The news this week that over 600 million people were affected by India’s power breakdown was staggering.  When you stop and think for a moment you realise that that’s 10 times the population of the UK!

This story has highlighted to the world that India is clearly massively struggling to keep up with the power demand of its huge population.  With so many high profile companies outsourcing services to Indian call centres and alike it doesn’t take long to work out why India’s power demands have overtaken their capability in the last few years.

The fact that the power cut hit such a large area, including its capital city for such a length of time gives clarity to just one aspect of the difference between India and the rest of the developed western world.

Over the last decade many companies have joined the band wagon of off-shoring services to India and the East to keep up with the cost reduction advantages that their competitors would be gaining.  But it makes you wonder whether in the rush to offshore services that their due diligence really considered whether all aspects of the differences in infrastructure and culture made it a long term sustainable choice.

Whilst the millions of Indian households affected by the power cuts can cope with the inconvenience of some lengthy and regular power cuts its the many large businesses of Delhi and the commercial districts that will really be counting the costs.  I can’t help to feel suspicious that there appears to have been a rush of PR into the media of big companies saying that they were unaffected by the power cuts because their outsource partners have sufficient backup power to cover these outages.   But they seem to have glossed over the issue of how the staff can get to work without trains, the gridlock caused by no traffic lights and whether all their network providers were unaffected.  Redirecting a call centre to another part of the country temporarily is one thing, but asking a different developer to finish a piece of code, that he has no knowledge of, at a moment’s notice for a deadline is quite another.

If you’re thinking of bringing your developers back onshore, why not get in touch – we are all based in the UK!