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Friday, September 10, 2010

Intellectual Prostitutes - Aha

The connotations of morning, noon and night change, in a BPO( no surprises !! ) . Yesterday I bumped my boss in the office when we were both irrigating the non land masses.

Good evening, Sir! And he smiled back and replied " Shouldn’t it be morning Rajan?!!"

Oh yeah I am just a glorified pimp, I realized that.

Blue collared workers with a tie, jargon hooters, email forwarders, Google monkeys, or as a friend of mine told me, "Pal, it is actually powered by Ctrl + C and driven by ctrl + V” .All these are terms which were used to describe the IT/software field, and the new recruits who work there But the prize term came from the CEO of defense equipment manufacturing company who I recently met. (See you soon sir!)

Intellectual Prostitutes!! 

It is so true, for that’s what most of us are, in KPO/BPO or the new one which does a synthesis of both to BKPO (Business and Knowledge process outsourcing).

This new term seems to say,

1.    “You want a massage?” - We do it,
2.    “A blowjob?” -  But of course,
3.    “You want to rape”, no problem!

There really has been no change in the 60+ years of independent India. The only difference is in the level of our slavery, earlier we were physical slaves, now we are intellectual.

We take pride in being able to write code, and support processes that run main functions but we do not realize that we are undermine are own capability ,or own intellect.Millions of engineers pass out, every year in India.Civil, mechanical, chemical , and most of them run out to write lines of codes rather than build bridges, refineries, or cars.( I just got a mail from a civil engineer, who dreams to work in a bank , Oh corrections dear , investment bank )

We were happy as long as we got money.But then we did not factor in one fundamental characteristic of ours  "Jugaad", and of course intelligence has an innate ability to show itself despite being relegated to the domains of shit.

Smart Bob thought of asking Indians to sell credit cards, help people fix broken computers, to cut costs(labor cost arbitrage ! , cant help it 4 months of IT) .Now what slowly happened that we, went a step ahead and told them what were causing the breakdowns, and of course which people to call for selling( using advanced statistical techniques , but of course)

Smart Bob met smarter Indians.Then we started giving them recommendations of which routes to take for collections, which place to shortlist for storage( inventory optimization).Bob was now getting wary, at this rate, there would be no difference between them and me, for they know as much about the business as me, and sometimes much more.

The labor cost arbitrage, now went to intellectual arbitrage, with the favor of arbitrage on our side.Smart Bo got all panicky.In entered Obama,  and "Chop Shop", and now Ohio.

And now India screams protectionism when Obama slaps taxes on outsourcing companies.I am reminded of a classic Bihari saying here" पिछवाड़े तले पतलून खीचने चले....... पर पकडे गए तो बोले .....बहिया हम तो धोकर लौटाने ही वाले थे".(I think I made that up ! )

PS - I am not disparaging the work of sostware, or software engineers, some of them do great,really great work, but typically that is a tiny fraction.