A few months back, Ravikiran had written about what he called the “Bangalore bug”. He said that due to the outsourcing revolution, most of our best web designers and engineers end up serving foreign markets which offer better margins, and thus Indian websites are the scum, as is software designed for India.
I think it is much deeper than this. Check out this article by Janmejaya Sinha about cashing Travellers Cheques. If any of you have tried to get some work done at an Airtel or Vodafone service center or call center, you’d have noticed that most people manning this are fairly incompetent. It’s likely that you would go through the same experience at the Big Bazaars and Food Worlds. You must have also definitely noticed this in college – in terms of your teachers there.
What the “bangalore bug” has done is much more than what Ravikiran had talked about. It has diverted the reasonably smart people who might have gone into banking, or teaching, or become shopkeepers, and has made them switch to IT or other services which can generate export revenue. The “export industry” pays reasonably well so jobs which had been respectable half a generation ago are not so respectable any more. And the quality of service that we get has gone down drastically.
Thinking about it, there’s nothing much we can do about it. We can’t stop exporting becasue that destroys the quality of goods we consume here (actually this has been implemented in the case of some foodgrains). The only way smarter people will come into the service industry which serves local markets is if this industry pays as well as the export jobs that they’re currently doing. And for this to happen, service fees have to go up significantly. And i’m not so sure too many people are willing to pay too much more just for the sake of superior service.