Does China offshoring need a Western Hand?

Do Chinese IT suppliers need to be managed from the West to make it big in global offshoring?

Following my meeting with Nigel Grieve of Bleum, I though I would ask this question.

Bleum is a software development company in China, which is owned by an American and managed from the US,

China has huge potential with a massive pool of IT talent. Hundreds of thousands of students graduate every year with computer science degrees. In 2008 IDC said offshoring to China will grow 23% every year until 2013 when it will be worth $6,8bn.

China has over 350,000 computer science graduates every year and the government has chosen software development as an industry to develop.

But there are fears over things like security, language and the protection of intellectual property.

Bleum’s model is an attempt to overcome some of the fears associated with China, because if suppliers can remedy some of the problems then China is probably an easy sell.

The charges per worker per day, for example, are much lower than even India.

So this is Bleum:

The company is 10 years old and is run by American Eric Rongley.

It has about 1000 staff in Shanghai and a handful in the US and Europe to manage the company and support certain accounts.

The main applications it develops are e-commerce, financial services, supply chain and retail. Walmart has an e-procurement system from Bleum.

Bleum has a policy that all staff to speak English while at work.

It uses biometric security to protect its different locations. Each customer will have a physically separate support centre.

Its recruitment process is rigorous. It gets 2000 applicants every month and takes on only about 50.

It has a four stage recruitment process.

1 – Candidates must reach 140 in an IQ test.
2 -There is a skills test and people are chosen depending on the demand for particular skills at the time.
3 – Candidates must speak a good level of English.
4 – Then there is a behavioural test.