Three lakh Indians working abroad will migrate back to India within the next five years owing to better opportunities in their native country when compared to several Western economies, according to the latest study findings released by recruitment consultancy firm Kelly Services India.
The finding also highlights that for a majority of reverse migrants, job satisfaction levels in India will outshine their previous overseas jobs within the next 2-3 years. The key reasons for migration to India, respondents said, were an insecure job market overseas (58 per cent), better personal growth opportunities (34 per cent) and proximity to native place (28 per cent).
However, the expected reverse migration may face barriers, the study points out. Reasons: stringent labour policies and difference in the quality of life.
Kamal Karanth, managing director of Kelly Services India, says talent migration has ceased to be just a phenomenon relevant to the movement from emerging economies to developed economies. “The sustained growth of India and the resilience the country showed during the economic slowdown have added to the dynamic transition and a reverse movement,” he added.
The study points out that 48 per cent respondents who favoured job satisfaction overseas indicated the key reasons as high remuneration and work-life balance. Now, with the changing present scenario and evolving economy, 18 per cent of the respondents — they moved between the 1980s and ’90s — validated better job culture as one of the reasons influencing their decision to move back.
Karnataka is the most preferred destination for the reverse migrants. The southern state is followed by two from the west: Gujarat and Maharashtra. The study talks about certain advantages in India: development in technology and other software service, the country’s ability to compete with developed countries and provide better opportunities, world-class higher education system (IITs, IIMs) that is recognised globally and the third largest pool of qualified scientists and engineers. All these factors are attracting non-resident Indians back to their country.
Karanth explains that this trend will mark a transition from brain drain to brain gain in India. Also, if more NRIs take up challenging jobs back in India, their overseas experience will enrich their compatriot colleagues and the local work environment in general. According to the respondents, better public infrastructure, ancillary services (education, healthcare etc) and greater opportunities in all spheres of life were the top three developments in India in the last few years.
Featuring 1,000 respondents from India and abroad, the study reflects that the most preferred destination for Indian migrants is the US. India is the world’s highest remittance receiver, with close to $50 billion in annual inward remittance.
“With the government spending large amounts of capital on infrastructure and living amenities,” notes Karanth, “an increasing number of happy, contented and excited Indians are eager to relocate back. Their sense of belonging to the country will add to the expertise they are bringing back to India Inc.”