Realm Of Randomness

September 29, 2006

When off-shore meets on-site

Filed under: Opinion — Randomizer @ 4:29 pm

Read this article from Yahoo! : Click here

For those of you too lazy to click on it and read it, here’s what it’s about in a nut-shell -” Tutors from India are tutoring American students over the internet, and this is gaining popularity real fast “. A child, reported in the article, started acing her tests after she started learning from her E-Tutor in India, 2 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Why would an American child learn from an Indian tutor, you might ask ? It’s simple really – A tutor in the US costs 40$ / hour … An Indian one – merely 2.5$ ! The cost of a Starbucks coffee.

Is there even scope for competition ? One by one, every single industry in the United States which earlier thought that Globalization wouldn’t affect them, is now having to deal with equally educated ( or more ) Indians and Chinese employees working for 1/20th the cost half way across the world. No more is anyone here immune to the vast abundance of the educated masses in India. Finally, the Education system in India and the constant pressure from parents for their children to ‘excel in studies’ has made the rest of the world take a run for it’s money. It’s not enough today if a teacher is the best there is in his district or lonely town in Minnesota. You literally might have to be the Best in the World to get a student enrolled!

The best part about this skewed balance of off-shore/on-site value for money is that though 2.5$ is peanuts to the average American, and though he might see Indians working for so cheap as ‘such exploitation’ , if one considers the conversion, 40 hours per week, and 4 weeks per month, the monthly wage of this E-tutor is

2.5$ x 45 = Rs. 112.5 , 112.5 x 40 = Rs.4500 , 4500 x 4 = Rs.18,000 / Month !!

Even if Rs.8,000 of that money doesn’t reach the tutor, Rs.10,000 is still a very respectable job, a job I’m sure hundreds of anxious Indian teachers were competing to get. So not only have you as a tutor managed to make a decent pay – You’ve helped American kids ace their exams half way across the world ! :) What could be better ?

Being on this side of the world in the U.S., what to all Indians is the much sought-after ‘On-site’ world, I see everything from the other side now. I have met colleagues at work who lost jobs they’ve had for 30-years as a result of out-sourcing .. I have met people in Houston who have had to train engineers in Delhi on the very same jobs they were soon going to lose .. Talk about digging one’s own grave !

The picture from out here is grim, and India is perhaps the biggest threat to America’s economy today. I find solace in the fact that though I am currently in the US, my US Visa is still a part of an Indian passport – and I can always go home to where the grass is greener.


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