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BPO Journal

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Don't know why I dignify this

Inquiring minds want to know if folks from India practice racism? So writes James McGovern, an erstwhile blogger at ITToolBox, an IT community that I blog at. And he sets out to answer the question with painstaking emphasis on the differences in employee diversity practices between a failed pizza eatery owned by a Laden-looking Sikh owner who was forced to shut shop and the consequent success of the fried-chicken store that hired locals. His argument does not even control for the quality of the fried chicken, perceptions of the proprietor, pricing policies, marketing - you get it. Its ironic that he makes an example of the racist nature of Indian companies by using racial affiliation of an individual (in this case, organization) to predict action. He alludes to the fact that Indian companies, by virtue of the fact that they are Indian, are likely to be racist.

And he presents absolutely no facts, just anecdotes. I know my response dignifies his post but not to the extent whereby I will present statistics to counter his post. No, I too will only present anecdotal evidence. A quick listing - Richard Garnick heads Wipro's North America operations, 15,000 Americans are working in the U.S.-based arms of more than 200 Indian companies, which have invested $500 million in their American operations, Stephen Pratt is the CEO of Infosys Consulting, and Francisco D'Souza is the COO of Cognizant Technologies. Also, in the post, there abounds confusion about caste-based hiring in India and discriminating hiring policies of Indian companies with operations outside India. And Govern picks the worst possible example. Infosys was one of the early companies to do away with the question on religion in India, thereby, setting a trend for employee hiring in the private sector.

Note that the post follows a criticism of several Indian bloggers on ITToolBox, who, Govern says present an imbalanced perspective of outsourcing - they only have positive things to say about it. He says that "these individuals know more than they are willing to share on this subject but have other motivations in not engaging the community in honest dialog on this topic." I think SecurityMonkey, another blogger on ITToolBox responds best in his post:

"I'm sorry, but is there a reason WHY they should HAVE to present a balanced perspective on ANYTHING? It's their blog, their words, their thoughts. They don't owe our Troll friend anything. If our Troll friend doesn't like what is being posted, maybe he should turn off his computer and get a hobby like gardening or doggy-poo shoveling... Yep, you're right. They are keeping all their knowledge to themselves because, well, it's their RIGHT TO DO SO. They don't have to spill everything in their blog if they don't have to. They aren't here seeking attention - they are here to share what they want, when they want. It would appear that our Troll friend has knowledge-envy."

Most of all, I disagree with the objective tone of the post. Far from presenting a balanced perspective (he said it!), Govern seems to have got it all wrong - the objective of blogging, the nature of outsourcing, the hiring practices of Indian firms and most important, the practice of racism.

We're all entitled to our opinions but we're not entitled to our facts.

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