Himalayan News Service

London, January 4

After outsourcing it is undercutting, and India is at the centre of both buzzwords in the global economy.

British companies outsourcing back office operations to India is no more news. Now local accountants and lawyers fear an undercutting drive on home soil.

Recently, one British company was quoted as offering 100,000 pounds to carry out a software audit. An Indian group offered to do the same job for 30,000 pounds.

The work was carried out by four software professionals coming in from India.

A top Birmingham business chief has now sounded the alarm over the threat of cut-price operators snatching work from lawyers and accountants.

David Grove, president of Birmingham and Solihull Chamber of Commerce, claimed that many businesses in the sector were ignorant of the threat facing them from India and China.

Grove warned that while many manufacturers had been grappling with the competition from the two Asian giants for years, many in the service sector thought, quite wrongly, that they were immune.

He said in Birmingham, "People in this country have got to start living in the real world. I believe that this issue remains the biggest real and dangerous threat to competitiveness among British companies. If accountants and lawyers and the like in this country do not act swiftly, their business volumes could be slashed."

"Manufacturing has been suffering from these cost pressures for years but this is now a serious wake-up call to the service sector. We will soon be in a position where audits of UK companies can be carried out in India. The technology is already in place," he added.

According to Masood Butt of the Institute of Asian Businesses, "part of globalisation means that some parts of the world will see job losses and others will see jobs being created. A highly skilled and committed workforce will always be a priority for any business."