Jobs bring Indian expats back home

India Dispatch: The economic slowdown in western economies is helping to lure Indian expats home to help fuel an economy that is expected to benefit from growth of almost 8 per cent next year.

Bajaj Auto employees assemble Pulsar motorcycles at the company's factory in Pune, India. Kuni Takahashi / Bloomberg
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The economic slowdown in western economies is helping to lure Indian expats back home to help fuel an economy that is expected to benefit from growth of almost 8 per cent next year.

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The wider economic downturn has caused many companies to cut costs and trim their staff. But in India the trend is reversed as many firms are looking to boost their manpower, particularly increasing their intake of Indian nationals from overseas, according to a survey by

The survey found that thousands of companies across the country and all sectors are looking to hire more non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the first quarter next year.

It said that NRI hiring activity was set to account for 19 per cent of total recruitment activity during that period, compared with 11 per cent in the fourth quarter of this year - an increase of 8 per cent.

The information technology (IT), car making, manufacturing and pharmaceutical sectors are experiencing most of the NRI hiring - with IT in the lead.

"As the Indian economy keeps on growing, year after year, there are more opportunities available in India compared to old days," said Rajesh Kumar, the chief executive of "The IT field continues to expand, creating demand for international professionals. The economic revolution that started in 1991 has reformed India into one of the major players on the world stage."

A combination of economic and social factors has accelerated the NRI recruitment drive, the job portal said.

India Inc prefers to hire NRIs because of their varied experience.

"We prefer to hire non-resident professionals because of their exposure in international markets," said Syed Farooq, the chief executive of Zeeways, a technology company based in Bangalore. "This quarter we had projected to hire almost 22 to 25 per cent NRI professionals in our organisation."

A "brain drain" is common among growth economies, and India is no exception. But now the trend is starting to slow down, recruiters say. The young, ambitious and educated are considering moving back to their homeland.

"With recession and high unemployment in America - and rest of the developed world - many Indians living overseas are considering going back home," Mr Kumar said. "Some of the key incentives to stay abroad - job security and financial opportunities - have faded over the years."

Policies have also begun to favour the returnees. "The sustained growth of India and the resilience India showed during the slowdown also has added dynamic transition and movement back to India," Mr Farooq said. "With the Indian government policy to spending large amounts of capital on living amenities and infrastructure, an increasing number of happy, contented and excited Indians are eager to relocate back."

You don't have to toil away overseas for years to get hired by India Inc, the study said. Among all NRI job seekers, having experience from one to five years is ideal. Those who fit into this criteria have a 52 per cent chance of being hired in India.

Similarly, those job seekers with five to 10 years of experience have a 28 per cent of chance of securing employment. But the more time they have spent overseas, the harder it becomes to find a job back in India: those NRI job seekers with 15 years or more of overseas experience have only a 5 per cent chance of landing a job in their homeland, according to the survey.

The study surveyed human resources staff and senior management at 1,929 firms and 1,710 recruitment consultants.

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