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Can Outsourcing Certain Business Functions Reduce Costs?

In this rapidly expanding world of digital tools and internet penetration, it’s rather easy to connect to people all around the world, and this connection also brings along with it many new opportunities. Outsourcing is one of these opportunities that can completely change the way you operate your business. There are various developed nations that have more money but less time, they choose to outsource their work to a developing nation like India or Bangladesh. The people who are outsourced usually work at a cheaper rate and without restricting you in the traditional way that an employee does. Outsourcing can be an easy-to-use and highly cost-efficient technique that everyone should know about.

If you’ve ever been confused about whether or not to outsource your work, this article will solve all your reservations. We’ll be looking at the various reasons why outsourcing is something everyone should do and how it can lead to significant reductions in costs. We’ll see how it benefits almost every aspect of your business like payroll management, inventory management, and even data entry. So without any further delay, let’s get to it and find out if outsourcing can actually help you save some money.

1. Higher Efficiency

Usually, when you outsource any job, you give it to a person who is a specialist in their field. This specialist can perform the same job as any other employee much more efficiently and at a lower price, meaning, these people will be able to churn out more work for you in a shorter period of time. Not only will your work be done a lot faster, but its quality will increase as well. It might take you some time to find the right people to hand over each job to, however, once you find that particular person, then you’ll be able to constantly rely on them. It costs less and gets more work done, sounds like a win-win.

2. Cut Training and Recruitment Costs

Perhaps the most ignored benefit of outsourcing that should be known to more people is that outsourcing saves you a lot of money indirectly as well. You can rest assured that you won’t ever have to invest in the training or recruitment of your employees again.

Outsourcing provides you with skilled individuals who are experts in their domains so that you can go without hiring a specialist first and then training them. This tip can save you a significant amount of money, and even the HR guides at this website suggest everyone to save as much money as they can by cutting down on extra expenditures like hiring a specialist. You’ll still need to recruit and train new employees placed under you, but you won’t have to pay for any full-time specialists anymore.

3. Cost-Effective

You’ll still have to spend money on outsourcing your work to a foreign entity, but the greatest benefit is that you need not pay as much as you would in your own country, this applies only if you’re from a first-world country and want to outsource the work to a cheaper country. The amount you spend on outsourcing will be remarkably less, sometimes even differing by as much as 50%. This is all possible due to the global discrepancies in the development levels of countries. However, you need to try to outsource as much of your work as you can because it can clearly save you a substantial sum of money.

4. Best Talent

There’s no employer who doesn’t want a top employee, and the best talent can easily be found while browsing. You can get some of the most experienced and seasoned veterans if you outsource your work. Sure, the employees you hire might be good, but they’ll need some training or higher pay for their expertise. You won’t believe the number of smart and talented people in the developing nations who can provide you their services at a very cheap rate. Compared to hiring people locally, you’ll be able to find much more diversity and talent online.

These are some of the best reasons why you should outsource some aspects of your business, you’ll save yourself a lot of money in the long run. If you look at outsourcing more closely, you’ll be able to find a lot more potential benefits other than the ones listed above. Outsourcing largely depends on the existing disparity among the nations. If you’re from a developed and more prosperous nation, you’ll be able to get a lot more done for the same price that you’ve always been paying for.

Health and social care to gain the most from 5G efficiency gains

Productivity and efficiency gains enabled by 5G’s application will drive business, skills and service change worth US$1.3 trillion to global GDP by 2030.

In Powering Your Tomorrow, PwC quantifies for the first time, the economic impact of new and existing uses of 5G in utilities, health and social care, consumer, media, and financial services across eight economies with advanced rollout: Australia, China, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, United States and the United Kingdom.

More than a faster version of mobile connectivity on 4G, 5G’s speed, reliability, reduced energy usage and massive connectivity will be transformative for businesses and wider society, enabling ubiquitous access to super fast broadband. Used in combination with investments in artificial intelligence and the internet of things, 5G can be used as a platform to enable business and society to realise the full benefits of emerging technology advances.

Economic gains are projected across all economies assessed in the study, as 5G offers the potential to rethink business models, skills, products and services, with the gains accelerating beginning in 2025 as 5G-enabled applications become more widespread

Based on the study, the United States (US$484bn), China (US$220bn) and Japan (US$76bn) will experience the largest uplift as a result of 5G technology applications, due to the size of their economies and strong modern industrial production sectors.

At a regional level, Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) is expected to benefit the most from manufacturing applications of 5G, due to the size of the manufacturing sectors. It demonstrates the potential for regional competitive advantage through approaches to the adoption and regulation of the technology.

Wilson Chow, Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry Leader, PwC China, comments: “These numbers quantify impact, but perhaps more important, our study reflects the value of 5G – new levels of connectivity and collaboration mean companies will be able to see, do and achieve more. It will open up new opportunities for growth and change as organisations rethink and reconfigure the way they operate in the post-pandemic world.”

“With the pandemic accelerating digitalisation across all sectors, 5G will act as a further catalyst. It will emerge in this decade as a fundamental piece of our societal infrastructure and as a platform for driving the competitiveness of national economies, new business models, skills and industries.”

Achieving better, faster outcomes in health and social care

Over half the global economic impact (US$530bn) will be driven by the transformation of health and social care experience for patients, providers and medical staff within the next ten years.

While the acceleration of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic provided a glimpse of the future of healthcare, remote care is just one area in which 5G can enable both better health outcomes and cost savings.

5G’s applications include remote monitoring and consultations, real time in-hospital data sharing, improved doctor-patient communications and automation in hospitals to reduce health care costs.

Regional & Sector impacts

At a sector level, impacts vary for individual economies. The United States and Australia are projected to gain the most from financial services applications: India from smart utilities; China and Germany in manufacturing. Other industries analysed in the study show the significant potential of new and existing applications over the next decade, driving changes in skills, jobs, consumer products and regulation:

  • SMART utilities management applications will support environmental targets to reduce carbon and waste through enabling combined smart meters and grids to deliver energy savings, and improving waste and water management through tracking of waste and water leakage (US$330bn).
  • Consumer and media applications include: over the top gaming, real time advertising and customer services (US$254bn)
  • Manufacturing and heavy industry applications include: monitoring and reducing defects, increased autonomous vehicle use (US$134bn)
  • Financial services applications including reducing fraud and improving customer experiences (US$86bn)

Wilson Chow comments: “5G is more than mobile connectivity. It puts a new lens on advancing productivity and rethinking entire business models for the future. Given the scale of potential and its impacts, every organisation will need a plan for 5G’s implementation within five years across technology and business strategies to maximise opportunities and prepare for how they integrate their technology and business strategies, and engage with customers, supply chain and regulators.”

Policy & Trust

The study highlights that the reach of 5G’s technology potential will require businesses and government to consider new approaches to regulatory and consumer engagement – focusing on how the technology is used.

Wilson Chow comments: “With any technology, policy engagement, transparency and public trust are critical factors. Whether it’s considering the use of self driving vehicles or telemedicine, how data is managed, infrastructure deployed, or how different sectors collaborate, business and government need to shit from focusing on regulating a technology, to promoting transparency in 5G’s application, building and sustaining public trust in its use and potential.”

Spicy trademark suit over descriptive marks

Trademark law protects a trademark if it is primarily unique and non-descriptive of the goods or services for which it is being used. For example, you cannot register the mark Computer to sell computers or computer related products, you have to name it differently, such as Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Ubuntu etc. This is one of the basic tenets of trademark law.

Sky Enterprise Private Limited (“Sky Enterprise”) is engaged in the business of processing, manufacturing and marketing of various types of spices, condiments and masalas (mixture of spices). It has, inter alia, registered the marks “Star Zing”, “Black Chinese Pepper Masala” and “White Chinese Pepper Masala”, in Class 30 for spices. A cursory glance at these marks would portray that Star Zing is the brand and the other marks are describing the different Masalas sold under this brand. However, Sky Enterprise, thought differently. According to them, the terms “Black Chinese Pepper Masala” and “White Chinese Pepper Masala” were so closely associated with their brand, such that the customers could identify products described in this manner only with Star Zing. Sky Enterprise filed a suit against proprietor, Abaad Masala which was found to be using the marks viz., “Black Chinese Pepper Masala” and “White Chinese Pepper Masala” along with its brand name AMZ on their masala packets. Sky Enterprises alleged that the use of these terms amounted to infringement of its rights in the trademark.

The Defendant argued that the words ‘Black Chinese Pepper Masala’ and ‘White Chinese Pepper Masala’ are used by the Defendant in its trade dress, just as in the case of the Plaintiff, for identifying or indicating the kind, quality, and intended purpose of the goods.

The Court held that the defendant may use the words ‘White Chinese Pepper Masala’ and ‘Black Chinese Pepper Masala’ however, not in this particular sequence. It may use these words in some other sequence or in combination with some other words. However, this particular combination was associated distinctively with the Plaintiff, and it being the registered proprietor of the marks, was entitled to protection.

This case goes against the conventional notion of not allowing descriptive marks to be registered in the first place, let alone protecting them in an action for infringement.

Active Company Tagging Identities and Verification

Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) vide its notification dated February 21, 2019 issued the Companies (Incorporation) Amendment Rules, 2019 (“Rules”) further amending the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014 (“Principal Rules”). A new rule 25A has been inserted in the Principal Rules pertaining to Active Company Tagging Identities and Verification (ACTIVE). Additionally, e-form ACTIVE (INC-22A) has been inserted in the Principal Rules after e-form INC -22.

The Rules came into effect from February 25, 2019. Every company incorporated on or before December 31, 2017 is required to file the particulars of the company and its registered office with the MCA in eform ACTIVE on or before April 25, 2019.

If a company does not intimate the particulars to the MCA within the prescribed time period the following actions will be taken by the MCA:

  • the status of the company will be marked as “ACTIVE-non-compliant” by the MCA on or after April 26, 2019.
  • the concerned Registrar of Companies within whose jurisdiction the registered office of a company is situated will note take on record the following event based information/changes:
  • SH-07 (Change in Authorised Capital); PAS-03 (Change in Paid-up Capital); DIR-12 (Changes in Director except cessation); INC-22 (Change in Registered Office); INC-28 (Amalgamation, de-merger).
  • Registrar of Companies is empowered to cause physical verification of the registered office of such companies and even initiate action for removal of the name of such companies from the register of Registrar of Companies.
  • a fee of INR 10,000 to be paid by the company for filing e-form ACTIVE on or after April 26, 2019.

Exempted categories of companies

Requirements:

  • companies which have been struck off or are in the process of striking off.
  • under liquidation companies.
  • amalgamated companies.
  • dissolved companies.

The e-form ACTIVE is majorly a pre-filled form where the details of a company as available with the MCA gets populated automatically based on the filings made by the company with the Registrar of Companies. Therefore, a company first needs to ensure that all its filings with the MCA are complete and proper only then the e-form ACTIVE can be duly submitted. In fact, any company which has not filed its financial statement or the annual return or both would not be able to file the eform ACTIVE unless such company is under management dispute and the Registrar of Companies within whose jurisdiction the registered office of a company is situated has recorded the same on the register.

Along with the e-form ACTIVE the following photographs are required to be attached:

  • One photograph of the registered office showing external building; and
  • One photograph of the inside office showing therein at least one director or key managerial personnel sitting (whose digital signatures will be affixed to the form).

The objective of MCA is to geo-tag the registered office details of companies through the latitude and longitude details which means attaching data to the exact location of the office.

While it has just been a few days since the introduction of e-form ACTIVE, the stakeholders have come across some practical issues in trying to complete and submit the e-form such as:

  • the details of the annual filings made for the financial year ending March 31, 2018 are only being recognised by the system and if a company follows a different financial year other than March 31 which had been changed in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act, 2013, the system does not tag the last filings made with the MCA for such companies.
  • The details of statutory auditors gets prefilled from the information in e-form ADT-1 filed by a company for the appointment of its auditors and does not take into account the filings made by the company intimating the appointment of statutory auditor in eform GNL 2 during the transition period.

Basis the concerns raised by the users, MCA is looking into it and coming up with appropriate solutions to resolve these issues so that the filings can be done smoothly.

Since the financial year 2017-18, there has been a drive to crackdown the shell companies and the companies that are non-compliant. Initially, MCA struck off from the register of Registrar of Companies, those companies which defaulted in annual filing for a continuous period of two or more financial years. This was followed by the disqualification of directors of defaulting companies. Subsequently, the individuals who had been allotted director identification number in India, were required to provide details and complete their KYC with the MCA.

In a similar manner, the registered office of a company is meant to be the premises where its statutory records and registers are maintained as well as its recorded address where the government authorities or any other stakeholders can communicate. Whereas as per the trend noticed in past investigations into shell companies, either the exact address of the registered office of a company does not exist or there are too many companies registered on the same address. There is no doubt that e-form ACTIVE will help the MCA to locate the exact location of a registered office and to a great extent, it will help in depreciating the use of false addresses by shell companies. The expected outcome of these initiatives is to create a transparent and compliant India Inc. and to make it trustworthy for public as well as to the global market.

Staying in the technology race, avoiding protectionist pitfalls

It is vital for law firms and in house counsel that they are at the forefront when advising on the specifics and legalities of the technology supply chain, which increasingly relies on mining raw materials for use within the manufacturing process of ‘smart’ products. However, an acute awareness of the barriers is also essential.

As such, Gowling WLG’s Protectionism 2.0 Report highlights how protectionist domestic policies from country to country can stifle the commercial overseas collaboration opportunities that technology offers.

Given the increase in protectionist policies, and the inherent link that exists between these and mining essential raw materials, it has never been more important that in house teams work closely with their advisers to anticipate market changes and implement strategies to manoeuvre through what can be difficult events and circumstances.

What is becoming evident, as set out in the report, is that there is a startling correlation between countries that pursue digitally protectionist policies (laws that prevent the overseas collaboration that is needed for technology to properly develop) as well those that are protectionist in relation to their natural resources – in particular China, Russia, India, Vietnam, Argentina and Turkey – six key global players in both areas of the economy. Given that countries like these are the very same which house the essential raw materials that need to be mined to fuel the development of technology, it is crucial to understand how to anticipate the impact of such behaviour on the technology supply chain.

General Counsel could be forgiven for focusing more on the operational and trading aspects relating to the existing uncertainty surrounding Brexit and global trade – and simply seeing digital protectionism as a side-line issue to focus on at a later date. This would be a mistake, given that these measures pose as much a threat to international trade and development as the more traditional tools of trade protectionism that seem to be most in focus at present.

Not only do the identified countries above have a strong track record in imposing trade barriers and tariffs on imports, they also have a high number of restrictive data laws and large deposits of the vital raw materials needed to make smartphones, connected devices and batteries for electric vehicles.

While this is happening in real time, many technology focused brands – focused on the manufacturing side of the industry – may not yet have anticipated how this will affect their sourcing and subsequent supply chain partners and processes. This makes it even more important that General Counsel communicate the effect of this on the output of their businesses in order to assist internal relationships or indeed, using the foresight of their selected legal advisers.

AZB Mumbai promotes Hufriz Wadia and Suharsh Sinha as partners

AZB & Partners has promoted banking counsel Hufriz Wadia and insolvency consultant Suharsh Sinha as partners in its Mumbai office.

Wadia had joined AZB around a year ago as a counsel from Kochhar & Co in Chennai.

The 2002 KC Law College graduate had worked in Dubai as a banking lawyer at law firm Al Tamimi & Co for five years, before returning to India, joining Juris Corp in Chennai. In January 2014, she had joined Kochhar in Chennai.

Sinha has been with AZB as a consultant since September 2016, having joined from the Reserve Bank of India and the Bankruptcy Law Reform Committee (BLRC), for both of which he’d been working as a consultant for a year.

The NLSIU Bangalore graduate, who also holds a masters in in law and finance from Oxford University (2014-15), an Wharton Business and Law LLM from the University of Pennsylvania (2011-12), and has completed an Indian School of bridge programme in business (2008).

Between 2008 and 2009, he had worked at McKinsey & Co as a business analyst, followed by more than five years at Linklaters in London until 2014.

Their promotions took effect on 1 October 2018.

In April, AZB’s Delhi partnership promoted five to partner, while in March 2018, AZB Mumbai promoted a total of four.