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Calcutta Calling| 16mins
Director: Andre Hoermann | Producer: HFF PotsdamBabelsberg
Focus Years: 2006 | Country: Germany
Subject Tags: asia, communication, culture, economies, globalization, india
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the fastest-growing industry in the world. In India, approximately 350,000 people are currently working in call centers to maintain contact between Western companies and their customers. Vikhee Uppal is just one of them. From a busy office in Calcutta, he pretends to be a guy named Ethan Reed and calls Americans, Brits, and Australians to try and sell them cell phones and subscriptions. Vikhee hopes to make it in this sector. On the bulletin board, we see him and his colleagues keep track of who sells the most. The Americans are the most impolite: they yell at the salespeople and hang up on them. The English, on the contrary, are the most willing to listen to the sales pitch. Even though Vikhee at work pretends to be a Westerner, Indian traditions remain very important for him. He wants to get married to a girl from Punjab, and if he doesn't find one himself, his family will find a bride for him. At work, Vikhee gets tutored in English. Each night, he watches English soccer matches to get an idea of what the people on the other end of the line actually look like.
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Calcutta Calling | 16mins

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