For a long time there have been questions on India’s ability to retain its talent. The fact that countries like U.S. provide better opportunities for both studies as well as jobs gave way to unabated brain drain with India ending up on the losing side.
However, in the last 3-4 years there have been signs of reverse brain drain happening even though i have questioned whether the reverse brain drain is real primarily because the education and research infrastructure in the country has not improved drastically.
But the times, they are changing! More and more folks are looking forward to come back to the roots and put their talent to use right here in India and hopefully in some cases for India.
There has been a double digit increase in Indian origin and NRI senior executives shifting base to India.
There has been an up to 20% increase in the number of CEO movements compared with last year, as persons of Indian origin and non-resident Indians return home
Major executive recruitment firms are reporting a constantly increasing number of senior executives in the US, Europe considering a move to India for good. A look into the economic environment is enough to suggest that this trend of senior executives relocating is not entirely driven by the desire to return to homeland and participate in the betterment of the country a.k.a reverse brain shown in Bollywood movies
Global economic environment is the biggest driver for reverse brain drain. Even as countries like US and Europe battle with debt crisis and high unemployment, India has grown very well in the past few years and despite inflationary pressures, it is expected to outpace the growth in the developed countries.
Additionally, there has been major improvements in the education infrastructure in the country. Major foreign universities have shown interest in setting campuses in India and even though the pace might be slow, there is a window of opportunity for talent students to chase their dream right here in India.
Sectoral demand is another driver for increasing reverse brain drain. Industry sectors like Pharma need senior management level folks with global experience and understanding of the nitty-gritties of navigating the global markets. This has created opportunities for senior executives working in the US or Europe to consider relocating to India to take on new challenges while at the same maintaining the fat pay packets they are used to.
What are your thoughts on more and more senior executives relocating to India for work? Do you think it is a short-term trend and will reverse once the economic conditions in the developed countries improve or the reverse drain will continue unabated?