The Gallic approach to offshoring

2007

Call it Gallic pride, or just another example of how things in France are always done just a little differently, but I enjoyed reading an interesting piece on French outsourcing in the India Times.

Having worked most of my career in information technology, it's easy to remember the joys (few) and trials (many) of offshoring work- primarily to India. While many countries rushed to embrace this perceived money-saving practice, the French proudly summoned the resistance to break offshoring's momentum.

Interestingly enough, the French, who weren't among the first to embrace offshore contracting, are also not in a hurry to forge long-distance relationships. Quite the contrary, a number of French powerhouses, including Bull, Capgemini, and Unilog opted to simply create an offshore subsidiary or acquire offshore companies.

Perhaps after a quick reminder of their colonial past, the French generally view long-distance partnerships as an impossible business option. Instead, these companies are looking to reinforce their presence in India. This seems like a potentially good idea; having worked with a number of offshore firms while in Europe, it seemed like the offshore company was boss and we had little control over efficiency or production.

Conceivably, the French will have better luck dealing with work done in offshore destinations by acquiring offshore companies and making them wholly subsidiaries of the parent company. If nothing else, they'll be able to remind themselves who is boss.

India Times | French IT cos focus on India