Wages Rise 12.9% In India

The Animation Guild blog had a post related to DreamWorks Animation and there was a good discussion by some anonymous workers when a commenter posted the video above.

The video would have you think that there’s an explosion of quality and talent in India that DW just could not resist sending animation work to. But not so fast.

If you talk to any of the workers at DW they will tell you something similar to this comment in the TAG post:

VFX Soldier, the truth is that the sequences that came back from the Indian studio were underwhelming, and required a lot of fixing. Not to mention that they were slow to delivery. Knowing what the actual salaries of the Indian animators are, and how many supervisors and trainers had to be sent over, I defy anyone to claim that it actually saved a single dime.

I’ve posted that the problem with India is that it’s built on the idea that it’s cheap. but the cost of labor is rising rapidly. One example is India’s IT industry. Forbes released an article this week about India’s tech industry challenge in part due to the rise in wages:

But now, the industry finds itself fast approaching another crucial juncture, possibly its most significant in more than a decade. Indian wage inflation is the highest in Asia; salaries haveposted double-digit gains over much of the last decade.

For the record I think this is great news. I want to see people’s wages go up. That’s a good thing. The problem is Indian VFX has marketed itself as the cheap place to do VFX work. Other VFX markets like NZ, UK, and California have marketed themselves on something else that an Indian VFX writer discovered: Quality Matters.

Soldier On.

7 Responses to Wages Rise 12.9% In India

  1. We can hope that it will bring more work on our side, but i’m afraid that studio will still look for cheaper places like for example Philippines if Indian wages goes too high. “The Philippines has established itself as one of the top destinations globally for services outsourcing, being second only to India”

    http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/336503/philippines-joins-top-bpo-destinations

    Even if, like you said; “the truth is that the sequences that came back from the Indian studio were underwhelming, and required a lot of fixing. Not to mention that they were slow to delivery. Knowing what the actual salaries of the Indian animators are, and how many supervisors and trainers had to be sent over, I defy anyone to claim that it actually saved a single dime.”

    If they’re still doing it, it’s because they’re still making money out of it. This is why, the need to be competitive and offer better performance with strong management to deliver on time a final and high quality product, that won’t need to be fix after all this without imposing flat fees on the artists.

  2. rfk says:

    Something else to think about: animators in India are doing it because they love animation. Their families pressure them to leave and get a more reliable career, such as in telephone tech support.

    I wish I was kidding.

  3. Z-Bean says:

    Hrm, why they take the video down?😦

  4. mike says:

    Look, bottom line is cg is worldwide, and nothing will stop that… which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do the best work possible and demand rights for doing the work. The best way to keep work here is create quality work which enhances the project. It is about great storymaking, after all….those who go chasing moneysaving schemes overseas will learn of the folly of chasing after the money…

    Mike

  5. […] Just a few weeks ago I did a post on a video that was marketing Technicolor India’s work for D…. I questioned the claim of some of the work they did after some comments at the TAG blog about the inability to finish work in India. Now even that promotional video was taken down. […]

  6. […] The medical industry is a global industry. Everyone everywhere needs a doctor. Not so much in the VFX industry. You basically have less than 10 locations to choose from. A few of them like India, exist for their low labor costs. But we haven’t seen this large amount of work go there. VFX companies have been there for 10 years and while the quality has been stagnant, costs are rapidly rising. […]

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