You've heard of outsourcing, the practice of moving business operations to places-such as India-where they're done more cheaply. And you've likely heard of vulture funds and vulture capitalists, financial opportunists who swoop in upon ailing businesses, with hopes of picking up something valuable on the cheap.
But unless you've been part of a business that's fallen apart, you may never have thought about how the two might combine. Two weeks ago, when the Slate Group announced it was shutting down The Big Money —which I edited—we didn't particularly think that our problem was excessive costs. As business publications go, we were pretty cheap. But viewed from another vantage point, the very fact that we paid industry-appropriate salaries to a small staff could be seen as a liability. And so maybe I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was to receive this e-mail, about 24 hours after the announcement was made:
Dear Mr Ledbetter,
It is with a tinge of sadness one read the news that TBM is closing shop. We
are an India-based online content management company and has been in the
business of managing large portals like MSN and Yahoo (Indian editions) for
the past 10 years. We have been managing the MSN India ( http://www.in.msn.com/ )
for the past nine years. We have a 50-member strong editorial team in
Bangalore, drawn from mainstream media organizations. We would be keen to
explore any possibility of our editorial team managing TBM out of India.
That would keep your costs low and more importantly would also mean that the
site doesn't go down.
Hope to hear from you soon.