Outsourced

Topics: Business process outsourcing, Outsourcing, Business process Pages: 20 (3257 words) Published: December 3, 2013
A STUDY GUIDE by sally campbell
www.metromagazine.com.au
www.theeducationshop.com.au

Synopsis >

OUTSOURCED! explores the experiences of
young people working in call centres in India and Australia. Never before have national borders been so porous. Technological advances mean a call-centre operator in India can now answer calls from consumers in the United States, Europe and Australia, as well as other developed countries.

T

o many observers, outsourcing represents a new frontier of
globalization, pitting workers
around the world against each other
in the battle for jobs and the pursuit
of lower operating costs and higher
profits for business.

ABOVE: ONE OF GENPACT’S CALL CENTRES

term prospects.
Through the eyes of the Indian
women, the documentary explores
how the outsourcing industry is
dramatically changing Indian culture,
turning cities like Gurgaon, located
on the outskirts of New Delhi, into
technological boomtowns. However, in
the sweeping global trend to outsource white-collar work, even India is not safe. Already it is vying with
other developing countries, illustrating
that in this new era of globalization,
no country has an iron grip over job
security.

SCREEN EDUCATION

Over the past five years, India has
emerged as the leader in this new
global market that threatens white-collar office jobs in developed countries. OUTSOURCED! portrays a defining
moment for both India and Australia,
where there are new career opportunities for Indian workers and uncertain futures for their Australian counterparts.

The film profiles the lives of four young
Indian women who work in outsourcing
jobs at a company called Genpact.1
They see their work as an exciting
opportunity and an important source
of income for their families. They take
their jobs seriously and believe their
roles are an important step towards
financial security and professional
advancement. By way of contrast, the
film also canvasses the experiences of
four Australian call-centre workers who
do not consider their jobs as careers.
They are young, itinerant workers who,
despite earning up to five times the
wage of their Indian counterparts, do
not regard their jobs as being long-



About this study guide > Key themes discussed in this

study guide are: globalization, economics, business, gender, trade, society and culture. The study guide includes questions and activities to be explored before and after watching the film.

T

he questions can be incorporated into classroom discussion
or students can provide individual written responses. The activities in the study guide include a mixture of
individual investigation, class discussion, and small group work. Specific questions and activities for students
of media studies are included under a
separate heading.

Curriculum Links

In OUTSOURCED!, filmmakers Safina
Uberoi and Anna Cater examine
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO),
focusing on an Indian company that
wins contracts to take over many
‘back office’ functions of companies
located in developed countries. With
many Western white-collar jobs being
lost to the BPO industry, the subject
is a controversial topic in the world’s
economies. Choosing to shoot the
majority of the documentary in India,
they concentrated particularly on the
perspective of women because it is
female employment in the Indian BPO
industry that is creating tremendous
social change for its participants.
Both Uberoi and Cater have prior

ABOVE: AUSTRALIAN UNIONIST CATH NOYE

experience making documentaries on
social topics of global interest. Uberoi
is best known for her documentary
My Mother India about her Australian
mother’s love affair with India. The
film won eleven major international
awards. Likewise, Cater recently produced the highly successful ABC/BBC documentary Frank Hurley – the Man
Who Made History, and was associate producer of the award-winning Primal Instinct series...
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