Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Mumbai Dreams

There is always a big press when major companies, such as Google or Microsoft set up a research hub or call centre in India. The labor market is cheaper and there is a highly-skilled workforce. The world renowned business consultancy Mc.Kinsey and Co. have their presentation packs created by a company in the sub-continent. The consultant makes some graffiti on a whiteboard, the scribbles are scanned in and sent to Madras; the next day said consultant comes back and has a Powerpoint sitting in his inbox. Voila.

Wouldn't it be great if one could do the same with traffic instructions for an agency or publisher? How many times have you (I am talking to the account managers here) been faced with an issue at the end of the day, only to be told by traffic: "sorry, no can do" either for reasons of understaffing or time constraints.
Wouldn't it be great to do the same as the guy from McKinsey? Give the traffic brief to a team that will not demand overtime and work overnight? Furthermore would it not be great to just cut the cost of a traffic head when it is not a customer-facing role that needn't be in the office 24/7?

The administrative side of the Media Sales business has almost always been kept in-house. Except now that is. Companies such as Trafficmac offer cost-effective alternatives to a costly in-house traffic team. How do they do this? Their traffic dept. is based in Mumbai. The economics are simple: the average desk space in London (England) costs $7K, whereas Mumbai (India) offers desk space for less than $1.5K.

Agencies have recently been through cost-cutting exercises, and Media Week explores the idea of exporting ad buyer jobs to Bombay. They can do their jobs based on recorded information (pricing, performance indexes, etc.) so why not sit them next to the traffic guys in Mumbai?

Of course the media buyers will be on a higher floor than the traffickers, but that's another story....


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