‘Onsite’ and the ghost in the IT industry

The term ‘onsite’ is a favorite in the IT industry. Everyone wants to go onsite. Such is the madness, people start dreaming of onsite even before entering the company. It has cast a mysterious spell on the IT sector. It was not meant to be this way in the beginning. But it has happened starting from way back in 2007.

For beginners, here is what the scenario is like. The client is generally from outside India. They have outsourced their work to an IT company in India. It is allotted to a particular branch of the company in a particular city. But this distance factor often comes in the way of smooth communication between the client and the Indian company. For reason, someone from India is sent to reside at the client’s location until the job is done. The salary at the client’s location is normally 3-5 times of what you would be getting at ‘offshore’ (term used to denote the location where the work is outsourced to). It depends a lot on what your job role is, where you are going, and most importantly, what your designation is. The factor that decides who will go and what effect it has on others is the most interesting part to be discussed now.

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Normally, it happens such that there is an experienced professional at offshore, or a pretty capable team at offshore. The other person with generally more than 2 years of experience leaves for onsite. He might be having a relevant skill set required to the job done, or might have handled such projects very well in the past, or belongs to an elite team in the organization which handles such onsite positions, or have been waiting for onsite for quite some time. This is what happens in most cases.

Onsite Travels
Onsite Travels

The excitement, hype and happiness that comes with the first onsite travel is pretty obvious. It’s as if you have found the real meaning of your existence at last. You have found the real meaning of your getting a job at last. I don’t believe in it. But people seem to give the priority to money and wealth even above their own happiness. It is good no doubt, but not worth so much celebrations. Anyway, it apparently came down as a God’s blessing on him and he leaves happily for his new task feeling lucky and blessed. People at offshore feel confident with him at onsite and are sure about getting the job done.

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The scenario gets a bit cloudy when people at offshore do not feel confident enough about the efficiency about the person who just left for onsite. It might as well happen that the person truly lacks the credibility to go for onsite. Well, then, there must be something which led him there, right?

The first and foremost things that comes to mind are contacts with higher management. Such contacts can prove very much useful and more so if you know actually how to make contacts. Secondly, in many companies, there is an elite section of reserved associates for such special roles. Once you enter them, it’s always a cakewalk to get such opportunities.

Not that he will be unable to deliver, but that will be far below expectations. But that won’t be noticed by anyone as the offshore team delivers slightly more than expectations and that compensates more than enough for the total effort by offshore and onsite. But the discontent and grudge that is created amongst the offshore team members is something vital, and it affects the team a lot. People will constantly curse and hope he is being thrown out. Well, that seldom happens truly, as you might be guessing by now.

A different aspect that needs to be reflected upon is what happens to many people when they do not get to visit onsite. It doesn’t happen generally, but there are cases where people simply lose their mind when it comes down to not getting an onsite opportunity. They would get angry easily. They would blame their onsite counterparts (even if the guy or gal at onsite is capable and deserved the opportunity) for every possible opportunity. Frankly speaking, this person has sacrificed his inner peace for the sake of not getting an onsite opportunity. Not to mention, the team spirit (if it exists at all in such a scenario) suffers. The situation turns worse if this person has been sent back from onsite for some issues and then someone else has been sent in his place.

Well, we all got to learn from such situations we continue to face in our lives or hear from others. Had any such experience? Feel free to share below.

Author: Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul is a journalist with expertise in researching a variety of topics and writing engaging contents. He is also a data analyst and an expert in visualizing business scenarios using data science. Rahul is skilled in a number of programming languages and data analysis tools. When he is not busy writing, Rahul can be found somewhere in the Appalachian trails or in an ethnic restaurant in Chicago.

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