How India Funds Bush's Campaign
Asian Times May 19, 2004
How India funds Bush's campaign
By Siddharth Srivastava
NEW DELHI - There is more than one reason US President George W Bush should thank Indians, whether in the United States or India, as the buildup to elections in the US slated for November gathers steam. Indians are contributing handsomely to Bush's campaign funds while, until recently, there was a band of more than 100 dedicated call-center executives who were handling Bush's fundraising and vote-seeking campaign for the Republican Party from the outsourcing hubs of Noida and Gurgaon, which adjoin the national capital Delhi.
While the Internet provides fertile ground for spoofs on Bush's job being outsourced to India, his task is certainly being made a lot easier by Indians. Until recently, HCL eServe, the business process outsourcing (BPO) arm of Shiv Nadar-promoted HCL Technologies, handled Bush's nationwide fundraising campaign over the telephone.
HCL has been very reluctant to provide information about the project, but now that it is over it is more forthcoming, though strictly off the record. According to reports, for 14 months between May 16, 2002, and July 22, 2003, HCL eServe had more than 100 agents working in seven teams soliciting financial contributions for the Republican Party. A report that appeared in the Hindustan Times this Sunday says the task was to mobilize support for President Bush and solicit political contributions ranging between US$5 and $3,000 from legions of registered Republican voters. The report further adds that the voters' database was provided by the Republican National Committee (RNC), the party's premier political organization. The contract for running the campaigns was originally awarded by RNC to Washington-based Capital Communications Group, which provides consulting services to government and private clients for cultural and political networking. For cost and efficiency gains, the company outsourced the work to HCL Technologies, which in turn sent it offshore.
Nobody from HCL BPO Services is willing to go on record to talk about the deal, but sources in the company told Asia Times Online that such a project was under way for a long time, with more than 10 million registered Republican voters contacted for pledging funds. Estimates put the extent of funds pledged due to efforts from India at more than $10 million, with the retrieval of the money being followed up by the RNC. According to the sources, the calling process involved a high degree of automation in order to limit human intervention, with voice recording and recognition technology. In this way the US respondents would not have any idea where the calls were coming from, with foreign-accented instead of Indian voices being used.
HCL eServe also ran at least seven other campaigns to gauge voter moods, including simple yes-or-no polls on such issues as abortion rights. Though HCL executives are tight-lipped, there is a possibility that there are still some projects on hand, with respondents being asked about their views on the war in Iraq.
While it seems that the fundraising contract was called off because most Republican voters had been covered, sources also say that the backlash against outsourcing in the United States as well as pressure from the anti-outsourcing lobby within the Republican Party might have also contributed to the cancellation. It may be recalled that the Indian BPO sector has seen exponential growth over the past few years, with estimates that the information-technology-enabled sector will exceed $20 billion by 2008.
Bush's India connection, however, does not end with the call centers. There's also a lot of money being contributed by Indian-Americans.
It was former US president Bill Clinton who actively sought to build bridges as well as cultivate the Indian community in the United States, recognizing their numbers - more than 2 million - as well as their immense money-power as global information-technology (IT) pioneers. The 2004 US elections are witnessing Indian-Americans reaching out to Republican Bush as a reaction to the virulent anti-outsourcing campaign being orchestrated by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Further, given the strides that Indo-US relations have taken under Bush, politically, economically and militarily, the Indian community feels much more comfortable in maintaining this continuity. Bush has himself indicated his pro-India proclivities by promising that he will visit the country next year if he wins re-election. Although India has been unhappy with some of the recent steps taken by the Bush administration, including the granting of special non-NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) status to Pakistan, India's relations with the United States have been by and large on the ascent.
In an interview to the Economic Times before the results of the elections in India were declared, Sharad Lakhanpal of Texas, a doctor and president of the American Association of the Physicians of Indian Origin who is one of the biggest fundraisers for Bush, said:"Indo-US relations are at an all-time high under the current administration. There has been good chemistry between President Bush and the [Atal Bihari] Vajpayee government. President Bush told me himself that [Prime Minister] Vajpayee has been a good friend and is a good man.
"The current administration has appointed several Indian-Americans to high positions. The fundraising will pay dividends for the Indian-American community and for Indo-US relations if the president wins ... re-election. Indians are increasingly recognized in the mainstream US politics," Lakhanpal added.
Although business has reacted with alarm at the Sonia Gandhi Congress-Left combination taking over from the Vajpayee dispensation, there isn't likely to be much of a rollback in the economic reforms program in India. After all, the man tipped to be finance minister, Manmohan Singh, is the original architect of India's liberalization agenda.
Though Indian-Americans have been seen as close to the Democrats, it is estimated that the community has already raised more than $500,000 for the Bush campaign. Bobby Jindal, Republican candidate for Congress, raised more than $800,000 in the first quarter ending March 31, and has $760,000 cash on hand. More than $575,000 of the contributions came from Louisiana donors. A Republican rally in that state that raised more than $1 million for the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential ticket late last year had several prominent Indians in attendance.
In a speech widely quoted in India, Congressman Joe Wilson recently praised Lakhanpal and Narender Reddy, a doctor from Georgia, for raising more than $100,000 each for the president and categorized them as Bush pioneers. He said longtime Bush supporters Zach Zachariah and Raghavendra Vijayanagar from Florida each raised more than $200,000, calling them the"Bush rangers"."These leaders have rallied the Indian-American community behind Bush," Wilson said.
Dr Vijaynagar serves as chair of the Indian American Republican Council, while Mammen Zachariah, a cardiologist at Holy Cross Hospital in Florida and Zach's brother, is a big fundraiser. Zach co-chairs Bush's Florida re-election campaign and his connection to the family dates back to George Bush Sr, for whom he organized several successful fundraisers. Zachariah also raised more money for Bush's 1992 campaign than any other individual. Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed Mammen to the Florida campaign, while Zach helped found the Indian American Policy Institute, a think-tank to promote Indian-American interests, and chairs the Florida Council on Economic Education.
While praising the Indian community, Wilson, who co-chairs the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, said:"I am proud of the Indian-American community for their loyal support to President Bush."
It all augurs well for India if Bush is re-elected. If he is not, there will remain a bunch of call-center executives who will always be informed about the Republican way of electioneering.
Siddharth Srivastava is a New Delhi-based journalist.
comments powered by Disqus
alagu manikandan - 2/24/2005
Thuriam is a technology consultant providing world-class services, Customer interaction in varied application areas and focused on BPO & Knowledge industry. Thuriam assists in the identification and development of business opportunities in the emerging BPO & Knowledge Services markets.Offshore outsourcing of your Business Process is a compelling business strategy. At Thuriam we attempt to identify the possible outsourcing opportunity and present our capability as an integrated Technology and process Outsourcer catering to all your needs. We would be your partner to provide end to end services across the value chain.Our integrated analyses provide industry, competitive, customer and technology innovation along with strategic, tactical, and operational recommendations to help maximize the bottom line from business strategy, service delivery, marketing and sales efforts. We provide high end services by utilizing the latest technologies and at low costs.
Medical Backoffice Services
· Medical Transcription
· Medical Billing
· Medical Coding
Legal Consulting Service
· Legal BPO
· Legal Documentation
· Legal Research
Data Research Services
· Data Collection & Extraction
· Database Services
· Transcription Services
· Media Conversion Services
Data Processing Services
· Form Processing
· Data Entry
Data Conversion Services
· Electronic Publishing
· Prepress Services
· Data Capture
Our endeavor is to constantly re-engineer the dictation/transcription process in order to take full advantage of the latest advances in computers, networking and digital technology. Combining these technologies with competent transcription skills allows us to provide cost-effective solutions to meet your transcription needs. We offer clients a set of core competencies, which are invaluable to the health information management professionals as well as other professionals who must dictate a steady stream of reports and correspondence. We are specialized in the following Reports - Discharge Summary, Death Summary, Progress Notes, Clinical Notes, Emergency Notes, History & Physical, Radiology Consultation Reports, Office Visits, Physician Letters, and Psychiatry Reports etc.
In today’s competitive business world medical billing acts as a key in the revenue management of health care industries and hospitals. Medical Billing plays a major part in the income of the respective organization. Any inaccuracies made in pricing, missed charges, errors in coding during manual procedure will turn out as a very huge loss to the organization. Billing process includes patient registration, charge entry, patient statement and enquiries, standard reports and accounts receivable management. Thuriam’s medical billing service enables to eliminate these loses and accurately process your medical billing. more…
In today’s business world Medical coding is considered to be a serious business among the health care industries and hospitals. Manual errors while performing this task may create a major problem and huge loss to the organization. Thuriam’s Medical coding consists of combination of numbers and alphabets adhering to different coding standards. These codes help medical insurance and others to understand what was wrong with the patient, whether treatment was necessary and what services were administered. All these coding helps the non-medical staff at the insurance and other health service providers to handle the claims and make payments on predetermined basis. more…
Legal Consulting Service
At Thuriam we have highly dynamic and high growth Off-Shore service delivery space of Legal Consulting and Back Office Services, where most of the initial process delivery opportunities are moving towards commoditization, we have invested significantly in creating a unique Solution Based value proposition.
Our diversified business practice represents a wide range of commercial, industrial and financial enterprises, both publicly and privately held. Thuriam has the following work departments: corporate, employee benefits, health law, intellectual property, private clients, regulation and government affairs, tax and trial. We offer Legal Drafting, Deposition Summary, legal coding, legal billing, paralegal, legal research, to documentation service. more…
Data Harvesting Service
We believe that our Value Proposition framework when tailored to meet our client's specific business and process delivery requirements will further enhance the value we passionately deliver to our customers on consistent basis. We understand just how critical building and maintaining directories and databases is to any business, educational or research organization. Our expertise in data harvesting domain includes Data Capturing Service From The Web, Online data entry and internet search, Catalog / database management, Internet research, email mining and customized list making, Portal management support, e-Newsletters / e-Clippings, Secondary Research / Market Intelligence. more…
Data Conversion Service
Our world leading data conversion capabilities include services such as e-Book Conversion, XML, SGML, HTML, PDF and Tiffs. This apart, Thuriam converts data stored on paper, proprietary file formats and many other formats into the choice of data and medium that you would desire. Worldwide users of our data conversion services include major publishers and manufacturing companies, academic and research libraries colleges and universities, and public utilities.
Many organizations are faced with mountains of non-standard source material created over the years by a variety of organizations and individuals. Their current and future business goals depend on converting this data to a standardized database. Thuriam offers a full range of consulting and data conversion services to help organizations meet this critical need. We not only convert data, we understand your objectives in a broader context. That's why we proactively suggest improvements in database design, and identify simple solutions that add power at little or no cost. We foresee and resolve integration issues, always focusing on improving the ease, reliability, and speed of your database. more…
At Thuriam, we provide the specialized Digitization with the combination of individual project management capacity and experience by retrieving the contents from videos, books, images, archives, photographs, government records and collections, and any other documents and converting in to comprehensive digital formats for universal access, web delivery uses, copying, and other means of distribution. more…
Data Processing Service
Data Processing is a constraint to be done by all government agencies, institutions, companies, industries, etc. for purposes like purchase requisitions, travel approvals, time off requests, and expense reports. Thuriam initiates Data Processing by receiving the forms from you and create a new database for the information in your forms. Then follows designing of the form structure, quality check and delivery of product. more…
Our Strategy Consulting includes
· Business Strategy & Design
· Market Analysis
· Competitive Intelligence
· Portfolio Development
· Product & Service Innovation
· Blueprints for the future
· Project Management
· Process Development
We are looking forward to the prospect of increasing India's share of the world market in BPO & Knowledge Services outsourcing through the advisory services offered by Thuriam.
To learn more about our service packages, specific to meeting your business objectives, e-mail us at: email@example.com.
alagu manikandan - 2/24/2005
- Clinton-Trump Debate Expected to Be Rare Draw in a Polarized Age
- Obama hails opening of the African American Museum
- Palestinians' Abbas seeks British apology for 1917 Jewish homeland declaration
- Anger as Churchill's home turned into Hitler HQ for Transformers 5
- CIA: “Pinochet personally ordered” Letelier bombing
- Karl Dietrich Bracher, German Historian of Nazi Era, Dies at 94
- Allan Lichtman predicts Trump will win
- Doris Kearns Goodwin scores an interview with Barack Obama
- Art historian Kellie Jones wins a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant
- Historians note that prisoners have been treated inhumanely throughout American history