It’s a sign of the times. Understandable and predictable. But unfortunate. The Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate and the media are hammering Republican opponent Charlie Baker for an outsourcing award presented in 2008 to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and service provider Perot Systems. Baker was Harvard Pilgrim’s CEO at the time, and the turnaround from bankruptcy involved moving some jobs to India.
It’s a sign of the times that the highly populist agenda in North America and Europe increasingly dominates politics to the point that an award given to a company six years ago is now used to denigrate a politician.
In and of itself, this will not move public opinion or change policy. But the populist desire to at least soft play the moving of work to low-cost locations in other countries doesn’t bode well for the global services industry or immigration reform. The services industry needs to be aware that it is clearly operating in a much more sensitive and emotional environment.
Election times are always difficult. And outsourcing and global services is an easy dog to kick. I think service providers need to be aware of this and work to lower their profile in these difficult times and focus on investments that can help offset this growing populism.
Photo credit: Coralie Mercier