Geography lessons from India

Indian software suppliers have had to give UK companies lessons in geography following concerns that the war in Afghanistan could...

Indian software suppliers have had to give UK companies lessons in geography following concerns that the war in Afghanistan could hit IT outsourcing work in India.

Vivek Paul, chief executive of Indian software firm Wipro, said some companies have delayed their plans to outsource software development to India because of concerns that the war could spill into India.

"We point out that, if you look at a map, Afghanistan to Bangalore is like Chechnya to Switzerland. No Swiss company gets asked about the Chechen problem," he said. "India is not as high risk as people expect."

Several potential Wipro customers have delayed IT outsourcing programmes because of political uncertainty after 11 September.

"The thing that hurts us is indecision. Even if times are tough, as long as people see some level of predictability they can make plans and act on them," said Paul.

Indian suppliers are now giving potential customers presentations to highlight the strength of their disaster recovery programmes in an effort to reassure them.

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