I have spent more than 10 years in industry after passing out from IIT in 2008, worked in 6 companies and a couple of them have been in outsourcing setup of banks.
I started my career in 2008 with a small US technology firm ran by an Indian and which had a lot of Indians. The firm ultimately got sold to another firm. When I got the offer the share price was $12, when I joined it was $6, when I was there it was $1. Obviously witnessing the fall wasn't great. But I was never a tech guy despite studying in one of the best engineering institutes. I quickly moved on to FuturesFirst, a proprietary trading firm, headquartered in London because of my new found passion for trading. Of all the companies I've worked till now I think discipline at the firm was exceptional and culture towards employees totally unbiased. But since my performance in intraday trading wasn't great I had to move on.
(Un)Luckily I found a job with a US bank's Global markets division (outsourced) in Mumbai and had to work for with European trading desk based out of London. This was my first experience in "outsourcing" and the first realization of Indian workforce being the "cheap" labor capital of the world. Initially, I was excited to work for a global trading desk. I thought I was selected because of my performance in tests, interview and academic background. Truth be told I was the smarter out of the interviewed lot in India but still a low cost INR replacement to do clerical work compared to a GBP/USD counterpart. For the bank, the technology budget would be more expensive than hiring few brainy IITians in India. What followed - there were constant reminders on how flying business class to London/US, getting bloomberg, blackberries was such a luxury and upliftment for us. Truth be told it was indeed a luxury. But the treatment of being "lucky" few out of poor India was a blow to self-respect. It was coming to terms with how rich own the poor and enslave them mentally in the modern corporate world. All the talk around culture and equality in MNC banks seemed less and less meaningful. The worst part was it was implicit. We had two managers, one in London responsible for our work assignment and one in India looking after local operations. I remember 3months into the job asking my London manager whether desk's P&L would play a part in India team's year end bonus. He said yes of course. I stayed with the desk for 3.5 years, we were benchmarked to rest of India team and never to our London trading desk's P&L. The setup ultimately was a low cost KPO for a bank. I totally get the economics for foreign businesses to hire in India - but I must highlight the hypocrisy these firms showcase in their culture, behavior and communication.
I moved on after 3.5 years due to overdose of clerical work. Most of my IIT batchmates also moved on to IIMs or different locations. I then worked for a couple of Indian trading firms for the next 3.5years. In 2016, I moved to Dubai. After a year or so, I had to come back and managed to only get an offer from a foreign bank for Mumbai location. My fears of outsourcing came back to haunt me. This one is even worse. No perks like travel, bloomberg etc. More bureaucracy with Indian employees resigned to their fate, trained to carry the attitude of servitude and in a perennial state of being grateful to foreign nationals. The culture is more like as we Asians are born slaves to western nations. The supervisors in US do Skype calls and mails and acts as task masters. Reminds me of the British policy of divide and rule, promote local managers (loyal to them) to keep the labor in check. Accented English is really appreciated. Challenging and questioning any foreign or onshore team member is a sin. Growth in the organization is dependent upon impressing people up in hierarchy, greeting them when they are in office is a must and getting their accolades is considered a badge of honor. If they are foreigners the code of conduct is to pay extra respect.
I must say most of my corporate career has been painful and disgusting. I am a bit of nationalist at heart, mathematically sharp by mind, middle class by birth, relatively fearful of failure and super confused after 10 years on how to change the situation. I write this post to share my feelings and experience to leave readers with some thoughts. The current situation at workplaces is sad and we Indians should think about on how to improve it for ourselves. I consider myself a part of this problem too since I continue to depend on such setups for my income.