Friday, December 25, 2009

Can India’s English edge remain forever? An opinion …

Dear Friend / Colleague,

What is a big factor that works in favor of India while being chosen as an Offshore IT destination is the advantage of “English Skills“. Ofcourse many indians would like to think that it is their logical/analytical and Engineering skills but there is no denying that “English Skills” do act as an important factor particularly when the Business is with the US and Western Europe.

India is not the only offshoring destination and now faces significant challenges from many other locations too for being the location of choice. And the challengers are very keen to bridge the gap between themselves and India, by doing whatever it takes to bridge the gap.

“English” and “Communication Skills” happen to be a key area that is being aggressively worked upon by some of these new locations. When we talk of new competing locations, the discussion is definitely incomplete without mentioning “China“. China is taking many aggressive measures to bridge their gap with India in terms of Communication skills handicap.
I have an interesting anecdote to share. At Organization level, these days we are working on adoption of BELIT(Business English Language Indicator Test) and Global English solution which is the self-paced mode systematic English Skill Improvement.

Our Wipro Chengdu(China) folks are clearly miles ahead in terms of their commitment and intensity with which they are approaching towards Global English learning i.e. English Communication Skills improvement as compared to the less than luke warm response that is witnessed in most of the Indian offshore locations. Either the Indian engineers do not really believe their English needs that much improvment or they are simply unable to find the time. But in under 1 month we have seen the top chinese learners putting 3 to 6 X effort than their indian counter-parts.
So, my question to you is - Is it a question of If (or) When, India is overtaken by China(Chinese) people in terms of English Communication Skills?

I think it is matter of When, and not If - What is your take on this question?

Jagan a.k.a. J2M

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