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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 16:30 GMT
Call of India lures European workers

By Geeta Pandey
BBC News in Delhi

Swiss worker Patrick in the Tecnovate eSolutions office, Delhi
Swiss worker Patrick has extended his Indian stay
The big hall fills with the cacophony of different languages - English, French, German, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish.

European companies may be outsourcing work to Indian firms but in one Delhi-based call centre it's Europeans who make up a fair number of the workforce.

"It's so different from Europe - the culture and the way you live - and I think it's fantastic," says Marie Blomquist from Stockholm.

"People are so friendly and the food is awesome, everything is great."


This Tecnovate eSolutions office recruits at least 10% of its 900 employees from Europe.

Prashant Sahni, Tecnovate CEO
We get our clients involved in the recruitment process so it's a win-win situation for everyone
Prashant Sahni,
CEO Tecnovate

Its clients come from 11 countries using nine different languages.

Entry and mid-level employees are recruited from European countries on Indian salaries to service their native markets from India.

Marie Blomquist first visited India two years ago.

She came to see Goa as a tourist and was hooked. So when she saw a newspaper advertisement for a job in Delhi, she jumped at it.

"I like it a lot," says Marie. "It's a real good experience for us to be here. It's a good opportunity to work for an Indian company with other Europeans and that's the best part about it."


Patrick is 21 years old and Swiss. He's been in India for 10 months now and says he likes it so much he's extended his time by another four months.

"I'm leading the Swiss team here," he says. "We're a team of 13 - French and German Swiss."

Sylvia, right, in the Tecnovate eSolutions office
We live very well. We have a nice guest house. It's better than we thought before I came here
Sylvia Sethi, right

Marie and Patrick are part of the growing breed of Europeans living and working in India.

Prashant Sahni, chief executive officer of Tecnovate, says the way it works is simple.

"We hire people from various parts of Europe to work for us on Indian salaries and it's been very successful.

"We get our clients involved in the recruitment process so it's a win-win situation for everyone. As for the people who come to work here, they get a chance to live in a country as unique and diverse as India."

Mr Sahni says the European employees are recruited for a minimum period of a year, but many extend their stay.

And although the employees are paid local salaries, they receive other compensation in the form of free housing, a furnishing allowance and subsidised meals.

Sylvia Sethi, another Swede, says: "We live very well. We have a nice guest house. It's better than we thought before I came here."

She says the job also provides a great opportunity to travel around India.

"Our schedule is done in a way that we can travel around and do things in our free time.

"Also, we get picked up and dropped off for work, a privilege we don't have in Sweden. We also get snack coupons."

Marie, Patrick and Sylvia says they've made "loads of friends" and have the added bonus of getting paid while they do it.

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