Monday, October 15, 2007

Reverse Brain Drain

Disclaimer Something I wrote a long time back but which makes a lot more sense today. A chance glance through today's Education Times made me post this here. The issue has a cover article on the same subject.

Now Brain Drain is a lexicon most of us are familiar with; having been made popular by the much discussed and much criticized migration of smart Indian minds to greener meadows like US of A, UK, Australia etc. But what we are not very familiar with is the Reverse Brain-Drain which is, quite literally, the return of India's prodigal sons. A number of technology professionals leave their foreign jobs and return to India, lured by a booming economy whose growth rates are burgeoning by the month.

Most of the Indians coming back see this move not only as an emotional one but also career enhancing. Economy is at an all time high and the sensex is literally booming. Ajay Kela, one of such re-patriates, says that he receives several resumes per month from Indians, with decades of work experience in the US, wanting to relocate. Ex-patriates are returning because India is hot, and this definitely does not have anything to do with the mercury. There is an increasing feeling that the chunk of action in the technology industry is moving to India. We did get an idea about this from the frequency with which Microsoft honchos have been visiting India.

US is sitting up and taking notice of this trend. It realizes that minus the talent of the best of the brightest, it may lose its edge in technology and innovation. This fact was made very clear in a recent study in which it was found that 35% of the students securing excellent grades in American schools and universities were of Indian origin (while the second spot went to China). Further adding to their woes is the disturbing statistic that the number of Indian applicants to US universities is going down every year.

Bangalore, with its western work culture, funky metropolitan image and of course generous pay cheques, is proving to be the destination of choice for these ex-patriates. Other cities on the radar of these returnees include Hyderabad, Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon. Posh housing colonies like Palm Meadows, Florida Estate, Lake Vista and Ozone have sprung up in the Bangalorean suburbs to cater to these elite professionals. NASSCOM has estimated that nearly 30,000 technology and software professionals have moved back in the last 18 months (as of December 29, 2005).

Whatever the reason be, India is surely benefiting from this change in mind-set. For many returnees the newly challenging work environ in has tied in neatly with emotional and personal reasons like raising their children in the Indian culture and caring for their aging parents. This might very well turn out to be an altruistic pull to return to India and help their country achieve greater power than it had ever imagined.


  1. Oh no !! Why on earth I came here ? I am not a bugger. :P

    Well, I also read this topic in ET and I agree with you but the percentage is very little at present. I hope the trend will continue.

    Thanks for putting that 'Blog Action Day' picture on your blog. :)

    Let us try to do it in our own small way. :)

  2. ha ha
    Everyone of us is a bugger in some life or the other :)

    And the picture's just a trailer. I have got my exams right now. That's why couldn't do much. A full post coming up on the subject as soon as they get over. Pity it will be a bit later than 15th October.

    But it's the spirit that matters. Isn't it?