Before i ask this question i want to preface it by saying that it is not meant with any racial judgement and i would like answers that are pure and coming from an honest and non-bigoty place.
With That said...I have some years of outsourcing under my belt. Everything from virtual assistant work to programmming tasks, to design work. Over the years, i have found that different countries seem to have different strengths. For instance, i find that Filipinos are great with (American) English writing and speaking tasks, South Americans and Eastern Europeans have great underrated design abilities, Western Europeans are the best Programmers. My Problem is that I have not had great experiences with Indians. I have always received the lowest bid prices from India and the least reliable results, many times not even being able to finish the task.
My question is this: What experiences have you had with Indian Freelancers and what do you think they excel at? I ask this because i dont want to be ignorant of areas i have not considered.
Thanks for all the answers in advance.
Great experience with software testing personally.
Cultural differences and communication barriers are also common in my interactions I've seen, but those usually boil down to us speaking different versions of English.
Software testing requires an excellent set of technical chops AND meticulous attention to detail, which the Indian colleagues that I have worked with have in spades.
Disclaimer: We are India based software services provider and since last 6 years we have been working with several clients who outsource their work to India. So you might find my views to be biased.
Outsourcing to India or anywhere requires one most important thing to look for -
1. Lowest bid: Clients tend to be attracted towards the lowest price bids and they have every right to do so but they should understand that a deal too good to believe has something fishy about it. As a buyer you have rough idea about an item which you are planning to buy example: car at USD 2000 which generally costs USD 6000 to 8000 in market means either the other party is trying to con you OR the item is not even worth $500, leave aside $2000. If you exercise such checks while buying a car, why not do the same when requesting a software services.
I think, the client always knows what the work is worth for and 25% +- on that price should be good enough.
QUALITY DOES NOT COME CHEAP.
ITS NOT ABOUT THE COST, ITS ABOUT THE VALUE FOR MONEY.
2. Interview: I have seen clients not interviewing the companies or individuals before getting started with the work. The interview is mostly focused on cost instead of focus on quality, deliverables, thought process, and project plan. Always talk to the team which is supposed to work on your requirements. Ask them relevant questions about the work and their plan to achieve the same. If they seem confident and they seem clear with regards to requirements go for them. Don't you do the same while hiring an employee for your firm. Selecting a service provider is as good as that.
I know its tiring and frustrating to interview so many service providers, but that is something you ought to do to succeed. If it was so simple everyone would have done that and would have been successful. So this problem is not a problem but in fact its favoring you by weeding out unnecessary competition you could have faced if it was easy to get select the right partner to get the work done.
Recently Velocity went for hiring and we interviewed around 480 people to select 5. It was tough, time consuming, and frustrating, but that fine. We know that since it is such a difficult process many won't be able to follow and would not be able to match the resource quality we are hiring. As a result, their quality is not going to be as good as ours, thus making their clients flock to us.
Hiring right people is the key. Hiring people is the first step of sales activity for any organization. If don't do that right you would not succeed. This applies to clients who are planning to outsource their work. Interview extensively and hire right people for your work.
3. Is it a company or an individual: Individuals and companies work in a completely different model. Companies generally have multiple resources, and even if something is not going the way as expected by the client, they can get multiple people to work as a team and steer back the project to the correct path.
In case of an individual, things might be a little different. There are several freelancers who are excellent service providers and are professional enough to understand that the work promised to the client has to be completed no matter what. But the truth is, most of them may not be so professional.
I do agree that companies come with added overhead charges, but believe me, that's worth it. If I were to outsource some work, instead of an individual who is offering the same work cheaper than another company, I would still go for Company because I know that there is one thing I cannot earn ever - Lost Time.
4. Do they have enough experience and have demos to showcase their work: Clients generally ask for portfolio of the company/individual to see how much experience do they have but I have seen that more than often the clients do not discuss about each of the projects which have been show cased. Ask for top 5 projects, and discuss about them. If the projects are faked i.e. they have not actually developed it they won't be able to explain things. Did I talk about interview?
At the end, trust your instincts, try to find right people, interview, interview, interview. Every project has chances of failure, you have to work towards reducing the failure percentage.
All the best with outsourcing. Indian service providers do provide quality service. Don't choose because someone if offering at cheaper rate, go for value for money.
It is absolutely true that when the price is too good to be true , it is. Some times they are willing to do the work but dont have the expertise so they just learn on your money so the result would be what you can expect, a low quality product. But what i have found them good at is they are always willing to look into the problem , so you will have to work extra hard with them pointing out all the bugs and then you will have to look again if the bugs are removed or not cause they tend to forget things but they will make the app eventually look like what you want , now it depends on you that the days you will spend banging your head against your keyboard , is it worth the money you are saving?