Monday, September 13, 2004

When you are sourced 'OUT,' entrepreneurship becomes 'IN'

In Fast Company

• ... And so the next week, Bronstein walked into a room to find her old coworkers on one side and the new group from India on the other. "It was like a sock hop where everyone's lined up against the wall blinking at each other," she says. "People were trying not to cry." In an attempt to lighten the mood, her boss said she would like to introduce the old staff to the new staff, while the VP of engineering chimed in with familiar words. "We're depending on you to help this company succeed," he said. Bronstein spent the next four weeks training her two replacements who then went back to India - -two people whose lives were suddenly bettered in exchange for one whose life had taken an unexpected turn for the worse.


• Since leaving WatchMark (now called WatchMark-Comnitel), Bronstein, who made $76,500 plus bonus, has been out of work, making ends meet with unemployment and by cashing out her 401(k). With both of those gone, she's turned to selling her collection of antique women's compacts on eBay. "It's the difference between hopeful and hopeless," she says. "If you're just laid off, you can tell yourself that the economy swings back and forth, but if it's outsourced offshore, it ain't coming back. It still exists, but it just exists in another place. The IT industry in the United States has gone from being a very high-level, well-paying industry to being very low-paying sweatshop labor, and that's an inexorable trend."

• Bronstein's story is increasingly common in a global economy where labor is crossing borders almost as freely as capital. Starting decades ago with low-skilled manufacturing jobs in basic industries, followed by textiles, cars, semiconductors, and now, services, the nimbleness of the world's economy has allowed us to reduce costs by moving production to wherever it's least expensive. The benefits to our economy -- in increased productivity, lower prices, and greater demand for American products -- are touted by corporate America as the only way to remain competitive. "This is the next iteration of the global economy," says Atul Vashistha, CEO of neoIT, an offshore advisory firm. "The story is what would happen to these companies if they did not go offshore."

To read this fascinating article, visit: Into Thin Air

1 comment:

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