Outsourcing Europeans

There is a new way to outsource, use young rich Europeans who are on vacation, to fill the ranks of headset wearing telemarketers.

With hundreds of employees yakking into headsets, Tecnovate’s New Delhi office looks like a typical Indian call center, except for one thing: Nearly 100 of these workers aren’t Indian. Call it “multilingual outsourcing” or “Eurosourcing” — Tecnovate is leading a new trend in call-center hiring. Taking advantage of the 20-somethings who flock to India for postcollege sojourns, the firm is hiring workers from Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the like.

The Europeans get an exotic year on the subcontinent, while Tecnovate gets a polyglot staff to serve its 15 travel, financial, and telecommunications clients. The imports work for Indian wages — $5,000 to $8,000 a year, about 25 percent of what they’d earn at home — but live like royalty. With an employment package that includes housing, a housekeeper, and time off to travel, Tecnovate has attracted more than 200 European workers since testing the program in 2002.