Selecting an offshore services provider based primarily on the country in which it is located is a bit like choosing a car based on the fact that it has wheels and an engine. While those features must be considered, those who don't also consider the subtler details are setting themselves up for disappointment.
As reported in Global Services, an increasing number of companies are narrowing the scope of their outsourcing considerations. Instead of considering whether to outsource services to a particular country, they are evaluating specific cities.
Costs of labor, real estate and telecommunications can vary widely from one region of a country to another, points out the Global Services article, especially in large countries such as India, China and Brazil. Indeed, we've blogged before about companies looking to employ workers in more cost-effective rural areas.
Another reason to drill down beyond the country level, notes the article, is that cities often earn reputations as centers of expertise in fairly narrow specialties. And it makes sense to consider the local infrastructure if managers will spend significant amounts of time there.
You can click through to a list of 15 emerging hot spots selected by Global Services and advisory firm Tholons, with a mini-profile of each city. Reflecting India's continued strength as an offshore destination, five of these cities are in India, including the top three.
The only other countries with more than a single city in the short list of 15 are China with three cities and Vietnam with two. We recently blogged about Vietnam's growing popularity as an offshore destination.