How Outsourcing Web Development to India Got a Bad Name – And How We’re Fixing it
Were there a downside however, it lies in the fact that outsourcing your web development to India has, over the years, developed something of a bad reputation. A perception has developed that outsourcing your website development to India may well save you some money, but it will result in less impressive or effective results. The reasons for this are complex, ranging across issues like language, time zones and working culture.
The solution lies in delivering outsourced website development in India that meets and then exceeds the standards found in places like Europe and the US.
At Vsourz, our website development offers all of this and more, combining quality with value and flexibility. In this article we’ll examine the factors that have led to outsourcing website development to India having a poor reputation, and then set out the ways in which we guarantee a superior level of delivery.
So, what are the factors which have led to India having a poor reputation in the realm of web development? These are just a few of them:
Lack of Experience
The situation in India is still regarded, particularly from the outside, as being something of a ‘tech bubble’. This is generally defined as a situation in which the tech market expands at speed in a manner which is artificially inflated and unsustainable. In terms of website development in India, the concept of a tech bubble refers, in the main, to the experience – or lack of – of the people delivering the services.
The rapid economic growth of India in recent years, and the way in which the IT market has played a major role in that growth, has attracted many individuals eager to take advantage of new career opportunities. However, some may have not yet qualified to deliver the level of service customers are looking for.
In many cases the income and prestige that working in IT offers has skewed the talent pool. In short, this leaves customers facing the risk of working with developers who can offer lower cost services but lack the skill set to deliver. Certainly, from the outside, it can prove difficult to ascertain which providers offer the highest quality outsourcing services.
At Vsourz we only hire the top 5% of development resource through a vigorous process of search and selection. Across over 2000 projects over the years many of our clients have grown with us recognising our approach to fielding the best talent to meet their requirements. And rewarding it with their business.
Customers working with web developers enjoy being able to contact them pretty much around the clock. This naturally becomes more difficult when customers in the UK and the US work with website developers in India thanks to the simple fact of the time difference between the countries.
To use a simple example, the capital territory of India, Delhi, is four and a half hours ahead of London. This means that the end of the working day in London, when a UK based team might want to check in with their Indian website developers, it’s 9.30pm in Delhi and offices will be closed. Customers in New York, meanwhile, face an even greater challenge. Delhi is nine and a half hours ahead of New York, meaning there is virtually no overlap between the two working days.
Given that website development is an iterative process in which back and forth communication between customer and developer plays a vital role, this issue would seem to present a major obstacle to effective working relationships. A question asked by New York on the morning of one working day might not receive an answer for 24 hours or more, and many customers will find this to be a frustrating way of working.
At Vsourz we have local talent in 4 global commercial centres in the UK, Europe, US and the Middle East. In turn this allows us to be consistently available at the times that suit our clients.
The issue of the corporate structures adopted by website developers in India represents the point at which the culture of the country starts to play a role in the way in which website development is delivered.
India largely has a hierarchical society, and this tends to be reflected in the corporate structures which businesses create. The people who work in these companies are encouraged to work harder and better in order to move ‘up’ the corporate structure to positions with more responsibility and, vitally, better pay.
There’s no problem with this per se, of course, but the difficulties can start to impact when this hierarchical approach comes up against the kind of flatter structure favoured by western businesses. Especially as client side businesses move to more agile and cross functional working methodologies. Any attempt to impose a flat structure on a more traditional, hierarchical web design business can create clashes which stop the clear and transparent exchange of information which outsourced development depends upon.
At Vsourz we have honed our craft working with various global organisations, of different sizes, over the last 15 years in business.
We are a people first business that promotes and upskills each of our talented developers, online marketers and client services people as part of business as usual. Across our 5 global locations we create career and growth opportunities for our talented people that not only helps retain them, but also helps ensure they are best equipped to deliver value to our clients.
We operate a lean managerial structure, empowering our people to get great work done whilst ensuring our governance promotes a robust organisation fit for the future.
One of the key benefits of finding the right kind of outsourced web developer to work with is being able to build a consistent and coherent on-going relationship with the team doing the work for you. The attrition rates generally seen in the average offshore web development company in India makes this much harder to achieve.
In simple terms, the people working for you will change almost across the board from project to project, making it difficult to build the kind of in-depth knowledge of the sectors you work in, the clients you deliver to and the products you provide. The prospect of starting from scratch for every project when it comes to educating your outsourced team with regards to what your clients or customers are expecting might well be enough to put you off outsourcing website design to India completely.
Some of the main drivers of this rate of attrition include the aspiration inherent in the kind of hierarchical structures mentioned above. Individuals are always keen to move on if that’s what it takes to achieve their personal ambitions.
Another factor is the nature of the work itself. One of the main attractions of outsourcing, from the point of view of a team based in head office, is that it offers a chance to off-load the repetitive and frankly more boring aspects of website development, leaving the home team free to concentrate on the more creative aspects. The offshore team, meanwhile, may be packed with talented individuals keen to find some more interesting work to do elsewhere.
At Vsourz, we’re hugely proud of the breadth and scale of the work we undertake each year. From delivering transactional websites promoting events, to end-end ecommerce driving millions in client revenue. We treat each client project as an exciting opportunity to not only deliver online success, but also to learn and improve.
Further each year our people undertake structured learning programmes helping to develop our multiskilled workforce. As a result, our staff turnover is one of the lowest in the business at around 3% pa. Many of our clients have noted how important the consistency of our teams and points of contact are to their ongoing relationship with us across multiple projects.
The fact that English is still the international language of business means that the staff at your offshore web development company in India will probably speak English. However, communicating in what is the second language of either party can still throw up problems, particularly in a field such as web development, in which the smallest mistake or variation can have an exponentially huge impact on the finished result.
For this reason, it’s best to keep all of the communications shared between the parties in writing, whether that means utilising email or platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Not only will this ensure that every instruction is followed exactly, but it will also create a real-time record to be referred to at a later date, particularly if there are problems or disagreements. Keeping written records of this kind is probably a sensible move no matter where the work is outsourced to, but the fact that outsourcing to India forces it upon the parent company may well prove to be a disincentive.
At Vsourz we take a transparent and proactive approach to client communication. Our dedicated client success champions provide regular updates and work to ensure our clients always know what’s going on and projects are on track and meeting expectations. We leverage online collaboration platforms and have built our own custom solutions to delivering seamless working practice across our global locations.
Today, most quality providers in India have worked hard to address the reasons why outsourcing web development to India started to get a bad reputation. The fact of the matter is that outsourcing is currently still growing in popularity amongst development companies, and that India is playing a central role in that growth.
According to the Deloitte 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, for example, 78% of business owners around the world are satisfied with their outsourcing partners, with the reasons for outsourcing being given as:
- To reduce or control cost – 59%
- To focus on business objectives – 57%
- To solve capacity issues – 47%
- To improve service quality – 31%
- To take help from talented professionals – 28%
The degree to which India is at the forefront of this trend toward outsourcing is underlined by the fact that, according to NASSCOM, outsourcing revenue within India in 2017 reached a figure of $154 billion while, in the next five years, 40% of the country’s workforce is predicted to be working to acquire the skills needed to meet the requirements of outsourcing.
Does this mean that the perceived ‘bad’ aspects of outsourcing to India detailed above are all strictly fictitious? No, it means that these were, at one time, genuine problems, and that, in the lesser strata of web design outsourcing companies they may well still be problems.
What has happened, however, is that as the web development industry in India has matured. The leading players have come to understand exactly what clients from around the world are looking for.
In simple terms, a company like Vsourz combines the use of cutting-edge technology and consistent delivery with a commitment to value which in no way impacts on the quality being delivered.
Clients opt to outsource because it allows them to deal seamlessly with fluctuations in capacity without having to change the size and make up of their in-house teams. This enables them to concentrate on their core business activities, while knowing that the delivery of their web design is safe in the hands of talented professionals with the technical skills needed and the time and space to concentrate solely on delivering enhanced productivity.
The flexible availability offered by the more mature generation of Indian web development companies means that the difference in time zones ceases to be an issue. Structures are in place to offer the kind of real time project access that clients demand.
Being able to talk about a project from beginning to end is the best means of ensuring that the shared vision of your company and the outsource company is exactly aligned. The fact that a web development outsource company in India specialises in this one specific area of business enables them to deliver a complete, end to end service, from initial point of contact all the way through to the launch of the site and then beyond.
Having the same people who designed and built your site standing by to provide maintenance and support means that it will run as smoothly and effectively in 12 months’ time as it did on the day it was launched. All of this is combined with the original USP of outsourced companies in India – the ability to deliver highly effective results while keeping prices as affordable as possible.
Here at Vsourz we tick every one of these boxes and more. We can work with you like an extension of your own team, combining our expertise and experience with your own in order to deliver bespoke solutions that deliver where it counts – on the bottom line.
Throughout the process we will be available to liaise in a clear and transparent manner, improving the solutions we provide step by step until we arrive at a finished website, software solution or digital marketing campaign that exactly meets your requirements. We understand web design and we understand business, and we bring both specialisms together for every client we partner with.