Outsourcing of work is not a recent phenomenon – it has
been around for a while. The practice of outsourcing dates back to
early 1700s, wherein manufacturers in Europe, during the industrial
revolution, started outsourcing the manufacturing of goods to low
While the outsourcing as a phenomenon has been around centuries,
the real impetus to outsourcing was provided by the technological
advances of the late 20th century. The advent of computers and
later – the Internet, provided much needed platform to
outsourcing, which was absent earlier.
In India, the outsourcing as an industry has developed in phases
– in the early phases, i.e. 1990's, mainly the
Information Technology related services were outsourced to India.
Again, the development of telecom and IP based communication
provided a push to the next phase, which witnessed the outsourcing
of Business Processes – mainly the call centers functions of
the big corporations. Many companies in US and around the globe
welcomed the cost arbitrage provided by the Indian companies
wholeheartedly. After the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) , came
the Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) and its younger cousin
– Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO), each demanding an entirely
different kind of skill-set from the workforce as compared to its
elder cousin – BPO, wherein the complexity of the work was on
the lower side. The availability of the skilled workforce –
such as Engineers, Masters, PhDs and Lawyers in India has catered
to the needs of the KPO and LPO over the past many years.
Speaking specifically about the Intellectually Property
services, today, outsourcing has become more than just cost
arbitrage – the skilled workforce in India has become more of
process experts rather than just cheap labor. Over the years, they
have developed a knack of providing right solutions, to the
companies looking for outsourcing, at right costs. The reason for
this not a hard one to guess – they work on delivering these
services day in and day out, thus gaining expertise in their
specific services. The easy availability workforce allows the
outsourcing services providers to have multiple teams, with each
team specializing in specific service. Be it patent searching or
analytics – successful IP outsourcing companies invest
heavily on training the employees on specific services, and
continuously keep them updated of the dynamically changing laws of
various jurisdictions worldwide.
The academia, in India, has also recognized Outsourcing as a
significant phenomenon and has responded to cater to the needs of
the outsourcing service providers by offering specific courses in
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), for example, the world renowned
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur was the first of the
league to offer an Intellectual Property oriented 3 year Bachelor
of Law (LL.B) program. Also, the recent changes in IP law in India,
for TRIPS compliance, are expected to further help the IP
outsourcing companies by increasing the domestic clientele.
One may argue that having an office in India is expected to
derive same benefits. True – but then other factors such as,
initial setup costs, legal compliance with Indian laws, workforce
attrition are expected to dilute the overall focus of the
organization, and thus making the package prohibitive. Moreover,
the option of setting an offshore office is not available to
Thanks to the advancements in telecom and IT sector in India,
the benefits of off-shoring are not only available to the larger
organizations, the same benefits are available to Small and Medium
Enterprises, and small IP boutique Law firms. For the companies and
law firms looking for outsourcing – the best way to gain full
advantage of the outsourcing phenomena, is to select the service
provider carefully, and develop a strategic partnership with the
vendor, instead of a black-box approach of outsourcing of specific
tasks and receiving the output back. A strategic partnership would
provide the necessary insights to the service provider, so as to
tailor the services to suit the overall objective. On the other
hand, a strategic partnership would also provide the companies an
insight into the service provider down to the process level, thus
giving them more control and better quality work.
Article contributed by Manoj Poonia
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On 31 December 2015 the President gave his assent to certain amendments to the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965. The amendments have increased the wage threshold for determining applicability of the Act from INR 10,000 to INR 21,000 per month.
The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 provides for the payment of statutory bonus to eligible employees. The bonus payable is to be determined on the basis of profits or on the basis of production or productivity of the establishment.
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