Tuesday, November 14, 2006

India *causing* brain drain?

I was party to an incident yesterday. This is around 7:30PM and I am just stepping out of the office. As I was walking out, I see that right in front of our office two foreigners and a lady are haggling with an auto rickshaw driver. The reason I spent more time than I usually do is because the lady arguing with the driver looked a lot like a colleague of mine. The lady then throws her hand in the air and walks away. At this time, I felt I just had to see if the driver was haggling for more money and give a piece of my mind to him. And as I guessed it was our auto driver trying to fleece some extra bucks from the tourists. I asked them where they had to go and it was a place close to the Bangalore domestic airport. My office is about 15 minutes drive from the airport, this means their place is some 5 kms from where we were. I was surprised that the tourists actually knew that they have to pay 1.5 times the meter charge. First thing is that this 1.5 times comes into effect only after 9PM. So, they were already being fleeced. The auto driver was asking for Rs.200 which is just ridiculous. I felt I just had to help them and I volunteered to drop them to their place. They were initially very hesitant and then later agreed.

On the way to their place, I got talking with them and realized that they were not tourists. They were french and were working in India. What surprised me was that they are going to be in India for 1 year!shocked They worked for this company called idiom, whose website apparently needs authorization! They are into some kind of designing, publication etc. Anywayz, they are french and idiom does not have any office in France. In fact, google around and idiom is actively hiring people from outside India. This is classic outsourcing but this time around India is NOT the source of the out! They in fact said "We have good salary by India standards, but we have to pay french taxes which means we don't save much money. We therefore can't pay Rs.200 to get to our house". When I asked why are they working out of India, the answer came "Work is good". Here are people from developed nations coming in and working in India for Indian salaries because work is good. I am sure this is an aberration, but nonetheless, I sincerely hope this is a trend in the making!

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Anila said...

Wow! This is great!

bludgeon riffola said...

back on your blog dude.
Glad that you did what you did.

Something to think about - why should Atithi Devo Bhavah apply to only guests (read tourists?). How about extending the same to the common Indian ?

Do you think you would have done the same if the people in question were not foreigners ?

Ajay said...

Nice point dude... you are talking of being courteous and helpful in general and I would love to be that guy. But when the same incident involves localites, I start feeling:
1. Maybe its a setup
2. They can take care of themselves
etc etc.

And to answer you, Nope, I wouldn't have even *noticed* if they were localites!