It’s not a good idea to finalize your long-term offshore service provider selections without a trip to evaluate their offshore locations and gain firsthand knowledge of their capabilities.
However, visitors are often overwhelmed by Indian hospitality and miss out on some of key aspects of their visits. In this article, we highlight some of the areas you should look out for during your trip to India. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it will get you thinking in the right direction about your future site visits to India.
- Look at the organizational structure and a clear demarcation of roles and responsibilities.
- Look at the revenue split between onsite and offshore consulting and the various vertical industry domains serviced by the client.
- Talk to the executive team and learn their future plans and strategy for the company.
- Talk with various project managers and middle level managers to understand the level of empowerment and openness in the organization culture.
- Make sure you visit the premises where your team will likely be set up.
- Look out for the physical, personnel and network separation of the groups working for competing clients.
- Notice the access control for various areas and how often it is breached.
- Ask about the last simulation run on their business continuity plans.
- Ask about the number of times a virus has hit their network in the last six months.
- Talk to a few engineers about their security awareness.
- Notice the interaction levels between team members in the aisles and in cafeterias.
Most of the Indian vendors are certified under various quality standards. This makes it mandatory for them to maintain key organizational metrics.
- Ask for client satisfaction metrics for the last three years.
- Ask for key quality metrics on areas such as schedule, effort, productivity and defects collected over the last three years.
- Ask for project metrics classified by the type of project, such as maintenance, co-development and quality assurance, and also on the type of technology.
- Look out for any increase in the attrition rate in the last few months and the reasons for it.
- Ask for the percentage of resources who join the company after the offer is been made. In some companies, the rate is as low as 30%.
- Ask for the number of unfilled positions in the company.
- The brand recognition of the vendor with top universities in India as well as in the US is important. Talk to local headhunters to understand the ranking of the vendor among potential recruits.
- Question the HR personnel on how they manage various career paths (managerial vs. technical).
- Analyze the experience and depth of the management team to handle 30%-40% yearly growth.
- Talk to the team members of a few vendor teams in an informal setting.
Find more practical advice about working with offshore teams on the Zinnov Web site blog: