Monday, August 30

It's not about cheap labor, you cheap

Why US should not worry much and why India should not be very proud of, it's just trade stupid…. There is nothing cheap in the world and especially in the trade where intellectual property is involved.

Cost of A Coffee example:
I came through this wonderful example through Niranjan Rajadhyaksha's article in Business World (India) article – Thoughts over a Cup of Coffee. He bases his article on the finding of two Dutch economists, A K. Chapagain & A. Y Hoekstra that 140 liters of water is needed to make a cup of coffee . That is, whatever agriculture you produce and boast you exports, you must basically realize that what you are exporting water, the most precious thing in the world and may be the reason for 4th , 5th or 6th world war (depends on how Mr. Bushes of this world do in between)

What's the point? :
So when a job gets exported from X Country to Y Country it does not mean that Coffee of X is given to Y and Coffee of Y is given to X. In coffee's case you would just drink it or throw it, but what about the Water? Now we should not get into the debate that whose coffee cup was bigger and who has 100 liters of water and who has 140 liters of water? One should ask how the water is being utilized. The smarter one multiplies and dumb one divides the water, it can be a win-win situation, win-loss situation, super win-win situation and win-super win situation, anything is possible.

So some blames are for real and some are not, but in any case the water is not cheap. One of the sides on the coffee cup exchange table is cheap.

What is Water? Water is knowledge
A Java programmer's job gets transferred from USA to India. So what gets transferred the programming job or the technology?
Similarly an Indian engineer does the coding in Java and many others also join the race and start doing Java jobs (due to population and outsourcing avalanche). So are they contributing to Java as a job or Java as a technology?

Take this example: UTstarcomm is a company which is listed in BusinessWeek's Infotech 100 and growing at the rate of 60% annually in the telecom business where American telecom giants like Nortel are loosing. UTstarcomm, an American company is growing because of the heavy telecom usage and deployments in Asian countries. In this case water is still with both the countries but in different & new hands and new cultivation. UTstarcomm has a customer in India, development
center in India & profits in America.

So is the market moving or is the market expanding? And if the market is really expanding won't it create a small change in the density, per capita so and so job? A gives something to B, B gives something back to A, A now gives something more to B and now B gives something more back to A. Somewhat similar to a feedback amplifier in electronics.

So even if a job basic call center job gets transferred to some Li or Rajesh who rapes your mind with his mediocre English & support. Even in such cases you have exported English as a language to that country and would reap the benefits of feedback amplification. Same as importing oil and getting fuel; exporting English and getting Scientists in NASA. Thus Wikipedia becomes the largest online English Encyclopedia with the open contributions from Tom, Dick & Harish / Hussain / Hu. So is the open source or open trade.

On the other hand, people in India call these new workers inside the ITES's Outsourcing, BPO & Call Center as Content Coolies, Code Coolies and Cyber coolies. I think this coolism is better than scratching your bums as a civil servant (government employee) or molesting the accounts as white collar tight-ass consultants in some big X Consultancy Company. By the way what does a top-notch MBA do? They do a great favor to creativity by selling soaps, colas and detergents for top multinational brands.

And I am not counting any political opinion on this. Because in developing countries where the governments have not guaranteed safe drinking water (due to corruption and inefficiency), how can it dictate whether to drink Coke or not? If Accenture is good for me or not?

Some other experts cry about the ill-effects of health, the identity crisis and the night shift. This is called changing times, once upon a time our forefathers hunted for their food, do we now? We have to adjust, modify our biological clocks even have to give up something in lieu of this change. Haven't we given up our tail to evolve as the humans of today? How useful would have been our tails, both as an instrument to do some work or to satisfy some kinky fetish fantasy.

In short it is everything about the water management, preserving underground water and forests and discovering alternative methods like rain-water harvesting.

So if you are feeling thirsty in India or America, please find out who has played Enron with your water first. Your water is not costlier or cheaper than somebody else's water.