This question is inevitable in this field and one that I always find interesting, especially with the tone in which it’s asked. Typically, a person that asks this question is looking to pick a fight and feels ready to invalidate outsourcing in its entirety, when they typically know little about it. They ask the question, acting like they have me up against the ropes, and anxiously await a nervous apologetic response from me.
They are inevitably disappointed by my simple answer. ‘No, not one bit.’
‘What?’ They reply, ready to launch into a diatribe of explanations and accusations about how I’m single-handedly undermining the U.S. economy. But before they can fully launch into it, I ask them a single question in return.
‘Have you ever been to India?’
The answer is an inevitable ‘no’, at which point I share some of my experiences about my travels there.
India is a spectacular, beautiful, mystical, gracious, and (sadly) also poverty-stricken country. The worst U.S. cities look like a spa resort compared to conditions in some of the best cities in India. Problems with water, gas, electricity, and roads – basic luxuries we take for granted – are not a given or a guarantee over there. I’ve seen first-hand how people do their laundry in local rivers; I’ve seen bumper stickers warning against the spread of ‘TB’; and I’ve also been there when an entire city was shut down due to a gas main break. I’ve also seen barefoot children running through the streets and a level of poverty that I never knew existed in the world before my travels. So when people ask me if I feel ‘guilty’ about providing good jobs to good people in a country where basic living conditions and general infrastructure can be a struggle… my answer is an unequivocal ‘no, not one bit.’
But that’s only part of the answer.
Because when I think about India and my team there… poverty and poor conditions are the last things that come to my mind as what defines the country or the people. Instead, I think of how graciously I’ve been treated as a guest in their country and how respectfully I’ve been treated as a boss to my team. I think about the times when my team worked through the night to get an important project done without being asked to do so. I recall the many moments (too many to count) when they brilliantly solved problems, finished their projects ahead of schedule, and supported each other as true teammates because they cared about the success of the project and of each others. I remember the times when they had tears of gratitude in their eyes for being given a nice (and surprise) annual bonus. And I personally recall the loving, kind, and supportive calls/emails from my team the day my dog passed away – since they had all virtually adopted her as a part of our team.
When I think of my team, I think of people that are genuinely kind, caring, brilliant, successful, gracious, and very fun to work with. So, no, I don’t feel guilty one bit. I feel truly grateful!
And I’d like to help you have the same beautiful experience I’ve been blessed with by helping you set up your dream team. Click here to learn more about how you can build your own dream team by reading our 8-Part Guide to Outsourcing.