Thursday, January 25, 2007

Japanese language to be in demand for next generation IT & BPO industry - Article in IBN Live

Want to make the most of the next generation boom in the IT and BPO industry? Learn a European language – French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch or Russian. Close behind these European languages are others like Japanese, Korean and even Mandarin.

That's the message coming out of a study by Evalueserve, the global research solutions provider, which says India will need some 1,60,000 foreign language professionals for its offshoring Industry (IT, BPO and KPO) by 2010. These professionals will be required to address the demand for language-sensitive work that can potentially be offshored from Continental Europe and the Far East, the study says.
The Evalueserve study estimates that the total addressable market for language-sensitive work will be worth $14.4 billion by 2010. According to the study, while the IT industry will account for nearly 50 per cent of this demand, the BPO and KPO ( Knowledge Process Outsourcing) segment are expected to account for the remaining 50 per cent.
Further, this growing demand for language-sensitive work will have a positive impact on the Indian economy, as it is expected to create a multiplier effect on the job market for Indians. According to the report, for every one job created for a foreign language professional, two new jobs will be created for Indian English-speaking professionals.
However, there could be supply-side constraints on the number of trained language professionals available in India to meet this demand. According to the report, not more than 40,000 Indians with foreign language specialisation will qualify to meet this requirement.

This may mean a sudden influx of foreigners, who have now begun to consider India as an attractive destination for job opportunities, starting a reverse brain gain. Professionals from all over the world, especially Continental Europe, are beginning to relocate to India to work in IT and BPO companies.
With in-house foreign language capabilities, Indian IT, BPO and KPO companies are trying to capture a larger share of the Continental European outsourcing market, thereby reducing their high-risk exposure of more than 80 percent to the US and the UK economies.

"Currently, we are witnessing several French and German speaking professionals, mostly in their early twenties and many with business or technical degrees, coming to work in India on short to medium-term employment contracts," Mohit Srivastava, AVP of Evalueserve, explains.
Other languages in demand are Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin. These foreign language professionals are needed by the IT and offshoring industry, primarily for jobs involving collection of information; and working on foreign language documents, voice-based tasks, training, transaction and migration processes, quality management or any other document outputs.

Monday, January 22, 2007


International Christian University
Masanori Kondo

Despite India’s rapid economic growth, the amount of investment from Japanese companies remain limited. Many international companies, especially Korean firms, have done so well in the Indian market. What makes them different from unsuccessful Japanese firms?

To find out the answers to these questions, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s research committee on India-Japan business conducted a study. Provided below is a summary of the article. Readers interested in the comprehensive version can contact with their specific request.

Massive Initial Investment

Successful examples include Suzuki, Mitsubishi Chemicals, LG & Samsung. Failures include Daewoo Motors & Enron (later bankrupted). However successful forays largely outnumber failed ventures. Common recipe for success amongst all these ventures is the high initial investment.

Introduction of Products Based on Comprehensive Market Surveys

Companies that directly venture into the Indian market have seen more success as the management of the JV partners is not easy.Toyota, LG & Samsung – all tasted success by localizing their approach whilst Daewoo courted failure while attempting a cookie cutter solution! Another study indicated that Japanese electronics companies failed to create a good balance among quality and price to gain market share when compared to similar Korean companies.

Large Scale Advertisement Campaigns

Advertising investment on a large scale is a must and such costs must be treated as “corporate expenses” and must not passed on as a cost to consumers. To enable successful execution of these strategies, expatriate employees must be treated with greatest care and their “home living” conditions must be replicated.

The Existence of “Kirikomi Tai”

Grooming expatriate “Indian experts” is a key strategy. These companies usually have a small number of Japanese staff whom we can call “Kirikomi Tai,” which means “the person who has cut into the market.” Home stay and volunteerism amongst employees is another strategy to cultivate such expertise.

Delegating to the Local Staff and Quick Decision Making

In the case of LG, there were 20 expatriate employees out of a total staff of 4000. For one of Japan’s leading electronics manufacturers, out of 1000 employees 10 were sent from the home office. The local staff is able to help take speedier decisions that help companies succeed in the tough labour market. Using Indian staff for other markets is another successful strategy employed by many MNC’s operating in India.

Expansion of investment into new desirable areas

A recent March study by JETRO revealed that Japanese companies’ Indian operations are in fact on average more profitable than in other Asian countries. If Japanese firms are willing to make a serious commitment to India, the author believes there is plenty of possibility for them to make up for lost time.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Manufacturing success - The Japanese way

This is a MUST read article penned by the distuinguished Dr. Surinder Kapur who is chairman, CII Mission for Manufacturing Innovation, and Chairman and Managing Director, Sona Koyo Steering Systems. This and others interesting articles are being published in Business Standard every week. Happy reading!


The 5 Ss of Japanese efficiency by Dr. Surinder Kapur January 16, 2007

5S is the acronym for five Japanese words, seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke, which signify order, cleanliness, purity and commitment.

The 5S philosophy focusses on effective workplace organisation, helps simplify the workplace environment and reduce waste, while improving quality and safety.

Seiri (sort) means to put things in order. Seiton (systematise) means proper arrangement. Seiso (clean) implies keeping things clean and polished in the workplace. Seiketsu implies purity and focuses on maintaining cleanliness and perpetual cleaning. Shitsuke is commitment.

This is a typical teaching and attitude towards any undertaking to inspire pride and adherence to standards established for the four components.

The principles underlying a 5S programme appear to be common sense -- and they are. But until the advent of 5S, many businesses ignored these basic principles. There is an order and logic to how 5S is carried out, which is:

1. Seiri or sorting : Seiri means sorting through everything in each work area. It requires keeping only what is necessary.

Materials, tools, equipment and supplies that are not frequently used should be moved to a separate, common storage area. Items that are never used should be discarded. This makes it easier to find the things needed and frees up additional space.

"Tagging" items is a common approach when deciding what is to be thrown away. An area is targeted; items likely to be disposed off are tagged with a red tag and a date. If the item is not used after a certain period of time, say, between one and six months, it is disposed of. Practising seiri at Sona Koyo, for instance, led to the freeing up of an 8x6 ft by removing unwanted rakes.

2. Seiton or systematise: This is the next step. It requires organising, arranging and identifying everything in a work area for efficient retrieval and return to its proper place.
Commonly used tools are readily available; storage areas, cabinets and shelves are properly labelled; floors are cleaned and painted to make it easier to spot dirt, waste materials and dropped parts and tools; spaces are outlined on the floor to identify work areas, movement lanes, storage areas, finished product areas and so on; and shadows are drawn on the tool boards, making it easy to quickly see where each tool belongs.

In an office, bookshelves are provided for frequently-used manuals, books and catalogues. There are two important parts to systematic organisation -- putting everything in its proper place and setting up a system so that it is easy to return each item to its proper place. The second part is where labelling and identification practices are important.

3. Seiso or shining: Once everything from each individual work area to the entire facility is sorted and organised, it needs to be kept that way.

Regular cleaning and inspection makes it easy to spot lubricant leaks, equipment misalignment, breakage, missing tools and low levels of supplies. When done on a regular, frequent basis, cleaning and inspecting does not take a lot of time and, in the long run, actually saves times.

4. Seiketsu or standardise : Seiketsu ensures that the first three steps of the 5S programme continue to be effective. The good practices developed in the first three steps need to be standardised.

Therefore, organisations must develop a work structure that will support the new practices and turn them into habits.

5. Shitsuke or self-discipline: This implies continuous training and maintenance of standards. The organisation must build a formal system for monitoring the results of the programme. A follow-up is a must for the above four steps to continue to be practise.
There will have to be continuous education about maintaining standards. When there are changes that will affect the 5S programme -- such as new equipment, new products or new work rules -- it is essential to make changes in the standards and provide training.

A good way to continue educating employees and maintaining standards is to use 5S posters and signs.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Japanese car maker deepen footprint

Japanese cars makers are eyeing the Indian market - Opportunities for bilingual professional set to rise further!!

Honda to set up second plant in IndiaPosted: 14 January 2007 1855 hrs

NEW DELHI : Japan's Honda Motors plans to set up a US$200 million car plant in India to take advantage of the South Asian country's rapidly-growing vehicle market. The new plant will be Honda's second in India and will be built in the western state of Rajasthan, the Press Trust of India reported.

For more info visit this URL

Bilingualism helps fight dementia

It seems speaking two languages may help delay dementia as reported in the Indo-Asian News Service New York, January 13, 2007. Read below for more....

Speaking two languages in daily life could delay the onset of dementia, a disorder characterised by a general loss of intellectual abilities, says a new study.

Those who speak two languages put in extra effort than those speaking only one language. This extra effort apparently boosts blood supply to the brain and ensures that nerve connections remain healthy - two factors thought to help fight off dementia, reported the online edition of New Scientist.

Ellen Bialystok and colleagues at York University in Toronto studied 184 elderly patients with signs of dementia. They attended a memory clinic between 2002 and 2005. Of them, 91 spoke only one language while 93 were bilingual.

The onset of dementia could be delayed by up to four years in bilingual people as compared to people who speak only one language, the study said.

This difference remained even after considering the possible effect of cultural differences, immigration, formal education, employment and even gender in the results.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Fujitsu expands in India

This is indeed heartening...Fujitsu wants to expand its operations in India

Fujitsu scouts for M&As in BPO space, eyes city co
MUMBAI: Japan's largest IT services company Fujitsu Consulting has India in its crosshair now. The company is looking at consolidating and growing its India workforce to over 4,000 people. Fujitsu has a presence in India through two companies,
Rapidigm, a 100% subsidiary, and Zensar Technologies, a joint venture company with the RPG group. Fujitsu acquired Rapidigm, a US-based BPO firm with operations in India, in February 2006. It is now looking at another BPO acquistion and is learnt to be in advanced stage of negotiations to buy out Intelenet Global Services, a Mumbai-based BPO. However, when contacted Intelenet officials denied that any talks have reached the board level. Intelenet is a joint venture between Barclays Bank of UK and HDFC. It is a 11,000-people strong operation and among the first third party BPO firms that was set up. It was started a JV between Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and HDFC. In 2004, TCS sold out to HDFC and Barclays bought 50% stake from HDFC in the same year. HDFC and Barclays each hold 50% in the venture. Fujitsu is reported to be in talks to buy out Barclays' stake and subsequently may also acquire HDFC's stake. "Fujitsu is under pressure from investors to have an India story," a source said about Fujitsu's plans to expand in a big way in India. The company is also scouting for acquisitions in IT services because it does not have management control in Zensar. Relations between the two partners have been strained for a few years now because the RPG group is not ceding managment control of the company to Fujitsu. Despite having a 29% stake in the company, the Fujitsu business of Zensar accounts for less than 10% of its total revenues. In comparison, British Telecom accounted for 60% of Tech Mahindra's revenues in fiscal 2006, and General Electric (even after it sold its stake to General Atlantic) accounts for close to 80% of Genpact's business. "Satyam is doing more work for Fujitsu than Zensar," an industry source said. The RPG group is keen on expanding Zensar's presence in Europe, one of the fastest growing markets for Indian IT firms. Currently, around 35% of Zensar's revenues come from Europe. In fiscal 2006, Zensar had a net profit of Rs 34 crore on revenues of Rs 433 crore. For the quarter ended September 30, 2006, it posted a 200% growth in net profit to Rs 12.1 crore and a 50% growth in revenues to Rs 148.7 crore.