strategy+business is published by PwC Strategy& LLC.
or, sign in with:
strategy and business
(originally published by Booz & Company)


Indian Outsourcers Go Global

The challenge for the Indians is to learn how to interview a client’s customers and senior executives to figure out what the right technology frameworks are. “That’s where they have to develop their skills,” says Lamming. “They’ll get there.” At the same time, Lamming believes that the Americans have to continue driving down their cost structures by expanding their offshore presences.

The arrival of HP in the outsourcing battle, through its acquisition of EDS, will almost certainly rev up the level of competition. But Khanna, for one, argues that IBM, HP/EDS, and Accenture face a fundamental gap in their cost structure, and therefore the prices they’re able to offer to customers. “They have opened massive development centers in India, but I don’t think they can come close to matching the costs of Infosys and Wipro, because they are still centered in their headquarters in the United States,” Khanna argues. “They can cut down the difference between themselves and the Indian vendors, but they can’t eliminate it.”

Author Profile:

William J. Holstein is a veteran business journalist and author based in New York. For more of his work, visit
Follow Us 
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google Plus YouTube RSS strategy+business Digital and Mobile products App Store



  1. Amy Bernstein, editor, Outsourcing Thought Leaders: Managing Business without Borders (strategy+business Books, 2006): In-depth interviews with the customer and provider executives quoted in this article.
  2. Anne Chung, Tim Jackson, and Tim Laseter, “Why Outsourcing Is In,” s+b, Third Quarter, 2002: Strategic operations outsourcing encompasses core activities, such as manufacturing or logistics, that could substantially affect a business if not performed well.
  3. Vinay Couto and Ashok Divakaran, “How to Be an Outsourcing Virtuoso,” s+b, Autumn 2006: As the turbulent global services industry matures, a highly skilled cadre of master providers and customers is emerging.
  4. Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006): The clarion call of globalism — how lower trade barriers, reduced political resistance, and technological advances have transformed business across the world.
  5. Steve Hamm, “IBM vs. Tata: Who’s More American?Business Week, April 23, 2008: An examination of the Indian BPO outsourcer’s move into the United States.
  6. Tarun Khanna, Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India Are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours (Harvard Business School Press, 2007): How Indian and Chinese models are transforming global business.
Sign up to receive s+b newsletters and get a FREE Strategy eBook

You will initially receive up to two newsletters/week. You can unsubscribe from any newsletter by using the link found in each newsletter.