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Newsletter. Issue 2003-5. Mar.8, 2003

 
Newsline Canada
News Clips From Goa
Goan Voice UK
People Places and Things
Events
Announcements
 
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C a r n i v a l    2 0 0 3    i n    G o a


Newsline Canada

Toronto ~ Higher prices, rate hikes could make homes less affordable in 2003
RBC says demand will remain strong.
After-tax incomes continue to grow
Toronto Star - Mar 1, 2003

New homes could be less affordable in 2003, as both the cost of houses and mortgage interest rates continue to increase, reports the RBC Financial Group in its annual affordability index.

The affordability index, which measures the proportion of pre-tax household income needed to buy and keep a new home running in Toronto, was pegged at 39.1 per cent in the last quarter of 2002, unchanged from the previous quarter.

But it was up from 37.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2001, according to a news release issued this week.

Read the article at http://www.goacom.com/news/news2003/mar/msg00030.html

Chinese community begins police recruiting drive
TORONTO.CBC.CA     Feb. 27, 2003

Toronto - Members of Toronto's Chinese community are helping out law enforcement agencies in a major recruiting drive.

Recent statistics show that more than 400,000 Toronto residents are of Chinese origin. But of nearly 5,200 officers on the Toronto Police force, only 74 are Chinese.

Five local businesses and social groups are hoping to increase those numbers.

They've kicked off a mentoring program that will give Chinese candidates more information about how to become police officers.

In addition to the Toronto force, the Ontario Provincial Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police are also co-sponsoring the program.

Hamilton community groups brace for refugee flood
Toronto Star     Feb. 26, 2003

HAMILTON - Hamilton mosques and community groups are bracing for as many as 600 refugees fleeing a post-9/11 American crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Two families have already arrived here from the United States, which is requiring male foreign visitors from 25 mostly Muslim countries to register as legal immigrants or face deportation.

"We have an emergency plan in case we get hit with a rush of people," said Morteza Jafarpour, head of the Settlement and Integration Services Organization (SISO), which aids refugees using federal funds.

Read the entire article at http://www.goacom.com/news/news2003/mar/msg00007.html

 


News Clips from Goa
by Joel D'Souza & Fred Noronha

Exhibition of Paintings: Kala Academy chairman Pratapsingh Rane will inaugurate "Goan Professional Artists", an exhibition of paintings, at the Kala Academy art gallery, Panaji, at 4 pm on March 3. The exhibition will be on view till 9 March from 10 am to 7 pm.

Mattressed Floored: The Tamil Nadu police are claimed to have busted a Rs 270 million magnetic mattress scam following the arrest of 84 people, many of them white-collar professionals. The central crime branch police has contacted its Mumbai counterparts for investigating a Mumbai- based company Japan Life India, which allegedly lured about 3,000 persons by offering them hefty commissions for recruiting members into their money-mattress chain.... Rs 100,000 was collected from each person, in return for a mattress worth Rs 15,000.... Similar mattresses are known to be sold from an outlet in Porvorim. Are the Goa Police investigating this outlet and its activities? Y KAMAT, Porvorim in MAPUSAPLUS

Hundreds flock to see 'Bleeding' Picture: Reports that a picture of Sacred Heart of Jesus was bleeding in a house at Camorlim (Ambora) caused a stir in the village and adjoining localities. People flocked to the church of Our Lady of Candelaria where the picture was shifted at the instance of the parish priest. It was 14-year-old Steffy Fernandes who claimed to have seen the dripping of blood from the picture on Wednesday (Feb 26) at 11 pm while she was studying for her SSC exams at her aunt's house. "The holy picture was kept in an open cupboard as its glass had broken and I always kept looking at it," she said. She felt a strange sensation and saw 'tears of blood' from the eyes of Jesus. She called her aunt, Maria Joaquina Mascarenhas, who also confirmed what she saw. (GT)

"There is a Crisis of Moral Leadership in Country" - says Attorney - General of India:
Attorney-General of India Soli Sorabjee today regretted that "there is a crisis of moral leadership" in the country and "our political system and public life have more hypocrites, wheeler dealers, schemers and cowards than at any time in our history".
Read full article: http://www.goacom.com/news/news2003/mar/msg00017.html

Dolphins facing major threat off Goa: Dolphin sightings along the Northern belt of Goa's coastline which had come alive as a tourist attraction now seems to be a matter of concern with dolphin deaths reportedly increasing.

Villagers of the Nerul and Candolim coastal belt fear that activities such as adventure-related dolphin trips, boating activities and fishing on an unprecedented level could be affecting the dolphin habitat along this coastline.

The causes of concern are noise and water pollution caused by dolphin boat trips, boating activities, fishing on an unprecedented level, high powered speed boats used for adventure trips and dolphins trapped in fishing nets, thereby causing injuries to these mammals resulting in deaths.

More shocking, however, is the fact that though the dolphin is a protected species, there seems to be no regulatory mechanism evolved to protect the dolphins. The fisheries department has made mention of a dolphinarium which is only a long term proposal.


Events

Friday, March 7, 2003 to Friday, May 23, 2003
EVENT: Konkani Classes   (every Friday except Good Friday)

Konkani Classes in the GTA - Final Notice
Konkani classes will be held at St Matthew Catholic School - 280 Kingsbridge Gardens Circle (Classroom #1). The closest intersection is Hurontario and Hwy. 403. The classes will begin on March 7 and continue every Friday - except Good Friday - until June 13 ). Fourteen (14) classes in all. Time of the classes will be from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

The tutor will be: Joao Manuel Pereira

The curriculum will be:
1. The teaching of colloquial(i.e. spoken) konkani - the main objective.
2. Some basic differences of the language in North Goa vs. South Goa, between Christians and Hindus, between Konkani and Marathi.
3. A basic overview of how Konkani is written in the Devnagari and Roman
scripts

There will be a cost associated with this course. The following will have to be paid for:

a. the school janitor
b. the tutor and materials

The fee will be determined by all participating at our first meeting. The individual costs will be tabled and we will collectively decide on an appropriate fee for the course. The anticipated the fee for the 14 week course to be approx. $80.00 which works out to be just over $5 per evening.

Tim de Mello
1658 Woodeden Drive
Mississauga
Ontario, L5H 3S5, CANADA



Saturday, March 8, 2003
EVENT: Bowling - Cherry Hill Playdrome
Organized by: Goan Association of New Jersey (GOANJ)

For more information please contact Tony Barros at



March 21, 22, 23 2003
EVENT: Toronto Retreat/Bible Convention/Healing Service: March 21, 22, & 23
Organized by:  

Annual Bible Convention and Healing Service will be held in March 2003, led by Rev. Dr. Augustine Vallooran, V.C., PhD., (Divine Retreat Centre, India). Gospel singers from Divine Retreat Centre, Glen La'Rive & Teresa Christopher, will also be present at the convention. The convention will be held at Canada Christian College, 50 Gervais Dr. (Location Map & Driving Direction), Toronto, Ontario, on Friday, March 21, 2003 (6.30 P.M - 9.30 P.M), and Saturday & Sunday, March 22 & 23, 2003 (9 A.M.- 6 P.M.). (Registration: Free). Main celebrant and homilist on Saturday, March 22nd would be Most Rev. Richard J. Greco, D.D, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto.

There will also be a Family Renewal Gathering at St.Johns Hall, (Lituanian Martyrs' Church), 2185 Stave Bank Road:, Mississauga, Ontario (Location Map & Driving Direction) on Saturday, April 5th & Sunday April 6th, 2003 (9 A.M.- 6 P.M.). The Registration Form is available on-line, please click on the registration form link above to get a printable format. Completed registration form along with payment is to be received by us not later than March 28, 2003. Seats are limited and will be available on a first come first serve basis. Also check our on-line Convention/Family Renewal Gathering Flyer.



Sunday, March 23, 2003
EVENT: Feast of Patron Saint Joseph
Organized by: Dr. Ribeiro Goan School - Nairobi

DR. RIBEIRO GOAN SCHOOL - NAIROBI calling all ex-students to celebrate the feast of Patron Saint Joseph on Sunday, March 23, 2003.
Mass: 3.00 p.m.
OUR LADY OF ROSARY CHURCH
Followed by Fellowship
2950 MIDLAND AVE - SCARBOROUGH
(JUST SOUTH OF FINCH AVE)

Mark these dates on your calendar

September 13, 2003 - 75th Anniversary Dinner Dance
September 14, 2003 - Picnic

For further details contact:

Roque Barreto 905-859-1942       Arthur Braganza 416-620-1553
Victor Cardozo 905-479-0254 Xavier Carvalho 905-794-0630
Norman D'Costa 905-452-1295 John J.D'souza 905-451-2527
Danny Fernandes 416-621-7942 Elsie Fernandes 416-286-8337
Tony/Vivien Fernandes 905-607-4564 Claude Gomes 416-299-0492
Bel Remedios 416-499-5354


W A N T E D

ACTIVE CATHOLIC SOLES
to take part in the Toronto SuperCities Walk for MS
on Sunday, April 13th, at Sunnybrook Park

Check-in: 8:30 am       WALK Starts: 10:00 am

It's a fun, one-day, non-competitive, 5 and 10 km walk for a great cause!



Sunday, May 18th, 2003
EVENT: Out of Africa Extravaganza

Out of Africa Extravaganza

Africa: One continent, many cultures.. Grab your spirit of fun and let's get together to celebrate our diversity

Venue: Halton Hills Banquet Hall
3090 Steeles Avenue West - Hyw 401 W-25 S
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 2:00 A.M.
Cost: $65.00 (Inclusive Drinks, Buffet Dinner, Dance)
Ages: 18 yrs to Golden Plus
Dance to the African Rhythms of Naked Flame & DJ Fatz
Authentic African Prizes -
Special Traditional Performances
& Habeeba's Egyptian Belly Dancers
Dress: Elegant African Costumes

Limited Tickets - Reserve early for tables of 10 to avoid disappointment
For information & tickets please call -
Tim Remedios @ 905-819-0708. Raphael Fernandes @ 905-272-4792
Cheques to be made out to: Tim Remedios, 6460 Eastridge Road,
Mississauga ON, L5N 4K8



Saturday, June 7, 2003
EVENT: "Annual Walk-A-Thon"
Organized by: Goan Charitable Organization (Toronto)

You can make a difference

Come and support our
"Annual Walk-A-Thon"
on Saturday, June 7, 2003 9:00 a.m.
at Lakeshore Promenade (in Mississauga)
* Free BBQ * Free Refreshments * Free-T-shirts and prizes for participants
Have a great time and help your brothers and sisters in need in our community.



Sunday, June 8, 2003
EVENT: Feast of the Holy Spirit

ARE YOU FROM MARGAO?

Come celebrate the Feast of the Holy Spirit
on June 8, 2003 at St. John's Lithuanian Hall
2185 Stavebank Road, Mississauga
(Major intersection: Mavis/Queensway)

Mass followed by Social
Enjoy authentic Goan cuisine and hospitality
Live Band and DJ

For tickets contact:
Francisco Barretto - 905-607-2143
Rosie Cabral - 416-494-4540
Tony Fernandes - 416-568-3289
Sara Ferrao - 905-569-6609
Ethena Silveira - 905-785-1505



Saturday, August 2, 2003
EVENT: Annual Picnic - Princeton Country Club, West Windsor
Organized by: Goan Association of New Jersey (GOANJ)

For more information please contact Tony Barros at



Saturday, September 13, 2003
EVENT: Gala Dance Commemorating 75th Anniversary
Organized by: Nairobi Goan School Ex-students


Saturday, October 18,2003 (tentative)
EVENT: Whist Drive - Venue (TBD)
Organized by: Goan Association of New Jersey (GOANJ)
For more information please contact Tony Barros at


Saturday, December 20, 2003
EVENT: Holiday Ball at Ukranian Cultural Center, Somerset
Organized by: Goan Association of New Jersey (GOANJ)
For more information please contact Tony Barros at


Goan Konkani Troupe - Toronto - Tiatr

The Goan Konkani Troupe (GKT) will be holding their next production in the early spring of 2003.

The GKT welcomes new members. Dues are only $4 per annum. New members and supporters are needed for the following:

  • Actors, musicians, singers, of all age groups for the main production.
  • Solo artists, stand-up comedians, duets, and other entertainers for between scene performances.
  • Set designers, stage hands, light and sound technicians for assistance behind the scenes.
  • Distribution of fliers promotions, ticket and programme sales.

Participating members are entitled to complimentary tickets for performances.

For further information please contact: Lourdino Rodrigues @ 416 244 7923, e-mail Santano Rodrigues



Announcements

Obituaries

VAZ, Alzira Zuzarte
wife of Neves Vaz, mother to Neveson-lee and Lee-Ann Vaz. Funeral will be held on Thursday 6th March. Viewing of the body will be at the residence from 1.00pm to 2.30 pm. Mass will be at 3.00pm at Saint Francis Xavier's Church Forest Road Parklands. Followed by Burial at Forest Road Cemetary where she will be laid to rest in her Father's Grave The Late John Elizabeth Zuzarte. A memorial Mass for the late Alzira Vaz will be held in Toronto on Saturday, March 8th at 11:00 am at Christ the King Church -- 3495
Confederation Parkway, Mississauga (nearest intersection: Confederation Parkway/Central Parkway).

GONSALVES, Grace - February 28, 2003
Passed away peacefully, at Castleview Wychwood Towers, on Friday, February 28, 2003, at the age of 79. Beloved wife of Major General Benjamin Gonsalves (Indian Army, ret'd.). Cherished mother of Robert and his wife Maria, Steve, Lewie, Cheryl and her husband Mehran Shahviri. Much loved grandmother of Melanie, Erica, Ashley, Darren, Tahira, Alexander and Phillip. Dear sister of Sister Louisa, Paxy, Banu, Jason and the late Joana. Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Butler Chapel, 4933 Dundas St. West, Etobicoke (between Islington & Kipling Aves.), on Sunday, from 5-9 p.m. Funeral Mass to be held at Nativity Of Our Lord Church, 480 Rathburn Road, Etobicoke, on Monday, March 3, 2003 at 1:30 p.m. Cremation at Assumption Crematorium. If desired, donations may be made to the Alzheimer Society.

PEREIRA, Oscar - March 1, 2003
At Scarborough General Hospital, on Saturday, March 1st, 2003. Oscar, beloved husband of Pam. Dear father of Jean, Mike and Joe. Loving grandfather of Steven and Christina. Resting at the PAUL O'CONNOR FUNERAL HOME, 1939 Lawrence Ave. E. (between Warden and Pharmacy), from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday. Funeral Mass on Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. in St. Dunstan's Church (Danforth west of Pharmacy). Interment Pine Hills Cemetery.

Announcements

Free Income Tax Clinics to assist low-income earners
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario and the Brampton Public Library are sponsoring free income tax clinics to assist low-income earners.

Chartered Accountants are volunteering their time to help single parents, senior citizens, pensioners, social assistance recipients, or other low-income earners to complete their income tax returns. To be eligible, you must have a total household income of less than $15,000 without dependents, and less than $22,500 with dependents.

Tax forms will be filled out during your appointment, provided you take all relevant forms and receipts with you.

All clinics will be held Thursdays, March 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 6.30 to 9.00 p.m. at the Four Corners Branch of the Brampton Public Library, 65 Queen St. E.

Registration starts Monday, Feb. 10. There are only 15 appointments per night, so book early.

Call Maggie Cryer at 905-793-4636 ext. 24321 to find out if you are eligible for the free clinics and to set up an appointment.

Rishta - AIDS Helpline
This organisation runs the AIDS helpline... "help is just a call away, free and confidential information, support and counselling"... and Karl de Souza is the project coordinator. Karl, who grew up in Mumbai, returned back early with his wife after working in senior posts in the financial world in Singapore and elsewhere. They live currently in Moira.

To fight AIDS with information you need to ring the helpline on 1097 in Goa. It works like Childline (which helps children in distress, no matter how poor) which one can contact through 1098.

In Calangute, they're located at: St Cruz Apartments, Ground Floor, Near the Bank of Baroda, Porba Vaddo, Calangute 403516.

 


People Places and Things

Art in the name of social justice
BI MICHAEL SWAN
The Catholic Register TORONTO - March 9, 2003

What does social justice, or ecumenical co-operation, or Catholic development aid look like? Can you draw a picture of social action? Spirituality'

Helen DSouza makes a living laying out abstract ideas in concrete. vibrantly colourful oil paint and pastels. The commercial illustrator has become a go-to artist for social action groups.

Read further at http://www.goacom.com/news/news2003/mar/msg00010.html


World's top 10 most populated cities
1. Seoul
South Korea
10,321,449   6. Mexico City
Mexico
8,591,309
2. Mumbai
India
9,900,000   7. Shanghai
China
8,205,598
3. San Paulo
Brazil
9,839,436   8. Tokyo
Japan
8,021,943
4. Jakarta
Indonesia
9,373,900   9. Istambul
Turkey
7,774,109
5. Moscow
Russia
9,000,000   10. New York
U.S.A.
7,362,600

 

The Britain you don't know

What do most people in India associate with Britain? Here's a guess: a royal family - starchy queen, bumbling duke and 3 or 4 undistinguished children. Then there is Big Ben and a warmongering PM called Tony Blair. A few Indian millionaires & thousands of Indian restaurants. Football games & thousands of tourists (mostly from the rougher trades) visiting Goa. But do they know of thousands of incidents of abuse & assaults against Indians in Britain? The Indian & Goan press (still in the throes of a colonial hangover?) is more likely to report English football results and the woes of British tourists in Goa than the problems of their own compatriots in Britain. Incidents run in the thousands - here is a small sample for the year 2000 gleaned from assorted papers, including Asian-run weeklies. Goan victims are fewer because Goans are hardly visible - smaller population, no shopfronts, little civic involvement. Where are they? Probably at church or some village celebration, at least the older lot.

Race Cases 2000 (a small sample) [Victims below are of Indian or Pakistani origin.]

Portsmouth (South England)
Asian student, 23, faces surgery after a savage attack by a gang of 4 thugs. Rushed to hospital with a broken nose, fractured cheekbone and extensive bruising.

Leicester
Football match abandoned when a gang of 15 white youths burst into the pitch, chasing the Asian players with baseball bats, beer bottles and other weapons during an unprovoked attack. The manager of the Asian team was cornered in the changing room and knocked down & kicked.

Manchester
Asian cab driver waylaid by some youths and attacked. They then drove the taxi over Tariq twice. He was left lying in a pool of blood and died later. The following day up to 1000 cab drivers from across east Lancashire drove around in protest. Two years ago a cab driver was murdered in Bolton and a few months ago another escaped being strangled.

Coventry
Two lighted petrol bombs thrown into Asian shop. Shop was saved but he suffered burns.

South London
Asian cabdriver was carrying 3 white passengers. On the way, the front seat passenger applies the handbrake, stops the car and all three keep punching the driver. He was forced to hand over his change (£20) and was bundled out of his car. The car was found abandoned and ablaze by police.

Midlands
Cab driver was dragged from his cab by his 3 passengers and beaten unconscious. He was flung headfirst into a lamp post, kicked to the floor and a heavy metal sign was slammed into his chest. He was rescued when another driver pulled up to investigate.

West London
Asian man was alone in his bookshop late on Sunday night when a gang of 4 or 5 youths, boys & girls 13-16 entered. They tried to steal a football and he tried to stop them. He was kicked and punched. He died in hospital from head injuries a day later. He leaves a wife & 3 children. The police later caught 3 teenagers including a 15-year girl.

South Wales
A Sikh had gone for a quiet drink with a white friend. There was an exchange with 4 white men. The Sikh & friend were knocked and punched. Mr Singh was left bleeding on the pavement and died on his arrival at hospital.

West London
Two Asian men had pulled up at traffic lights. The driver in the adjoining car made offensive gestures before speeding off. Later he reappeared with friends in 2 other vehicles. They repeatedly rammed the Asian car, then 7 men armed with metal bars jumped from the convoy, battered the Asians after given them chase near Heathrow airport. Their car was smashed.

Liverpool
An Asian TV scriptwriter was driving at night with his white fiancée. On his way he was forced off the road by a Ford car and was racially abused. 2 more white men suddenly appeared. The Asian was hit in the face with a beer can and dragged out if his car. The Ford driver grabbed his hand and started biting it. He was kicked until almost unconscious and dragged towards the sharp edged metal fence. They were shouting: 'Spike him - put the Paki's head on a spike !' Meanwhile his girlfriend was being attacked by a woman passenger (17) while still in the car. She said: 'One of the men took a flying kick to my head.' The couple were saved when a police car arrived at the scene. Sunil was treated foe broken nose ans cheekbone. His right eye was damaged and he lost several teeth.

Manchester
An Asian taxi driver was flagged down by pack of youths. One of the thugs smashed the passenger side window, reached for the driver's side and punched him in the face several times and took his key. They next pulled him out of his car and 4 or 5 of them began beating him up. Then more joined in. A fellow cab driver found him in a pool of blood. He could hardly speak and his eye was closed. An ambulance had arrived but took away not the victim but the attackers who were slightly injured. He took the victim in his own taxi to the hospital. There he found the same thugs laughing and threatening the 2 Asians. The doctor said the victim's cheekbone was broken and he might lose an eye.

South London
An Asian man walking out of the tube station was approached by an unknown white young man, beaten, stabbed several times and left lying in the street. Police were called and the man was taken to a south London hospital.

 

Backroom Deals

India aims to become the back office for the world's banks

POOR as it is, India is rich in well-educated, English-speaking, young people. It has become a prodigious exporter of their remote services: as skilled software coders and accentless call-centre voices; as long-distance sales-people and invisible insurance clerks; as diligent medical-record transcribers and patient number-crunchers. Multinational financial firms have been among their best customers. Now India wants to clamber up the value chain, offering more sophisticated services. Finance, a business that runs the gamut of sophistication from bean-counting to quantum physics, seems as good an industry as any in which to try to lure more work from expensive homelands to cheaper Indian pastures.

The bulk of that work--by value, at least--is still in information technology. Sunil Mehta, vice-president of Nasscom, the industry's trade association, says that in 2002 global financial institutions spent $120 billion on IT, of which only $4 billion was outsourced to India. He sees a big opportunity for Ind ian software companies in banks' drive towards more seamless processing of transactions, and in the closer scrutiny of back-office costs inspired by moves towards a new international capital-adequacy regime. Indian firms such as TCS, Wipro and Infosys already carry out a lot of some banks' IT operations; another firm, i-flex solutions, sells its banking-software product, "flexcube", in more than 50 countries.

Besides software engineers, India also has millions of other bright young professionals: accountants, lawyers and business-studies graduates. They have already attracted plenty of IT-enabled work from financial firms. To take but a few: GE Capital International Services, which describes itself as the "largest shared-services environment in India", employs more than 13,000 people in activities ranging from finance and accounting to remote marketing; Citigroup's outsourcing arm, e-Serve, has more than 3,000 people in Mumbai and Chennai; American Express has 2,000 processing transactions from around Asia and manning a 24-hour international call-centre in Delhi; HSBC a similar number in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pune; and even the World Bank has 100 staff in Chennai.

Many firms are gradually transferring more complex processes to India. Scope, the outsourcing arm of Standard Chartered, the largest foreign bank in India, has the grand aim of becoming, in effect, the back office for many of the bank's operations in 56 countries. It already undertakes at least some work for 34. Unusually, Standard Chartered in Chennai even handles the back end of foreign-exchange trading--everything except the deal itself, from confirmation through to settlement--and copes with derivatives transactions as well. Some 2,000 people work in the Chennai "global processing centre", with at least another 1,000 expected to join this year. Scope is still competing for business from within its own group. But it has begun exploring the idea of selling its services to outsiders--as has e-Serve.

Many big investment banks, accountants and consulting firms are farming work out to Indian-based subcontractors, even if they are shy about admitting it. Not only might clients worry about security and confidentiality, or feel short-changed when work is shipped abroad; the implicit threat of cuts in jobs (or pay) at head office might rattle morale. (This week, Britain's BT was under fire over plans to outsource directory inquiries to India.)

Yet increasingly, relatively humdrum, time-consuming tasks, which would once have been foisted on ambitious but inexperienced young recruits, working long hours to earn their spurs in Wall Street or the City of London, are, thanks to the miracle of fibre-optic cable, foisted on their lower-paid Indian counterparts. And, besides the in-house operations, there are a few independent foisters. Evalueserve, in Gurgaon near Delhi, with 100 professionals, offers research and analysis to banks, venture capitalists, consultants and others. Its much smaller neighbour, SmartAnalyst, boasts four of the top ten American investment banks as clients for its tailored internet-based research service.

A report published last year on the alarming shortfall in the pension funds of a large number of European listed companies appeared under a western brand name. The data, however, were retrieved, collated and organised on the sixth floor of the building that houses Chennai's biggest shopping centre. There, Office Tiger employs 675 young Indians providing a virtual back office to some 20 American and European firms: banks, auditors, consultants and lawyers. Having started in desktop publishing, it now offers to replicate the functions of a bank's in-house library and its junior analysts. Joseph Sigelman, an American former investment banker who runs the fast-growing outfit, estimates that, at an hourly rate of $20-35, it routinely takes out 50% of its clients' costs.

Slumping markets and regulatory troubles are helping to expand the number of services that financial institutions are contemplating outsourcing. Hard times concentrate minds on cost-saving. The hope for Indian services is that, as in the software industry, customers who came for the price will stay for the quality.

See related content at http://www.economist.com/printedition/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=1596039

 

 

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