A “body shop”, analogous to a garage where the bodies of automotive vehicles are repaired, in IT refers to a company that recruits resources to work for other firms building their technology. A very popular Indian writer Chetan Bhagat’s tweeted calling Infosys a “body shopping company”. His tweet “it is ironic when someone who runs a body shopping company and calls it hi-tech, makes sweeping comments on the quality of IIT students,” created a turbulent discussion with a majority agreeing with Chetan.
I disagree with Chetan. In the Indian outsourcing industry, Tata’s established that Indians can program at customer premises by bringing technically trained resources to work under the clients direction. Infosys proved that the same work can be done off-shore using a very structured process with a combination of client and Infosys management. Before Infosys, offshore programming work was not deemed to meet the quality requirements that satisfied client requirements. Infosys, in particular Narayan Murthy, must be congratulated on helping not only establish credibility for Infosys, but every Indian IT services company who gained from the success Infosys achieved. To brand Infosys as a body-shop is harsh. The acceleration of outsourcing to India over the past two decades can be attributed in a large measure to Infosys.