outsourcers in India have ramped up contingency plans to manage
critical business-function risks as the tense political situation
continues between India and Pakistan.
such as Cambridge, Mass.-based Sapient, have called back 30 of its
60 expatriates working in its New Delhi offices to the United States,
following recent heightened risk warnings for Americans in India
from the U.S. State Department.
IT outsourcers in India, however, employ local talent. And while
any negative effect upon business has been minimal up to this point,
American companies probably won't be rushing into India anytime
to negotiate IT outsourcing contracts.
Tas, president of MphasiS, a software and system outsourcing
integrator with offices in Santa Monica, Calif., and Bangalore,
India, said four or five customers have postponed visits to India
and decisions about outsourcing projects. Still, the feedback from
existing customers has been positive, he said.
[nuclear war] is not going to happen," said Tas. "But we've been
proactive, and it's a very important exercise to address how to
maintain the continuity of business so should something happen,
we are prepared."
Ferrusi Ross, analyst with Forrester Research, said she is hearing
from companies the same reservations about outsourcing work to India
in such a volatile climate.
weren't already in the pipeline to be a client for one of these
firms, however, you are probably going to rethink your position
at this time," said Ross.
same time, Ross said India most likely will remain a preferred destination
for IT outsourcers because the country's long-standing infrastructure
is still the best prepared to handle it.
reports business is "proceeding normally in India," according to
a message to clients and business partners posted on the company's
Web site. The message details data backups daily and data shipments
biweekly to the United States. Contingency plans for each client
engagement are being implemented, as well as a response plan to
ensure the safety of Sapient employees in the event of an emergency,
according to the message.
will enable Sapient to work on its projects with minimal disruption
should a conflict erupt, said a company spokesperson.
most companies had already accelerated efforts to develop contingency
plans following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Businesses in locations
all over the world--not just India--are facing a new, higher-risk
reality, said Tas.
are working in Manhattan, probably the risks are higher than in
Bangalore," said Tas. "There will be impact here [in India], but
we don't think it will be long-term unless a nuclear war happens.
And the likelihood of that is very, very low."