Those who profit from the globalization

India is the star under the soaring countries. A foray through a country full of Entrepreneur spirit and ambitious employee of Katharina Nickoleit in Bangalore

There are physicians, engineers, sociologist, lawyers who sit in the office in the 2nd floor over a hospital in Bangalore. Some view into a Web camera, others have a headphone, most of them simply work, concentrating at there screens. Although the 150 colleagues in the age of 25 to 35 years work all in the same firm, they keep themselves busy with different assignments. The firm Brickwork offers endless services of all types. The founder and Chairman Vivek Kulkarni finds the correct assistance for its customers out in the USA and Europe. "My colleagues do market analyses and customer analyses to answer the question on which customers it is worthwhile to distribute discount coupons. They create and design websites and generate PowerPoint presentation."

These are only a fraction of the service achievements that Enterprise offers. Established just two years ago, the company is so in demand that it can carry out to reject orders. The entrepreneur is especially proud on the praise of the US-senator Frank Morse, for which Brickwork researched and wrote a speech over the effect of the globalization on the state Oregon.

It costs 2500 dollars for a customer to let Brickwork research and analyze. For that he gets a qualified expert with full established office equipment who works for a fraction of what his colleagues in the USA or Europe would demand. The salaries in Brickwork lie between 950 and 1900 Euros per month - a fortune in a country in which the minimum wage amounts to 40 Euros and one-third population of 1.1 billions lives beneath the poverty line. Almost excusing Vivek Kulkarni explains: "That is no simple Call-center-job. Our employees are experts in their fields." Kausalya, 26 years is one of these experts and a lawyer. She compares the trafic laws of the 52 US-countries on behalf of an US insurance company. In addition she reads all 52 trafic laws and relevant court decisions and generates a table in which she lists, where which punishments threaten in speed injuries or missing seatbelt. Her last project was to research for a law firm out of New York on how the laws of the different US-countries regulate the monitoring of dwellings. Kausalya shook hand with her point of contact in the US, but that does not disturb her. "Communication today is so simple. There are video conferences, Netmeetings and Instant messenger, so there is almost no difference for me, whether the customer is a room further or in the USA sits." To work herself permanently into new subjects, is more exciting than strenuous for her: "Its boring to deal with the same topics all the time" In the business with the USA or Great Britain, the language is no problem, at good schools and universities English is the current instruction language and is learned more or less incidentally. "In a couple of years we want to offer our services also in German and French, for the European market to further open", says Vivek Kulkarni. Nevertheless - two of its 60 customers come out of Germany already today.

For who believes, the German employees would on the save side be because of the language barriers, is wrong. Deutsche Bank will source out half of teh back office jobs to India by the end of the next year. Already today a multitude of the colleagues are located in south India. Klaus Thoma, speaker of the Deutsche Bank, explains the decision of his company to shift jobs to India not only slighter wage costs. "In the IT near area, there are so many more specialists than in Germany. It is much easier to find someone than it would be in Germany." In a globalizing world, one could choose from a much larger pool of qualified colleagues. And the people in India would be "incredibly motivated".

One such motivated and qualified employee is Raoul Patel (name changed). The 26 year old works for the DBOI, a daughter firm of the Deutsche Bank, as a process manager. His task is of looking after computer programs. He finds it as not a very exciting job, but he earns around 700 Euro per month and is highly sattisfied with this. "The salary is good, the working atmosphere is good. What more could I ask for?” To be sure he must adapt himself. Raoul Patel works on the European time, from 13.00 to 23.00; his wife, who works for American Express, works on the USA time. Both see themselves just for two hours in a day. "You have to sacrify", he explains.

The hunger for Indian ratios of highly-paid job, is large. Everywhere in the soaring Chennai, you find placards who advertise for computer courses. For approximately 210 Euro, the students would not only learn to use the current programs, but also learn to program them. Just beside this there are signs on which Call-center-trainings, German- and French conversation courses are advertised. For Vivek Kulkarni, the development is fascinating. "The social variations that we just experience are incredible. I know a taxi driver who’s both children work for banks. Therewith the monthly family’s income of 100 Euros climbed to 1900 Euros. That is magnificent." As long as one would have only a good education, it will not be a problem to find a good job.

Yet there is not good education for all. Until now only the city population in India has had the chance to a higher education and computer courses. In order to provide for more equal opportunities, the Kolpingwerk in a village established the Kolping Matriculation School in Pondicherry, where all students go to learn computer. For four-year-old students its first experiences before the screen. "The computer courses are our most important instruction units, for without underpinned computer knowledge gives it in India no chances on the labor market", explains the training director Venmani Gabriel Paul. "Our 650 students are children of fishermen or carpenter. They get the chance through the computer knowledge to climb up the ladder."

A high pressure rests on the pupils to fulfill this expectation. "My parents save each Rupee, so that they can buy me my own computer. This way I can learn at home to work with it even better.", reports Hema, who makes straight programming exercises. The 14 year old knows where she wants to work – at Infosys, "those are the best ones". She is not afraid of the hard selective procedure. "I learn a lot, that’s why I am going to make it", she explains self-confidently. Shanti, likewise 14 years old, wants to become a Graphic designer and sees herself in China in ten years from now, "because the possibilities for employment there will be much better than in India". When the girls think of their future, they are not only confident, but almost euphoric: "we will work hard and shall become so much richer than our parents", the two are sure. The faiths that all just have to work harder in order to bring themselves and the country to the point, is pervasive in India. The atmosphere in Germany must have been the same at times of the economic wonder (wirtschaftswunder, which took place in the 60’s, is a fix term in Germany): boundlessly optimistically.

WELT AM SONNTAG - April 23, 2006