Few countries have a comprehensive system for recording or monitoring skilled migration flows at the international level. Sending countries (such as India) rarely keep track of loss of talent (Lowell and Findlay 2002). Developed host countries (like the U. S. or England) generally possess more comprehensive and reliable information on skilled migration than sending countries, but there are still serious limitations in data on skilled migration even in these economies (Carrington and Detragiache 1998; Findlay 2002).
Few countries have any system for recording return migration unless returns are associated with special programs. Researchers on skilled migration recognize that student mobility is an integral part of the process. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD, 2002), “Student mobility is a potential flow of qualified workers, either in the course of their studies or through subsequent recruitment…Student flows represent a form of migration of qualified labour and also a precursor of subsequent migrations.
” Moreover, mere counts of inflows and outflows do not reflect the extent of loss or the quality of manpower lost. Student migration is obviously less painful than migration of professionals with long experience. In Least Developed Countries where Last Name 2 numbers of highly qualified persons are much smaller than in the OECD countries, even a minimal loss of skills can make a critical difference (Meyer 2001). For countries in the developing world, such as India, the challenge to lure expatriates back home is great.
For these countries, capturing benefits mostly depends on attracting back skilled emigrants and providing opportunities for them to use their new technological competencies. Returnees also can bring valuable management experience, entrepreneurial skills and access to global networks. They may even bring venture capital. Indian professionals in the US have been the primary drivers of knowledge and capital flows to India. The Indian government has contributed to the emergence of these private networks through legislative and tax rules that encourage remittances and investment from Indians abroad.
Admittedly then, there is extremely limited data on return migration except when it is on an organized basis (and this is not the case in India) because no country has a monitoring system to capture return of nationals who have been employed abroad. Benefits of return depend on a number of factors such as the type and nature of return migration, which obviously affect the impact. (King 2000) What is Known Regarding Expatriates Returning to India
Says Shiv Agrawal (2005), director, ABC Consultants: “An increasing number of Indians are giving up their jobs abroad and making their way home whether due to job insecurity, ties to the motherland, or an ambitious need to ride the rising wave of India Inc. ” Recently released NASSCOM (India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies) figures state that there was a net gain of 25,000 Indian IT workers Last Name 3 returning home between 2001 and 2004. The average gain of returning prodigals has increased from about 7,000 in 2001 to about 10,000 in 2004.
Agrawal confirms that the trend is catching on even in non-IT sectors: “On an average, we get 20-25 e-mails or calls a week from Indians working abroad who are exploring professional opportunities here in a bid to return home. ” (Homeward Bound 2005) Other estimates of returnees are even higher. For example, Revathy Menon (2005) claims that for reasons ranging from bad (the dotcom fallout) to good (the engineer/mba path is still a safe career bet, and if you’re into anything radical, India’s never been a better place to set up shop), Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) have been returning to India in huge numbers.
In Bangalore alone, something like 35,000 ex-NRIs have ‘returned’ over the past five years. This may dwarf the number in other metros, but the total for India over this period is at least 50,000. (Times News Network 2005) Some of the reasons for returning are strictly financially motivated. “Across the globe, in developed markets such as the US and Europe, salaries increase by a mere 2-3 per cent annually to account for inflation.
In India, salaries are growing in the 15-20 per cent range, and our internal estimates indicate a 16-17 per cent average salary hike for this year,” says E. Balaji, group GM, Staffing Solutions, Ma Foi Management Consultants. (Outlook Money 2005) Obviously, compensation has become much more competitive in India. In addition, when you factor in the cost of living, it makes for a huge savings potential. This means that asset creation – owning a house and a car – is well within the reach of a 30-year-old. “It’s becoming easier to make the decision to return to India since financial and