Expansion is a natural, normal and expected course in any growing business. And that expansion often crosses geographical boundaries. A car manufacturing unit may decide to set up its assembling unit in a developing country; a software giant may set up an entire department overseas. Both companies are basically doing what is known as offshore outsourcing, but with their own employees. However, this kind of expansion understandably calls for huge amounts of investment, not to mention considerable running around and liaisoning with the local authorities in a new country. Is there a simpler option? Yes, there is! Hire a fulltime, dedicated virtual employee.
Cost-saving. Efficient. Convenient. Profitable. These are just a few of the adjectives that crop up when one uses the term 'virtual employee'.
Let's see what all is involved when a company decides to set up a separate offshore office independently in a far-away foreign country, say, in India. They have to spend time and money in first zeroing in on the city where they wish to set up their offshore office. Then they have to send representatives all the way to India to arrange for those logistics – rent office space, arrange for hardware and office equipment, technology support and back-up (generators), telephone and internet connections, and finally, recruit employees. The whole process is highly time-consuming, stressful and ultimately may not yield the desired results. While a big multinational company can toy with the idea of opening an independent offshore office outside the country, the average SME frankly cannot factor these extra costs into its limited budget.
It is exactly for such SMEs that hiring a 'virtual employee' is the best alternative to the traditional offshore outsourcing model. Here are 5 reasons why this is so.
- It is highly cost-effective. Isn't that what outsourcing is all about? Cutting down on costs, increasing productivity and increasing profits? The logic behind hiring a remote employee is simple. Why set up an entire offshore office when you can get the employee at a fraction of the cost AND the benefits of an offshore 'office'? Despite the rising rupee, outsourcing to India still remains extremely cost-effective.
- You get the best talent available. Say, the SME in question is a medium-sized accounting firm in the UK. Hiring a top-notch CA can be cost-prohibitive and they may have to make do with mediocre talent. But, if they outsource to a company in India that specializes in providing the best talent available, they can easily have an extremely qualified CA (a virtual employee) working for them - at almost one-eighth of what it would cost them in the UK. Since India has an abundant talent pool of some of the most qualified and professional skilled men and women in the world in almost every field, you can have a virtual team of highly skilled people working for your organization - be it data entry, content writing, software development or medical transcription, all under one roof. Small wonder then that 82% of the US companies ranked India as their first choice for software outsourcing
- It is easy! You don't have to leave your office or your country to have the equivalent of having your own independent offshore office in India. Thanks to the modern means of communication, you are just a mouse click away from realizing your dream of having an offshore set-up abroad. When you outsource to a reliable offshore outsourcing company in India, the latter takes care of all the other logistics like hardware, software, office rent, etc.
- You are spared the cultural divide to a large extent. One of the biggest hurdles in setting up an independent offshore office in an unfamiliar country is the cultural and language divide. But when it comes to outsourcing the non-core activities to a virtual employee, these concerns get considerably whittled down. Of course, certain customs and traditions need to be kept in mind, because after all your virtual employee does belong to that country, but these are usually manageable.
- The quantity of work does not matter. If a small to medium-sized company wishes to open its independent offshore office in another country, the quantum of work needs to justify that decision. Statistics have shown that as many as 99% of the SMEs wish to employ anywhere between 1-50 employees when they outsource. This obviously far less a number to warrant a transfer of a large chunk of human and monetary resources overseas for that purpose. MNCs, on the other hand, outsource entire departments comprising of above 100 employees when they do offshore outsourcing. An outsourcing service provider who helps you recruit your own virtual employee does not demand that kind of investment at all. You can offshore one project or ten, your virtual employee will still make it a feasible option.
So, offshore outsourcing is a great cost-saving measure to increase profits and efficiency. But only if harnessed properly.
Daya Mukherjee is a Senior Content Writer and Editor working for a Remote Staffing Outsourcing company in India. You can find out more information by visiting our Outsourcing Services, Outsource, offshore outsource Websites.
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