Indian Company Opens Call Center In Ohio

Welcome to “insourcing!” Tata Group, an Indian conglomerate, has opened another call center. In Ohio.

From Fortune:

The phenomenon has a name: “insourcing,” the term experts are starting to use when foreign multinationals open offices on U.S. soil and hire Americans, at a higher price, to do the very jobs they once lured overseas. In this case the center in Reno is targeted toward companies willing to pay a premium – its workers there cost up to 40 percent more than their counterparts in India – to give their U.S. customers a more culturally fluent, less frustrating 1-800 experience. (No more hearing someone read from a script ten time zones away.)

Tata, which is based in Mumbai, established its Reno roots last year when its business services unit, SerWizSol, bought the call-center business of travel-processing firm TRX; the deal also gave it a call center in Milton, Fla. “We want to be able to say to a client, If there’s a piece [of call-center operations] you want to keep in America, we can do that for you,” says Ricardo Layun, head of U.S. operations for SerWizSol.

The Ohio workers are paid a premium for their skills—including a “firm knowledge of U.S. geography.” The call center takes calls from Expedia.

Indian call center lands in Ohio [Fortune] (Thanks, Krystle!)

Comments

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  1. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    It is nice to see that consumers’ very vocal frustration in dealing with overseas call center reps has resulted in call center jobs returning to the United States….but the idea of paying a premium to talk to someone who you can more clearly communicate with sounds insane. I hope that it isn’t passed on to the consumers. I can see Dell offering several support packages. “For 1 year of phone support, you can pay $100 for our basic support, $250 for our deluxe (American based) support.”

  2. vanilla-fro says:

    I can’t even think right because of this. What just happened?

  3. Cowboys_fan says:

    Take that India!
    American jobs lost 10 000 000
    American jobs gained 500?

    We’re on our way back baby!

  4. Anitra says:

    @AlteredBeast: Funny you should say it that way. For several years, that was part of the difference between Dell’s traditional customer support and their “business-class” support: the traditional (home user) support was outsourced to India, while the business support was from US call centers plus technicians for on-site trips.

  5. covaro says:

    @alteredbeast

    Dell already does that, it’s called their Gold Tech Support.

  6. Bulldog9908 says:

    This is nothing new. America is a huge beneficiary of companies from other countries hiring our citizens to work for them or creating joint ventures with US-based companies.

    Usually, it’s more highly educated people in business consulting or engineering fields, but plenty of less skilled workers also get hired in the process as assistants, construction workers, etc.

    Need proof? 4.6% unemployment in the US. If we were really losing millions of jobs per year to other countries, unemployment would be much higher.

    (Most economists agree that 4-5% unemployment is essentially full employment. Any less unemployment and there’s not enough flexibility in the labor market, companies are unable to hire, and the economy suffers just as bad as it would with very high unemployment.)

    Worried about outsourcing taking your “dream” job at the factory? Make sure you have enough education to keep up. A bachelor’s degree in a practical field is the absolute minimum, and I would recommend a master’s degree to separate yourself from the pack. Most masters programs are two years or less, and the payoff can be huge.

  7. foghat81 says:

    More Tatas for Ohio. Awesome :)

    Just wait until the Jalopnik folks pick up on this!

  8. mrmysterious says:

    The circle of life continues.

    A year ago it was outsourced call centers….

    This year it’s Chinese poison trains….

    Next year? Foreign cars? Foreign vacations?

  9. Goddammit, it’s “inshoring,” not insourcing. You’re still hiring someone else to do the work you could – and should – be doing yourself.

  10. dantsea says:

    Okay. So outsourcing is still outsourcing, but we’re going to call it insourcing so we can all feel warm and fuzzy about the low-wage, no-benefits jobs being created outside the company that needs them, being created locally? Gotcha.

  11. acambras says:

    Are these bodacious tatas ?

  12. dantsea says:

    @acambras: And if they opened a large call center in Mexica, would it be Tatas Mas Grandes?

  13. 5cents says:

    “to give their U.S. customers a more culturally fluent, less frustrating 1-800 experience. (No more hearing someone read from a script ten time zones away.)”

    That is most certainly not the reason they did this. A well trained, hard working call center employee is indistinguishable from one stateside. Trust me.

    This is more of a hearts and minds campaign.

  14. beyond says:

    So…American company outsources its customer service to a foreign company, which then builds its office in the US and hires American workers.

    Mmmmkay.

  15. yg17 says:

    @5cents: And since when were call center employees well trained and hard working?

  16. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @yg17: HEY! I take that personally (then again, I should be doing my job, and not posting this!).

  17. hc5duke says:

    Wasn’t there a Dilbert strip about this exact situation?

  18. Heyref says:

    Unfortunately, I find that I have an easier time understanding most Indian call center workers than American ones. Certainly their grammar and vocabulary is better.

  19. homerjay says:

    Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

  20. sdub says:

    Somebody call Lou Dobbs…

  21. palaste says:

    Because outsourcing is making someone else doing your work, insourcing must be doing someone else’s work for them. This is the logical meaning of the term.