Introducing the Authors
Who, exactly, is taking you on this global tour of offshoring? As much as possible in this book, we’ll adopt the first-person plural voice: we. For the purposes of this part of the introduction, however, we’ll switch briefly to the third person.
Author Robert (Bob) Kennedy is the Tom Lantos Professor of Business Administration and Director of the Global Initiative at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He is also Executive Director of the William Davidson Institute (WDI): an independent, nonprofit research and educational institute located at the University of Michigan. Founded in 1992, the Institute focuses on business and policy issues in developing countries and operates in five broad areas: research, executive education, development consulting services, development and distribution of teaching materials, and supporting international activities at the University of Michigan.
Kennedy has been involved in research and advisory work directly related to offshoring for the better part of a decade. In 1999, he began working with Tata Consultancy Services, which is India’s largest software firm, and one of the leading global drivers of services offshoring. Since then, Kennedy has published more than a dozen teaching cases on offshoring issues. Between 2002 and 2008, his international business and offshoring cases were assigned at every one of BusinessWeek’s top 25 business schools.
In addition to his academic credentials, Kennedy has extensive “real-world” experience. He has worked as a consultant in more than 20 countries, performing advisory work for many of the firms engaged in cutting-edge offshoring practices. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a venture-capital investor in central Europe and has maintained this real-world orientation ever since.
Coauthor Ajay Sharma is Research Manager for the “Globalization of Services” initiative at the William Davidson Institute, and is an expert in IT and process consulting. After earning his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (Varanasi) in 1992, he joined Infosys, which was then embarking on a dramatic growth curve based on offshoring software development. After six years as a project manager with Infosys, Sharma joined PriceWaterhouseCoopers (USA), where he provided technology consulting to Fortune 500 companies. He then earned his MBA at the University of Michigan, and—after receiving his degree in 2004—joined the William Davidson Institute.
Returning to our shared authorial voice, together we have deep theoretical grounding, extensive practical experience, and strong ongoing relationships with many of the most innovative offshoring companies in the world. It’s this knowledge base and experience that we bring together in The Services Shift.