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Google Opens R&D Lab in India
"...Google plans to open an engineering r&d center in Bangalore..."

 4:48 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)




 5:41 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Quote from the story:
Rosing said the decision to move into India was not based on cost-cutting or outsourcing reasons but rather on its employees' willingness to spend "significant time" there to identify and train new hires.

Hi mattdwells; I hope Gigablast is going well for you. I wouldn't call it "outsourcing R&D to India"--when we opened a new engineering office in New York because there's good talent on the East Coast, would you call that "outsourcing to New York"? There's pools of smart people in India just like in New York and Santa Monica, where we also have engineering offices.


 5:50 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

May the credit goes where it is due! :)


 5:51 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks GoogleGuy. I just thought it was outsourcing since Google is a domestic company, and it is going to use an external supply of cheaper labor, i.e. labor from India.


 6:16 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I guess time will tell, there are bright people all over the world. India just happens to also be extremely cheap.


 6:18 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't call it "outsourcing R&D to India"--when we opened a new engineering office in New York because there's good talent on the East Coast, would you call that "outsourcing to New York"? There's pools of smart people in India just like in New York and Santa Monica, where we also have engineering offices.

Is Google going to pay equal salaries to their Bangalore employees compared to their NYC employees?

Doubtful. But it sure looks good before the IPO to be able to exploit some cheap labor. Just wait until your board of directors sees what kind of productivity/ROI you can get out of India. Then try hard to justify your position.


 6:19 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Outsourcing has nothing to do with where it is, it means hiring another company to do your work. I am assuming that these will be Google employees.


 6:26 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


Here's the definition of "to outsource" from a popular dictionary site:
"To send out (work, for example) to an outside provider or manufacturer in order to cut costs."

In this case, India is the outside provider of cheap labor.


 6:40 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


But they are not an outside provider, they are hiring *Google Employees* in India. Therefore they do not meet the definition of outsourcing that you just gave.

This does not seem like an attempt to save money, it seems more like an attempt to pick up good engineers wherever they can find a good supply of them.

They are looking for very specific skill sets, and there are very few people that meet their requirements. If there are a lot of hackers in India that are more capable than their average applicant in silicon valley these days, then it makes sense to go to India to find them.

Personally I would like to see them open a shop in a less populous area, and I would apply (as well as a lot of other hackers that I know). Many of us ran away from the hell hole that is Silicon Valley, and have enjoyed working for less money (in the USA) in exchange for living in a place where you can drive through town at 5 pm at the speed limit.


 6:46 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

MattDwells - Your statement is built on a false premise. Your treating India as if it's a company, not a country full of individuals.

Google is a global company. They are simply expanding their employee base and the new employees happen to come from India.


 6:52 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Google opens offices in India"

Big deal. Good for them!

Hardly outsourcing.

BTW- Isn't Google a "global company"?


 6:54 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


They are not hiring *Google employees* in India, they are hiring Indians in India. They are only Google employees *after* they are hired.

[edited by: mattdwells at 6:59 pm (utc) on Dec. 13, 2003]


 6:55 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


Look above at the definition of "to outsource". There is no mention of the word "company". It uses the word "provider". In this case India is the provider of the cheap labor.


 6:58 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

In all truthfulness India is known for its citizens to do outsource work in the IT industry. Now this may not be 'outsourcing' since google is setting up shop but it is possible they are moving in and doing R&D in India because of the cheaper labor and the willingness that they have seen and devotion.

My next statement may get people upset, so if you don't want to be upset don't read it. From a business standpoint if you can get people to work for cheaper and be just as devoted or even more so you can either outsource or give people jobs for your company by setting up shop. I see this as a business move, if the labor is cheaper and they can get more out of it then do it.

Google is a company in the United States with divisions setup worldwide either by sales offices, datacenters or developers. I am glad to see Google setting up shop in India, it will give people jobs, it will help the economy and it will help google grow.


 7:00 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, and they are only *paid* to *do work* *after* they are google employees.

Is google *outsourcing* when they hire Germans to handle ad sales in Germany to german companies?

Is IBM outsourcing when they hire tech support people for their mainframes in the sountry where they will be working?

Outsourcing is when one company hires another company to do work for them. I has nothing to do with the locations of those companies.


 7:04 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


what is you definition of "to outsource"?

I think most would agree that Google is a domestic company, meaning it was born and raised right here in the U.S. It's received a lot of domestic funding and it was started by two Stanford students. If it's not an American company, then what is?

It certainly is not an India-based company, I don't think anyone could argue that, and that is the imporant point, anyhow.


 7:05 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dwells obviousy has an agenda here.

This reminds me of the Yahoo! stock message boards from a few years ago.


 7:10 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

My agenda is that i think that the article was deceptively written and I'd like to help clear it up. The article is a bunch of spin used to hide the fact that Google is really outsourcing to India. I don't like spin.

To tell you the truth, I did not think twice about it until GoogleGuy started arguing about how they were not outsourcing. Then I realized that Google seemed to be hiding something.

And I'm a sucker for a good argument...


 7:13 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Having worked with a lot of indian developers at intel, I would have to say that the *average* indian programmer that I have worked with is better than the average american. Their best programmers are not likely to be as good as our best.

Google has some very specific skill sets that they look for, and there are very few people in the world that can meet the requirements for many of their positions. If they are not finding all the people they need where they are now, then they have to look elsewhere. India is an incredibly large english speaking country with a very high linux literacy rate among their programmers.

Of course they will get to pay them less and save money on their building as compared to Manhattan or silicon valley. There is no doubt that money came into the equation. But money is secondary to whether they can get qualified people. In this case I don't think there are enough qualified people in the US to meet the needs that are growing in the search engine field.


 7:14 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Cut the semantics, they are "offshoring" to India.

As an American who is seeing the American middle class on the short end of this globalization stick, it makes me sick to my stomach to think about another batch of good jobs leaving my country. I can't help but feel that eventually all of us Americans will be fast food workers and garbage collection technicians, but what the heck, we've had it good for too long and hey, the economic upper class in america is going to benifit so who am I to argue with the virtues of that?


 7:17 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


Are you kidding? Money is primary, not secondary. I've heard you can get like 10 brains for the price of one in India. Google is no different than all the other companies that exploit India's labor market.

If nothing else, we should at least consider taxing any intellectual "property" imported from India. Why should their be tariffs for material goods, but not for computer code?


 7:21 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hold on a second matt. You're telling me that you started this thread in response to message #2 in this thread?

HUH, I don't get it!

Christopher C

 7:24 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>If it's not an American company, then what is?
It's a global company that originated in the US. Start thinking nationally when you're playing in a worldwide medium and you're a fossil waiting to happen.

It's smart business, plain and simple to be opening up IN HOUSE in India. Aside from grabbing up very smart engineers like google has stated they want to do, who do you think knows better about what 1 billion Indians want? What about China? Russia? Taiwan? etc. The digital divide is closing fast, and the internet landscape in 10 years is going to be very different.

Would you prefer to sit back and wait for the flip to happen where a firm abroad starts "out sourcing" to the US and driving the profits back to their domestic share holders?


 7:36 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


These jobs are not leaving this country, these are new jobs. If you are good, they are willing to hire you at any of their research locations.

I personally am offended by people that seem to think that people in america have more right to a good job just because they are american. When I want to buy the best, I will pay for the best, whether it is the most expensive or the cheapest. And I don't even care where it comes from.


I agree that it's about money, they need the best people to make the most money. But it isn't about how much they are paying the hackers.

If they are going *just* for cheap labor, why the hell did they just open an engineering office in Manhattan?

Google wants the best, so they can make money, and they are willing to go where they need to go, and pay what they need to pay to find them.


 7:37 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


The huge majority of their private shareholders are probably Americans or American organizations. They were founded in America and employ the vast majority of their workers in America. They are an American company, a domestic entity.

When you throw out phrases like "global company" it is not really clear what you are getting at. Everybody has offices scattered around the world nowadays. Large companies need some form of presence for their sales operations. That is not so much considered outsourcing as shipping your core engineering work, like research and development, offshore, because that kind of stuff can be done locally.


 7:43 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mattdwells -
Google is a global company. Based on your definition, Google would have to bring in labor from another planet for it to be considered "outsourcing".

You are fighting an uphill battle ;)

Google is simply hiring empoyees from another country. To state that individuals from another country are somehow on the "outside" is rather narrow-minded.

Anyway, the fact that they are hiring individuals from India to join the Google team isn't what is being disputed.. it's just your semantics of presenting the info. Either way, Google is expanding their global empoyee base (which IMHO is a great thing).


 7:47 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't feel a sense of entitlement just because I'm American.

I do feel that free trade should not have been entered into so hastily. We should have shot for fair trade. Fair trade is not what's happening here.

From what I can tell, all this globalization and free trade is accomplishing is a downward pressure on wages and an upward pressure on CEO pay resulting in a wage gap in America that was once about 30 to one (average CEO makes thirty dollars to every one the average worker makes) to what is now about a 427 to one ratio. Since the early 1970's, the average American wage has decreased while upper income earners buying power has increased exponentially.

I am American, governed by American policies. Am I to concern myself with the state of the Indian and Chinese well-being or the standard of living of me and my fellow Americans? Are the Indians worried for me?

[edited by: mat_bastian at 7:55 pm (utc) on Dec. 13, 2003]


 7:49 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just about anything can be done cheaper some place else.

Sooner or later, the CEO's themselves will be outsourced to india too.

Where you're not seeing this is with the Unions, where even you can have manual labor job for $80k a year.

[edited by: JasonHamilton at 7:51 pm (utc) on Dec. 13, 2003]


 7:50 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


That is not *my* definition of "to outsource". It was taken from "The American HeritageŽ Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition". If you can think of a better one, perhaps you should write your own and submit it to them.

And I don't think it is narrow-minded to recognize international borders. One way to judge countries is by the types of laws they employ and the way they enforce those laws. I don't think that is narrow-minded at all. ;)


 8:00 pm on Dec 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm from India. I paid $5000 last month (November) to google for adwords and a similar sum to Overture and then some to findwhat.com and goclick. Not even a single search engines out of the four blinked for a moment before taking my money and providing me the service (PPC ads). Also there was no thread here on webmasterworld that Indians are buying services from an American company. BTW this is the third thread in one day about google opening an office in India.

I bought an Intel CPU and mainboard last week and paid equivalent of $550 for that to an American company but again there was no hue and cry on any forum about that Indians are buying products made by Intel. Then why this BS about outsourcing? You (Americans) want (and mostly get) full access to markets in other countries but why start crying when you see the same companies hiring employees in those countries. Trade is a two way street, you sell somethings and you buy somethings.

Mattdwells, you appear to think that Americans who are being short changed by companies that operate R&D facilities out of India. In India we also have many people who think that Pepsi and Coke destroyed cold drink industry in our country in 1990s by selling their products at loss for many years in a row but I bet there are more people around me in India than compared to you in America who think it is the inevitable effects of globalization where survival of the fittest is the rule of the game. Google is multinational company which makes money from many countries around the world. They will hire people from where they can suitable people. You can continue complaining and start one more thread after this one provided you are allowed by moderators on the forum.

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