News from The Hindu: Lason takes BPO to the countryside
This is clearly the next wave. I have been thinking about this idea for quite a while. I am trying to do this in a small way - not for jobs from outside the country, but within the country.
There is fair bit of pre-processing work related to regional language publishing - say Tamil publishing. All of this is outsourced by the Tamil Publishers to third parties. This includes converting the handwritten manuscript into a digital text document, then typesetting this in a software to fit into the publishing standards (Demi, Crown etc.), then proof-reading this document to fix errors. In between converting the document into digital text and typesetting, the document needs to be edited.
Most (perhaps 95%) of the Tamil publishers do not bother much with editing. At the editing stage, the document may have to go back and forth between the editor and the author. Since most publishers do not bother with this, one can jump from handwritten manuscript-> digital text-> proof-reading.
Right now, for bulk of the Tamil books, the work happens in Chennai. However even with a very poor internet connection, this work can be outsourced to different villages and small towns in India. The handwritten manuscript can be pushed by post to such village centres where it gets digitised and send back as an electronic document to the publishers. The publishers in turn can print the document, generate the negatives (or positives) and offset print it wherever they desire.
I am experimenting this now. Will report on the results down the line.