Is outsourcing to emerging markets fair?

Campus Life

We frequently interview students at the campus of Tilburg University about their opinion on trending Topics. This time we asked whether it is fair that companies outsource their activities to countries like India in order to reduce costs.

Name: Jelter van Buren
Age: 21
Study: Fiscal Economics
I do not think it is a problem if people in Emerging Markets take over employment. You can’t see this as ‘stealing’ jobs. In the Netherlands I believe everyone has opportunities and possibilities to grow. So why shouldn’t people in India get these chances? I think it is not an issue when people from Emerging Markets take over employment from Europe. Activities like call center jobs should be done in the most cost-efficient way. When people in India get to do these jobs, they probably only speak English. I would not mind if I get called by an English speaking person from a call-center. It depends on the product or service I get called for. If something is complicated or I have a problem that has to be solved, I prefer Dutch speaking, but it can also be a nice experience speaking with someone from, for example, India.

Name: Remco Daemen
Age: 21
Study: Economics and Business Economics
I think it is a little bit weird when a Dutch company approaches you in English. When an international company does this, I think that it is more normal. It also depends on which kind of people you approach, for example, when you approach people from University it will not be a problem most of the time. Of course there are always people who do not fully comprehend the English language. It is important that the quality of the phone calls is not diminishing for people who do not comprehend English as well. For these people there should be an alternative in a way that they do not get disadvantaged by locating call centers in India. Furthermore, it is not a problem to me that people from emerging markets take over employment opportunities. It is logical that companies choose for a minimum cost approach, therefore it is justifiable that companies replace jobs to emerging markets.

Name: Ward Schijns
Age: 21
Study: Fiscal Economics
First of all, it is logical that companies choose for the lowest costs. Through globalization it is much easier for companies to replace employment activities to low labour cost countries. If I had a company I would also choose for the cheapest option and if this means outsourcing to emerging markets, I would do this. Every company has to cope with competitors and when competitors minimize their costs, as a company you also have to search for ideas in order to have a cost advantage above your competitors. Outsourcing your activities like call centers is a good opportunity to reduce your costs. I think it is not a bad idea that people from, say, India take over jobs from employees in the Netherlands. These people should also get the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills and therewith getting these jobs in call centers.

Name: Erwin Boomsma
Age: 20
Study: Business Economics
My opinion is that I would not prefer getting an English phone call from a call center from, for example, India. Most people do not have enough English knowledge and experience. If these people that get called do not have sufficient English skills, it is difficult for them to have an understandable and clear conversation. On the other hand, I understand why businesses outsource activities like this and employ people from these countries. Unfortunately, this means less employment in the Netherlands. In these emerging countries the wages are much lower. Eventually every company wants to minimize their costs to maximize their profits. Therefore, it is understandable that call centers are located in emerging markets, such as India.