The saying, ‘Home is where the Heart is’ goes well with the millions of NRIs spread over every corner of the world. Their hearts still long for the motherland. And with declining salaries and job cuts abroad, an increasing number of NRI professionals are moving back to India in search of greener pastures, a move that will give home grown companies the chance to target this attractive resource pool.
A survey conducted by the Economic Times found that the high economic growth in India, with many good opportunities, has fuelled the NRI thought process to take a U-turn. In addition to that, many Indian companies are shutting their offices in the West. The reasons don’t end with the recent crisis in the West, but is also a combination of economic, social and other factors that is driving this exodus.
Vijay Pollampuri, AVP- recruiting in a leading consultancy says, “Most high salaried immigrants and citizens are feeling the pinch, when they lose good paying jobs, as a lot of companies today, move production to developing countries. Instead of accepting low paying jobs the only option left is to move back to their original countries. India on the other hand is doing very well economically. Many NRIs have now come to realise that while two decades ago there may not have been opportunities in India to prosper, India now offers many opportunities. Some NRIs are starting to reason that while there may be more money in the West, day to day living is not that easy, especially for the elderly.” He then goes to say, “Another reason which has always been, is that Indians usually do have stronger family ties and some are homesick and wish to return to be with family and friends.”
Paul D’Souza, a 48-year-old real estate professional, says, “I returned to India a year back and started my own business in real estate. Before I came to India, I researched a lot to realise that the real estate sector in the country has been growing at 30-35 per cent a year and would be touching $35 billion by 2011. I am not sure if we are close to that figure yet, but we are definitely one of the most promising economies of the world.” He goes on to add, “Indians don’t live on credit as much as the West, and we are a country that believes in saving. That makes our situation stable for a long time to come.”
Indian values has also been another magnet that attracts NRI’s back to India. Socialite Madhu Sharma says, “My brother and sisters’ families returned a year ago as they saw growth prospects here.
They also were having problems with raising their children due to the Western value system, and were pondering a move back to India for a long time.” She elaborates,“NRI children usually never visit India for a reasonable amount of time, to come to know the real India. Visiting for two weeks is not enough time to know the daily living style or imbibe Indian values.” She continues, “From the time they have moved back, my sibling says they already see a positive change in their children’s behaviour, although they are yet to adjust completely.”
Kamran Syed, an IT professional who relocated seven months ago from the UK says, “I had come for a vacation for a month like I always do, but when I came here I realised my parents needed me. On researching I realised that India had progressed a great deal and I could test the waters here, and started looking for work. While I have been planning to settle back in India, it has been a challenge to convince recruiters that I am genuinely willing to continue to work here. Some organisations are apprehensive about stability of candidates with international experience. I think they need to realise, if Indian companies don’t open up to them, they will not only lose potential employees but also international expertise, more so since there has been a phenomenal rise in NRI return in the last two years.”
Many Indians who have been residing abroad for a long time have perhaps started to realise that with money on their hands they can afford to live a better and comfortable life back in India where, opportunities are better, they get to stay close to their near and dear ones, and not to forget luxuries like cheap domestic help.
WHY MOVE BACK?
Missing parental support
The sense of belonging
Children’s early education
Films on NRI’s
Purab aur Paschim
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