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Dialing I-N-D-I-A for a Personal Assistant

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January 2008
Dialing I-N-D-I-A for a Personal Assistant

Indian call centers providing customer service over the phone is old news. Welcome to the next phase, in which we can call India and ask a personal assistant to perform the mundane tasks we’re either too busy or too rich (and lazy?) to do ourselves. So how does this work? Let’s say that you don’t want to forget buying an anniversary or birthday gift for your wife or husband. Well, an outfit like Brickwork in Bangalore will be happy to do it—for a fee, of course. If you provide the relevant details (your spouse’s likes and dislikes, the budget you have in mind, etc.), they’ll make the purchase online and have it shipped on the correct date. Just don’t tell your spouse that you hired somebody to do it!

A number of other tasks—such as planning an itinerary, making reservations, doing research—can be done by these unseen personal assistants in India. It’s too early to judge the long-term potential of this trend, but who could have known, even a few years ago, that it’d be so easy to find long-distance secretarial help in India? In related news, a Bangalore-based social networking site named Babajob.com offers free job-matching services to low-skilled workers who don’t have access to computers.


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