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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Reverse brain drain

The topic of reverse brain drain has been dominating the news for sometime now and we can expect more such articles in the near future. Some excerpts from an IHT article:

Nasscom, a trade group of Indian outsourcing companies, estimated that 30,000 technology professionals have moved back in the past 18 months. Bangalore, Hyderabad and the suburbs of Delhi are becoming magnets for the influx of Indians, who count as the top-earning ethnic group in the United States. These cities, with their Western-style work environment, generous paychecks and quick career jumps, offer the returnees what they could only get in Palo Alto or Boston until now.

Now they offer something else: a housing boom. Homes have tripled in value in Palm Meadows over the past 12 months, and rents have quadrupled.

For many returnees, the newly challenging work environment has tied in neatly with personal reasons like raising children in Indian culture and caring for aging parents.

As the lifestyle gaps between India and the West have narrowed, salary differences at top executive levels have virtually disappeared. Annual pay packages of $500,000 are common in Bangalore, but even for those taking a pay cut to return home, the lower cost of living balances lesser paychecks. Starting salaries for engineers are about $12,000 in India, versus $60,000 in Silicon Valley.

Kela, his 9-year-old daughter, Payal, and 6-year-old son, Ankur, enjoy riding bikes together on weekends, and they often play cricket, about which Kela is passionate. His daughter learns the classical Indian dances of Kathak and Bharatanatyam. During Halloween this year, Kela led his children on a three-hour trick-or-treat walk.

His neighbor, Swamy, is immersed in building a Silicon Valley-style team in Bangalore, but with some local adjustments. When he learned that the company routinely received calls from prospective fathers-in-law of employees asking to verify their ages, titles and salary details, Swamy wrote a memo titled "HR Policy on Disclosing Employee Information to Prospective Fathers-in-Law."


  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger thennavan, at 2:35 AM  

  • And Chennai doesn't get mentioned in such articles again. I am not surprised since I tend to check who has written that article and know that if the name does not end with an "an", then their bias is there for all the world to see :-)

    By Blogger thennavan, at 2:38 AM  

  • Kaps,

    The stuff that you highlighted is quite interesting. But what interested me more was the figure of $12,000 for starting engineers.


    'Cause, an average graduate engineer typically starts with about $4000 (about Rs. 1.8 lakhs); again, for the average engineer, this figure doubles in about 2-3 years.

    By Blogger Abi, at 12:27 PM  

  • coz of this the Real estate prices are soaring higher. When they see a techie, the rent obviously increases. These are the drawbacks of this.

    thennavan, this bias is always there. We people are facing it here a lot. Coz of this most of the guys in our comp are returning back to TN or BLR.

    By Blogger REFLEX, at 1:47 PM  

  • Frankly, this was expected. What really would be interesting is to see some expats choosing a brief stint here.

    By Blogger Govar, at 2:03 PM  

  • @Thennavan,
    In terms of sheer numbers, the number of desis returning back to Bangalore will be much more than the ones returning back to Hyd and Chennai. Hence the article would have used b'lore as an example.

    I was also surprised by that amount. Except for the likes for Microsoft and Google, I don't think anybody would pay $12,000 as starting pay in India.
    I guess the Rs. 3 - 4.5 lakh bracket is pretty common these days and people like Oracle, CTS, IBM are in that league.

    Agree with u on the impact on real estate prices. I have a feeling that buying a property in India will work out to be more expensive than the same in some other developed country.

    I understand that Bangalore itself has about 10,000 expats. That's not a small number.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 9:58 PM  

  • But why mentioned Hyderabad then Kaps? That is where the bias starts :-)

    By Blogger thennavan, at 12:36 AM  

  • Have a query? Is it really a reverse brain drain? Most of the such people I meet have come back either 1) their H1 has expired or 2) have realised that they can't rise any higher in US, so if they come to India, irrespective of their talent, they'll be getting senior positions. Have seen this happening in two major MNC's in Bangalore (have worked with them, hence can't agree to the word reverse brain drain). And if you see in US, very few Indians are from good institutions. So brain drain itself is misnomer, unless you are talking about people from IIT and a few REC.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:25 PM  

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