Offshore outsourcing is a phenomenon that first began in the 1990s in India when Cobol programmers were recruited to help companies prepare for Y2K.
Since then, the market for outsourcing in India has grown at an immense rate - the National Association of Software and Service Companies estimates that India's export revenues from IT services will grow from $6.1bn (£3.9bn) in 2001 o $50bn (£32bn) by 2008.
A small number of Indian companies such as Infosys have begun competing directly with US and European companies - the "Big 5" consulting firms should be worried.
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This was first published in September 2002