A Remote Type

If you want to make money in the global village, it helps to know the neighborhood. Vikram Agrawal knows it well. Raised in family of entrepreneurs in Bangalore, India, Agrawal came to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., in 1999. A year later, he won a business-plan competition that helped him raise $475,000 in venture capital to start Etransmedia Technologies Inc., a transcription service for U.S. doctors and businesses.

It's a simple idea. Clients use digital devices to record audio files, which are sent electronically to typists in Bangalore. About 24 hours later they get back a transcript. In three months, the company has racked up $1 million in sales. Says Agrawal: "We edge the American companies out by price. And we edge offshore competition out by quality." Next, Agrawal plans to start a call center in India to do billing for U.S. hospitals. Talk about a hometown advantage.

By Naween A. Mangi

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