Most Americans, if asked about what business services are being outsourced to Indian firms, tend to think first (and probably only) of call centers; if they’re pressed further for a particular location, they’d probably think of Bangalore. But India’s outsourcing-related industries — often referred to in the business press as the ITES (information technology enabled services) or BPO (business process outsourcing) sector — are far more varied and widespread.
From animation studios in Chennai to microchip design houses in New Delhi, Indian firms are handling a wide range of services, with tens (or hundreds) of thousands of skilled workers earning salaries that have made them a new middle class, and the heart of a new retail economy. But not all Indians have benefited equally from the outsourcing boom — most Indians are still very poor by United States standards; rural residents often desperately so. Investigate how India’s urban information technology centers fit into the Indian economy with the interactive map below.