In his Feb. 26 op-ed, "What Goes Around...", New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman asks a Bangalore customer call center founder, "How can it be good for America to have all these Indians doing our white-collar jobs?"
"Well," he answered patiently, "look around this office." All the computers are from Compaq. The basic software is from Microsoft. The phones are from Lucent. The air-conditioning is by Carrier, and even the bottled water is by Coke, because when it comes to drinking water in India, people want a trusted brand. On top of all this, says Mr. Nagarajan, 90 percent of the shares in 24/7 are owned by U.S. investors. This explains why, although the U.S. has lost some service jobs to India, total exports from U.S. companies to India have grown from $2.5 billion in 1990 to $4.1 billion in 2002. What goes around comes around, and also benefits Americans.
Friedman goes on to show how new Indian projects and companies are thriving by "outsourcing" jobs to the U.S. Imagine that! Friedman concludes:
Which is why we must design the right public policies to keep America competitive in an increasingly networked world, where every company-- Indian or American--will seek to assemble the best skills from around the globe.