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Resilient e-lancers

The recent blackout in India affected 600 million people but did not bring down the outsourcing companies, which are contract-bound to offer their services uninterrupted. Indian companies have learnt not to rely on the governments for key infrastructure and invested in their own backups. That seems to have saved the day for them.  

But it is not just companies, which are doing outsourcing work from India. There are tens of thousands of individual professionals, programmers to graphic artists, offering outsourcing services.  Small companies or individuals in the West needing bits and pieces of work to be done, go to many web sites, which help them find an expert they can engage. Indians are represented in good numbers in micro outsourcing as well. 

ODesk, a noted site that connects clients to individual contractors, has published data on how the blackout affected this segment of the industry. It tabulated the number of hours worked and number of job applications submitted by Indian contractors for each day of July and analysed how they were affected by the outage. 

During the blackout, there was a palpable drop in the number of hours worked by the Indians. It estimated that during the blackout days, 22% of the total work hours should have come from India. Instead the actual number of 17.5%. 

But as ODesk notes, while half of India plunged into darkness, the percentage drop was just 4.5%, no way in proportion to the extent of outage. As it correctly guessed, the probable reason is Southern and Western regions of the country, which were spared by the blackout, has more number of contractors than the regions which were affected.   On ODesk, 25% of job applications come from Indian contractors. Despite the blackout, the number of applications which came from India stayed the same. The unaffected contractors noticed the drop in supply and stepped up to bid for more jobs to seize the opportunity. 


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