Indians express little sympathy for snagging U.S. IT jobs

Survey finds that some Indians appreciate American ire over outsourcing -- but also blame United States for the problem

Resentment continues to rise among Americans as U.S. companies dole out IT jobs at discount wages to workers in India. Though it may come as little consolation to out-of-work IT professionals, some Indians do understand your pain -- while at the same time feeling entirely justified in reaping the rewards of outsourced American jobs. That twinge of sympathy is even less likely to turn the tide of outsourcing than is recent legislation that increases the cost of work visas.

According to a recent poll of 3,500 users conducted by SMS GupShup, an Indian social network, around 46 percent of respondents in Bangalore -- an IT job hub -- agreed with the sentiment that Americans are right to be angry at India for taking their jobs. In Mumbai, around 38 percent said Americans were right to feel angry. In Hyderabad, just over 33 percent could appreciate the ire; in Delhi, just under 33 percent shared the sentiment.

[ Also on InfoWorld.com: Who's buying Microsoft's outsourcing excuses? | Get sage advice on IT careers and management from Bob Lewis in InfoWorld's Advice Line blog and newsletter. ]

Sympathetic or not, Indian workers predictably aren't about to reject employment opportunities out of pity for their American counterparts. The sentiment among respondents, in fact, is that the U.S. brought the problem on itself. "Of course they're angry, but they brought it on themselves. They taught the world capitalism, and this is what it's all about, isn't it? More for less!" said a respondent referred to only as Divya, an HR professional who has spent 13 years in staffing and recruitment for offshore projects.

The United States has made efforts to reduce the number of jobs outsourced by American companies, most recently by passing a bill that increases visa fees for foreign workers. The fee increases are only levied on companies where over half of U.S.-based employees use work visas. Revenue from those increased fees, by the way, don't go toward job stimulation but rather heightening security on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Will the new bill make much of a difference for job-hungry Americans? Critics in the States don't think so. According to the IDG News Services, "Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, said the fee is a step in the right direction but doesn't go far enough to deter the 'exploitive practices' of the visa program."

Respondents to the GupShup poll don't appear to think so either. "We are taking their jobs, there's no two ways about it. We're better, faster and more efficient; this backlash from them was bound to happen," said a user by the name of Bharati, an engineer who spent the first two years of her career in the United States. "Their new policies make no difference to us anymore, it's a global market now -- there's plenty of work out there."

A user named Pradyut, a business development executive in a KPO firm, shared a similar sentiment: "American firms will find new ways to outsource work from India and South Asia because similar services there would cost them a bomb. Their anger might be justified but they really can't do much about it. They really can't stay competitive without us."

This story, "Indians express little sympathy for snagging U.S. jobs," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on important tech news with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog.

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