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Have a BlackBerry? An Outsourced Personal Assistant Awaits

Posted Feb 5, 2008 1:53 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Do you need the neighborhood dry cleaner to pick up or deliver a few business suits? A quick text message to India can get results fast.

In yet another outsourcing trend, harried professionals—as well as blue-collar workers—are hiring low-paid workers half a world away to handle everyday tasks that can be handled via the Internet. For as little as $29 a month, these virtual personal assistants can have a driveway snowplowed, get a rental car company to pick up a stranded business traveler, even arrange a catered dinner party, reports the Chicago Tribune.

"Anything that's illegal or in bad taste we will not do. Other than that, bring it on," says T.T. Venkatash of Get Friday, a personal and small business outsourcing company based in Bangalore, India.

Although what the Trib refers to as America's exhausted middle class is an obvious market for such services, it is white-collar professionals who are making the most use of outsourced personal assistants right now, writes CNN in an earlier article.

"Ask Sunday can count housewives and salesmen among their customers," the news agency notes, referring to another outsourcing company. "But the majority of people signing up are still the BlackBerry-addicted bankers, accountants and corporate lawyers."

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