develop
 
San Su
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Originally posted by Jack Gold:


Here you go. . .
India Literacy

In year 2000, literacy in India was below 60%. You've got a conundrum. Once these people are educated, they are going to demand better wages and compete with you for resources. That will be good for your society, but will price you out of many IT jobs that are shipped to India solely because of cost savings.



#1. Sorry, I don't have time to read the entire document to find out where they say Indian literacy rate is not increasing at all. Since you take it as your source, could you please point it out where it says there is no improvement from 1991-2001?
#2. What is THEIR source? The xls file link doesn't work for me.
#3. Let me help you out here. If you like to see hard data, check the official Indian government website.
http://www.censusindia.net/results/provindia3.html

2001 Male Female 1991 Increase in %
INDIA 1 65.38 75.96 54.28 51.63 13.75

The increase is more than 1% per year. The absolute number would be nearly half of US population (if you add the population increase in 10 years). I won't consider it a very bad achievement, would you? Can you imagine a number after 20 years?


That will be good for your society, but will price you out of many IT jobs that are shipped to India solely because of cost savings.



I didn't get your point. Are you being sarcastic here? I thought you said Indian literacy rate is not increasing and upper class people are riding on back of poor lower class people.
 
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Just a friendly (pre-emptive) reminder from your moderator...

As the initial question of this thread was open ended and the original poster hasn't complained, I've let the thread wander. Certainly a discussion of poli-economic policies seems relevant to the question of number of people in each geo-political entity engaged in technology work. I just want to make sure the debate doesn't get too political (as of yet, I haven't seen any lines crossed, but these subjects can be powder kegs).

--Mark

P.S. I find it very interesting that while numbers are being thrown around about literacy rates, everyone just assumes that there are "many" Indians on this site, and that, implied by the tone of the question, it's disproportionate in some way.
 
Prem Khan
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I may be bashed for saying this, but what would happen if places like India, and China become just as rich and gready as the U.S and Canada. The world would not be a fun place, it would become one big toxic waste dump, and no one would have any food, the air would be made of carbon monoxide......

Just because of the sheer volume of people.
 
Jack Gold
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Sankar,
It appears you are not reading my text. You keep accusing me of making assertions that I did not make. Please read my posts again.
 
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For the original post....
I just cannot understand the need for such a question...

Jim:
1. Can you go to Chicago and ask why are there so many Blacks here?
2. Can you go to Nevada and ask why so many Red Indians are here?
3. Can you go to London and ask why so many people of a particular ethnic community are here?

I can go on with this list,but there are some questions that do not make sense and this question is one of those.
 
ab parashar
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Originally posted by Jack Gold:
India is cheaper is because their society as a whole is not nearly as advanced as the United States. They have huge illiteracy rates, there is no subsidized healthcare, there is no middle class. .............................................. India is essentially an upper caste of intellectuals living on the backs of their countrymen. This makes intellectual tasks such as software development, that do not take huge capital investment, an ideal fit for Indian society. If they brought their societal standards to the level of the USA, they would be more expensive and less competitive in the global marketplace.

I have nothing against Indian people, but Indian society has problems. It is inevitable that by doing business with them, American prosperity and expectations will diminish and Indian expectations and quality of society *may* improve. That is the unfortunate cost of doing business with a less advanced society.





By posting the following I am not trying to give any other tone to the discussion but this is just to reply to the above post:

Yes,There is a certain openness about America, a willingness of the American people to listen to other points of view, which is unique. Yes, America is also a land of freedom where in the last 300 years, people from all nationalities, social classes, have been given the chance to make it good. They have in turn responded to this unique trust by giving the United States their 100 per cent, which makes it the leading industrial and military nation in the world. One finds too a sense of collectiveness, a caring for others, which gives America some of the best road systems in the world and first-class public amenities, such as the community centers found in many American cities.

But is America really the benevolent, casteless society some readers are convinced it is? Well, I am not sure. For one, what the White Americans did to the Blacks not that long ago must rank amongst some of the saddest deeds perpetuated by one class of humanity on another; not to speak of the terrible and shameful treatment inflicted upon the hapless Red Indians, the original inhabitants of their land, a karma the US will have to pay for sooner or later.

There are also a lot of inequalities in the States: extremely rich people and some incredibly poor folks, mostly Blacks, for such a country of tremendous wealth. Secondly, are the Blacks today on a truly equal footing with the Whites? I am not convinced either. Barring a few exceptions here and there, one still finds an invisible and subtle ghetto, an unwritten caste system existing in the US between the two communities and their problems are far from solved.


And BTW Jim, have you ever thought why you see so few blacks in the IT industry?
 
ab parashar
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Originally posted by Shawn DeSarkar:
I may be bashed for saying this, but what would happen if places like India, and China become just as rich and gready as the U.S and Canada. The world would not be a fun place, it would become one big toxic waste dump, and no one would have any food, the air would be made of carbon monoxide......

Just because of the sheer volume of people.



Yeah Right.....As if the world is fun place now that India is not rich(cant say about China,since they are way ahead of India). Take New York a fascinating city, with its illuminated skyscrapers, its million of pulsating lights, its giant electronic billboards, its fancy bars, that one feels a kind of throbbing vitality entering as one walks the streets by night. But what a waste of energy, when the world is fast losing its sources of energy... and isn't this a kind of artificial vitality....and that does not lead to any toxic waste ?
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by ab parashar:
For the original post....
I just cannot understand the need for such a question...

Jim:
1. Can you go to Chicago and ask why are there so many Blacks here?
2. Can you go to Nevada and ask why so many Red Indians are here?
3. Can you go to London and ask why so many people of a particular ethnic community are here?



Ab, those are perfectly valid questions when asked in an academic, and not racist way.

For example, there are many Native American's out west because of a) original tribe locations and b) the history of population expanion and immigation during the past 200 years. Asking why there are more Native Americans out west, as opposed to ont he east caost seems like a potentially interesting question, especially to places experiencing significant immigration. Asking it in a tone of "why haven't they gotten rid of these people" is, of course, racist and innappropriate.

Jim's question was clearly asked in the former tone and is welcome here, as is dispassionate, rational discussion.

--Mark
 
San Su
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Originally posted by Jack Gold:
Sankar,
It appears you are not reading my text. You keep accusing me of making assertions that I did not make. Please read my posts again.



:roll: accusing you? hmmm... Jack, I was merely pointing the errors (so many) in your statements. Here are some.. I am still waiting for the source of all your assertions. I expect a better response than the one above.


despite huge flow of cash into the coutry and leadership in IT, is the literacy rate really rising? I suspest in 20 years it will still be very low, and no one will be laughing.





India is essentially an upper caste of intellectuals living on the backs of their countrymen.




I suspect that India root's in a caste system underlies the lack of desire to really improve the lives of everyone.




outsouring jobs to a nation that is cheaper by the vitue that they do not attend to their social ills.


[ August 13, 2005: Message edited by: Sankar Subbiah ]
 
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Ramesh said:

IT industry structure cannot be created in a week. First they may snare low level job's like support, call centre's etc.,. Then they may jump up in the value chain and grab jobs of our programmer's. But that will take atleast 10-15 years.


If you believe that, you are in for a surprise.

While there is some value-added, the bulk of off-shoring still involves projects designed in the US. It doesn't take 10 years to become a good programmer, it takes 1 year with talent or 5 years with less talent.

Experienced MNC's can shift a programming project to the cheapest supplier nearly as quckly as they can move a call center, leaving workers stranded. When the MNC's work through local employers, the labor laws don't prevent this. Anyone can choose to award the next development contract to a supplier in another country. The old employer then has no way to pay the workers.

As for IT education, the books and curricula have gotten so good that any good college can offer a CS major with a few imported teachers and some students with English skills.

The only real issue is political and economic stability. Here, India excels compared to its neighbors. I don't know how long that will be true.
 
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Indians are more dedicated than others...this is the main reason; I can bet about it.
 
San Su
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Originally posted by Ja vardhan:
Indians are more dedicated than others...this is the main reason; I can bet about it.



good joke. Had a good laugh. Thx. I hope the other forum members will not take it as a serious statement.
[ August 19, 2005: Message edited by: Sankar Subbiah ]
 
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We are efficient at increasing the world population.Efficeincy of Indians ends there.
 
Mark Herschberg
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These last few recent posts haven't added any value to the thread and push the boundaries of the discussion. I just had to delete one inappropriate post. If there are additional posts to the thread (which are welcome) they should be clearly on topic or I may have to close the thread.

--Mark
 
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Not sure why I'm bothering since my previous comment was all but ignored.

Still, I can't help but point out that this very forum seems to be getting hit harder and harder by Indians as the economy improves. Does that suggest that more Americans are moving on as they find jobs? Possibly. I really only frequent this place because it used to be a good indicator of the general IT job market in the US. In the past few months it has been more of an indicator of the job market in India, which is less interesting for me due to reasons that should be obvious.

Indians are seeing lots of potential for a better life in America. Even when offshoring was the hot new thing and it looked like all the jobs would go to India we still saw Indians who wanted to come to America. I wish it were possible to welcome everyone who wanted to come in with open arms, but I understand that is not realistic. Still, I hardly resent those that have gone through the legal obstacle course that is our immigration service.

Here's some news to, the trend is starting to reverse. While I am sure there is still a company that wants to "get in on this offshoring thing", I have now heard of quite a few companies that off-shored everything and are now realizing it was a mistake. Off-shoring will find its place in the IT market, but I hardly think that all our jobs are going overseas. We are probably NEVER going to see the expansion and prosperity of the dotcom days, but that was never sustainable anyway.

In fact, I'm not sure how much of this resentment towards Indians is really due to them being a real threat or if it is more about finding a scapegoat because IT professionals no longer have recruiters beating down their doors and offering them bloated salaries worth for more than what that person can bring to the company.

Of course, as I type this I do so knowing that I have been ignoring a string of recruiters that have pestered me for the past 6 months, so I wonder how bad things really are.
 
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"How come so many Indians?" This is a simple economics topic. Employers want to maximise their profits. They are always trying to seek low cost opportunity. Obviously, Indians' salaries are lower than Americans. Just very simple.
 
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Findings of the brainbench skill survey http://www.brainbench.com/globalskills2005/Brainbench_GlobalSkillsReport2005.pdf says that India overtakes the U.S. in Java competency . That might be one of the reasons .
 
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Originally posted by Rob Aught:

Here's some news to, the trend is starting to reverse. While I am sure there is still a company that wants to "get in on this offshoring thing", I have now heard of quite a few companies that off-shored everything and are now realizing it was a mistake. Off-shoring will find its place in the IT market, but I hardly think that all our jobs are going overseas.

As following post from Peter Sin points out, the very single key of offshore/nearshore is cheapness, nothing more. This is already in itself a threat to India for as wages will increase they won't be as cheap comparred to others, and outsourcing flow is already slipping to now cheaper countries such as Pakistan & China. As many other posts in this forum show all alien hiring criterias since outsourcing trend from 2002 onwards rely on average level (2/3 years in IT) with very low wages, such as $ 35K for a position in New York (salary which doesn't allow to live locally), but with 1 billion Indians implying hundreds of thousands matching IT pros you will still find some ready to take this opportunity even with such scandalously low wages.

So I am personnally totally persuaded that the key answer to explain why so many Indians is purely conjectural, Indians were both very cheap and very numerous at the good moment when outsourcing mode occured. They will remain very numerous, but if they don't remain the cheapest outsourcing will go elsewhere, which is already happening.

Best regards.

 
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