Changing face of offshore software outsourcing to India

Offshore software development is very cost effective and quick alternative to developing software in-house. India has been highly sought after destination for software and IT related services for more than a decade now. The main reason to this was the lower software development cost, great English language skills and strong mathematical, logical and programming skills.  However, that’s not the case today; India has lost the cost leadership to countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam and  Philippines.

Outsourcing software development and services to India

Offshore software development is not just a profit margin game now where focus had been more on total cost of the project and Dollar-Rupee conversion rate than making the client and his project successful. With the growing startup culture, conducive environment for IT business and decade long experience of serving global clients, India’s software and IT services have come a long way. There is increased awareness among offshore development companies and workforce related to quality of service, responsibility and ownership. India’s technically skilled manpower is high on productivity and quality. Half of the Fortune 500 companies now use Indian software services. Not only services but today Indian IT companies provide end to end business solutions to global customers.

Hiring a company VS hiring freelancers
Whether you should hire a freelancer or a company  is always something which should be well thought. Cost shouldn’t be the only factor while outsourcing software development work.

Recently we got a US client who wanted some bug fixing in existing Android app. The app was related to streaming TV shows. The moment our team started working on to fix the bugs which were estimated to be fixed in a week at a cost of $300, the Pandora’s box of issues cropped up. The bug fixing which was supposed to last a week lasted for two weeks and even after two weeks team was not satisfied with the performance of the app. It was a really slow app with crappy code copied from here and there. Client was reluctant to pay more and we had to leave it at those fixes only. Client’s dilemma was that how he can  pay more for an app which he got built for just $300 (yes, $300). You can imagine what quality code someone would have written for $300.

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Try Upwork or any other freelancer platform and you would get a SEO professional for less than $3/hr. You should be lucky enough to get a good experienced SEO professional for that rate. Most of the times these fly by night freelancers would land you in deep shit with Google penalties. While everyone wants his/her website to rank number one in Google search, no one wants to pay much for that. We came across a client who was worried to get some of the pages indexed in Google search. Despite all efforts pages were not getting indexed. What was the issue; the SEO guy forgot to remove no-index tag from pages 🙂 and despite all his efforts he was clueless as to what to do to fix the indexing issue.

Not all cases will be like these but you can’t expect freelancers and small teams to be responsible and accountable when it comes to offshore software development. You are the best judge to decide which route should you take depending upon the complexity, vision, product idea, expected growth, future versions and maintenance. Rule of thumb can be hiring freelancers or small teams in less mature markets for building a prototype or a MVP and hiring teams from mature and experienced markets for actual final product.

Cost, quality & service expectations challenges

While everyone wants high quality professional service and timely delivery, when it comes to cost many will compare the pricing with fly by night freelancers in emerging markets. Some even go to next level (especially people with Indian connection or origin) of converting Dollars to Indian Rupees and seeing it from Indian Rupee value prospective. We need to understand that quality, commitment, innovation all comes at a price. Companies need to maintain infrastructure and talent pool to deliver the desired quality and reliability of service.

What are your thoughts as a client or offshore development company?

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Dinesh

Dinesh has 11+ years of experience in Software Product Management. He has worked to build great SaaS products that grew to multi-million users and multi-million dollar revenue. An individual with willingness to learn new technologies and domains, he always strive for excellence and love to deliver features that are great on user experience, add to revenue and more importantly solve a user problem.

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