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Technology Outsourcing: Japan is the new destination for Indians

The techonoly parks in India will slowy shift gears to Japan now

UITV/DEC 27. JAPAN .After the Japanese occupation, many overseas Indians in Malaya also joined the Indian National Army set up by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Some of my mother’s family were killed in action fighting the British at Imphal, and another learned to fly fighter aircraft in Japan. When he retired, he had been an international pilot for Air India for many years.

After 1947, Indian people were both awarded government scholarships to study in India since Malaya, then still a colony of Britain, did not have enough worthwhile medical or engineering colleges to speak of.

India has become a magnet for students from other developing countries.

In the 1970s, Bangalore was overrun by Iranian students while the Shah was still in power. Most of them left soon after Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution, their families unable to send over sufficient funds for their studies and their Yezdi motorbikes, which they loved to zoom around the town on. Many from other nationalities stayed, and continue to pour in.

Private Indian universities have looked to form partnerships or set up campuses in the countries where these students come from. Manipal Global Education Services now has full-scale set-ups in Malaysia, Dubai and even in Antigua, this last one focused primarily on training doctors for the US.

While this sort of ‘offshore’ or ‘nearshore’ provisioning of educational services follows the traditional model used by Indian information technology and business process outsourcing (BPO) firms to provide services to western clients, it also has the important component of providing the ‘South to South’ trade in services that I spoke of in a recent column, since it focuses on developing countries from where students still come to India to study.

Now, in a melding of both traditional educational services and information technology services, a new industry in ‘educational managed services’ has been born.

This industry is not unlike the remote infrastructure management or “RIM” services provided by firms such as HCL Technologies Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd to their western clients.

While the actual computers and network still stay put on the premises of clients, Indian technicians sitting half a world away monitor them as a ‘managed service’.

Scores of technicians stare all day at a large theatre-like screens that shows all of the UK- or US-based client’s hardware and network connections and apply patches to fix the client’s network or computer infrastructure in case they begin to fail at specific pressure points.

Meanwhile, the ‘educational managed services’ industry focuses on providing the soft infrastructure needed for conducting courses—the coursework, software and instructors to provide university-ready modules for sophisticated training in computer programming, financial services and design and media such as computer animation for movies.

As technology advances, allowing these services to be delivered even more efficiently than they are today, educational managed services firms could experience exponential growth in developing countries.

The large US and UK names that are trying to set up a presence in such countries still charge an exorbitant sum for their degrees; their product is geared towards capturing the sliver of the population that is rich enough to spend on a western education, and not on the proletariat schooled at home.

This is Narendra Modi and his tweets, which defines the relationship between the two countries: India and Japan


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