Compared with some of the big-league outsourcing players, Russia is a rookie. The country’s current revenue from IT outsourcing is $150 million to $200 million annually, a drop in the bucket compared with India’s yearly draw of $6 billion. But, though little more than a decade old, Russia’s outsourcing industry is learning to play to its strengths and is growing by 50% annually, analysts say.
Those strengths include low-cost and highly trained workers. The annual salary for a programmer runs about $5,000 to $9,000, which is comparable to salaries in India. The World Bank estimates that Russia has the third-highest number of scientists and engineers per capita in the world.
But Russia’s acceptance as an outsourcing destination has been lukewarm. The country is widely perceived as having an unstable economy and an inadequate technology infrastructure. Although in recent years, these issues have been addressed to a large degree, the Russian government itself continues to be an impediment to investment.