Following the trend of major corporations across the country, the Republican Party is outsourcing fund-raising jobs to India.
The Indian magazine Business Standard reports a team of at least 75 people will man the phones in call centers set up in Noida and Gurgaon, India, as part of a fund-raising blitz.
The operators, hired by HCL eServe, a division of HCL Technologies, are required to telephone people in the United States and solicit their support for President George W. Bush and a donation for the Republican cause.
HCL Technologies is one of India’s leading global IT services and product engineering companies. It has joint ventures with U.S.-based companies Answerthink and Computech.
“We cannot comment on any client-related issues as a policy,” the magazine quotes the HCL eServe spokesperson as saying.
An automated system eliminates any concern of problems arising from a language barrier.
“The process is designed in such a way as to limit human intervention. The company wants to complete the process using the integrated voice recording technology, which allows navigation using voice responses,” an insider told the magazine.
This marks the first time, according to the journal’s sources, the GOP has opted to outsource drumming for dollars instead of relying on its public relations firms. A successful anti-abortion campaign run by HCL eServe for an unamed U.S. politician may have played a roll in the decision to switch gears.
Bush has previously set fund-raising records, according to the Associated Press. In 2000, he bypassed public financing and its associated spending limits during the primaries and raised more than $100 million. Last year, he set a single-event record by collecting more than $30 million at a GOP fund-raiser.
When asked by a reporter at a press conference last month how he planned to raise $170 million for the primaries Bush responded, “Watch me.”
As of the end of June, Bush had raised $35 million.
Party leaders aren’t resting on their laurels. A fund-raising e-mail sent by campaign chairman Marc Racicot Wednesday night seeks to portray the president as the underdog in the cash race, according to the AP.
“Democrats and their allies will have more money to spend attacking the president during the nomination battle than we will have to defend him,” Racicot wrote. “If you need more convincing the president needs your help, consider what the Democrats are saying. The race is just starting, but their rhetoric is already red-hot.”
U.S. outsourcing has proven to be a boon for the Indian economy. According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies, the Indian business-process outsourcing sector has seen a four-fold increase in employment from 25,000 in 1999 to 106,000 in 2002.