Outsourcing to India: Everything You Need To Know

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Did you know that you could reap the benefits of outsourcing to India, even if your business is small? In fact, most smaller businesses these days are taking advantage of outsourcing software development to India, along with many other tasks. 

In this post, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of SEO, customer service, software outsourcing to India, and more. We’ll also look into how businesses normally take advantage of outsourcing to India. Finally, you’ll catch a glimpse into how to outsource work to India once you’re ready to give it a try.

Benefits of Outsourcing to India

You may be asking, “Why outsource to India in the first place?” Well, the benefits of outsourcing to India include several major factors, which we’ll go over here. 

Cost Savings

The first of the major advantages of outsourcing to India is cost savings. It will cost you a lot less when you’re outsourcing customer service to India, for example. If you hire from the US, Canada, UK, or other western country, you can easily pay double or triple for the same work. Because India’s economy is different, your dollar will go further than it would at home. As long as you’re still paying decent wages, you should be able to get the quality services that you and your customers deserve.

Access to Skilled Talent

Let’s say you wanted to try outsourcing SEO to India because of the cost savings. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that many Indians are highly technologically savvy. By this logic, outsourcing web development or software development to India is a good idea as well. If you were to ask other businesses out there, you would probably find that most have had at least one Indian involved at some stage in their project. 

outsourcing to India

Time Zone Advantages

Hiring from a country that’s several hours ahead may not sound like an advantage at all. However, we think it’s another of the best benefits of outsourcing to India. While you’re still cozy in bed, an Indian team can be hard at work on your app or website. This way, you can immediately have a look at their progress. Then, you still have time to give further instructions for them to do before their workday ends. If you’re outsourcing customer service to India, the time difference means that you can have people taking care of your customers while you sleep. And you’re not even paying the usual night differential!

Technology Infrastructure

India is one of the few countries in the world that have massive technology infrastructure for serving overseas industries. India is known for tech savvy, exposure to western culture and the English language, and low cost of living. Because of this, they are one of the BPO giants. BPO stands for Business Process Outsourcing, which is an industry centered on helping other countries with outsourcing and offshoring to India. It’s a huge industry because businesses always look for ways to save on costs while getting the same quality output. 

Challenges of Outsourcing to India

Outsourcing to India is not all rainbows and roses. Every option out there is going to have some caveats. You need to be aware of these pitfalls, but don’t let them scare you away from outsourcing to India.

Cultural and Communication Barriers

India does have a lot of contact with the western world. However, this does not guarantee an absolute match in terms of culture. It also does not mean that every individual you come across will speak English the way you expect. 

Many will say that they speak English fluently. That means, however, that they speak well according to their standards. It’s a different variety of English, just like British English differs from American English in vocabulary and accent, and even grammar. Maybe their teachers – also not speakers of your native variety of English – told them they speak very well. They are likely not aware that people in other countries can’t understand them or don’t hold the same values and norms as they do.

One thing that warrants its own paragraph here is a warning about Indian holidays. Make sure that you ask anyone you hire about the holidays that they observe because Hindus and Buddhists especially have some very lengthy holidays that the west isn’t accustomed to.

Lack of Privacy and Security Laws

Every country has its own rules and regulations. Outsourcing to India means managing your expectations in terms of what laws they must abide by. When it comes to Asia, you need to know that the law tends to be less advanced in the areas of technology. This means that you need to cover your bases more thoroughly than you would if you were hiring locally. We recommend consulting a lawyer who is well-versed in the privacy and security laws that will affect you.

A woman burning money.

Unforeseen Expenses

Hiring overseas will always come with the risk of unforeseen expenses. You won’t be able to control the work environment, for instance, because it’s not your office. You won’t always know what might pop up for an overseas hire, either. However, you can easily reduce these risks by going over the details of the job and setting clear expectations. 

Take note of any instances when a hire doesn’t comply. Take steps immediately to ensure higher compliance next time around. Still, they may simply not meet your expectations, or don’t seem to be trying to. In this case, be prepared to safely stop work at a reasonable point in the project and let them go. If you have the proper milestones set up, you should have zero problems hiring someone else to pick up where they left off.

Types of Services Commonly Outsourced to India

You can outsource a lot of different tasks to India. We don’t want you to think that there is a limit on what you can hire for there. These are just a handful of the most common outsourcing examples

Software Development

Outsourcing software development to India is probably the most well-known of all. Getting software built from scratch can be super expensive. This is the main reason why India is a go-to option, since they can do the work just as well as developers from the other side of the world.

Mobile App Development

Software outsourcing to India isn’t just desktop stuff. These days, a lot of companies are getting their own apps made. This is because just about everyone has a smartphone, and prefer to use it. More than this, companies can target more users with mobile apps because people are on their phones loads more than they are on computers. If you want an app built without getting into debt, consider outsourcing to India.

Digital Marketing

Outsourcing SEO to India is another really common one. SEO is really technical, and India has a long history of focusing on technical skills. It takes a special mind and special training to understand SEO at a high level. When your business is at stake, you want to hire only the best optimizers to get you quality hits to make bank.

outsourcing to India

Back Office Services

We highly recommend to all our clients that they pass off administrative type tasks as quickly as possible. These tasks are tedious and time-consuming – not the type of stuff a business owner should be handling. These tasks usually don’t require a ton of skills, but it’s always good to hire someone who understands all the tech that you use for business operations so they can do their job well.

Customer Support Services

A lot of businesses shy away from outsourcing customer service to India. They prefer to go with the Philippines or Latin countries because the accents are easier to understand. However, you can find a number of Indians who actually have very clean English – you just have to be willing to pay more than a few dollars per hour! It will still be totally worth it. In addition, accents have nothing to do with grammar, so if you need some non-voice talent, there’s nothing stopping you from outsourcing to India.

Alternative for Outsourcing

Outsourcing to India is not your only option! You can outsource to many different countries all over the world. You can actually hire anyone these days who has the ability to work online. We have a favorite, however, which is the Philippines! Our whole team, actually, almost exclusively consists of freelancers we’ve hired from the Philippines.

The reason why we so highly recommend hiring from the Philippines is because they have the best scores in the areas we mentioned above. The costs of hiring in the Philippines are comparable to those in India. Sometimes, they can be higher, but this is because you get better quality. 

The time zone advantages are the same, and most Filipino freelancers are actually willing to work odd hours. They are very accommodating – it’s part of their laid-back culture! – so you can quite easily come to an agreement on hours. The BPO industry in the Philippines is also booming, so they have the experience and the infrastructure to support outsourcing. One of the things we love the most is that Filipinos speak English much better overall than the rest of Asia. Although some may have some accent and grammar issues, it’s not hard to understand them, comparatively. You will still need to look into privacy and security laws and set clear expectations to avoid unforeseen expenses. But you should be doing this with any hire, anyway!

Frequently Asked Questions

A cork board with pins and yarn connecting frequently asked questions.

How much can I save by outsourcing to India?

The amount that you can save by outsourcing to India versus hiring locally depends on the task you are hiring for. As mentioned above, you can expect to save up to 70% for the most part. This takes into consideration salaries and benefits, overhead, and equipment. If you require special software and are paying lower hourly rates, most freelancers will not agree to pay for the software.

What are the risks associated with outsourcing to India?

Outsourcing to anyone is risky because you have a lower level of control. You do not work in the same space, and cannot supervise them closely. When you outsource overseas, this level of control drops further. You can manage these risks quite well, though, if you set up the right checks and balances and keep a close eye on operations – or hire someone to do that for you!

How do I ensure data security and confidentiality when outsourcing to India?

For the most part, limiting access to data is the best way to ensure data security and confidentiality across the board. Always keep backups, and set up safeguards so you are always in control of your data. This is especially important for financial data. Scammers are everywhere! The only reason why we all worry about getting scammed overseas is because it’s much harder to prosecute an overseas scammer. Moreover, the reason why countries like India, China and Russia have a bad reputation when it comes to scams is because of numbers – there are many more Indians, Chinese and Russians in the world than other nationalities. 

What are the cultural differences that I need to consider when outsourcing to India?

One major hurdle for many western businesses when hiring Indians is the expectation of advancement. The Indian mindset is hierarchical because their society is hierarchical. An Indian hire can quickly lost motivation if not given opportunities for advancement. If you have a flatter operating structure, you may want to adjust for your Indian team to keep them performing well. 

To meet their aspirational goals, you will need to develop performance metrics to apply to them that unlock benefits. For example, if they finish a project faster without a lot of bugs, they get a bonus. If they fix bugs before the set deadline, you give them a nice review to post on different sites where they get work. Commendation within the company is also a good way to motivate people who love knowing that they can climb the ranks and hate feeling like they are commodities.

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Conclusion

After weighing the drawbacks and benefits of outsourcing to India, you may still feel uncomfortable pulling the trigger. We understand how making that first overseas hire can be daunting. However, we are confident that if you know how to outsource work to India, you’ll be totally fine. It’s really about hope much attention you pay in the early stages, as you prepare to get an overseas hire ready to start working. If you need help in this area, we are, of course, available to you. Just book a call and we’ll get together to see how we can be of assistance.

Want help outsourcing & hiring virtual assistants? We make it easy! Learn More, Speak w/ an Expert, or Request a Callback

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