After the US financial crisis, non-resident Indians are looking towards
their homeland for career opportunities. K Ramakrishnan, executive director
and head, investment banking, Spark Capital says, "The top slots
in many investment banking companies in India are filled by Indians
who have experience in the US market." By absorbing these financial
professionals, the domestic investment banking is expected to 'leverage'
Playing down a possible turf war brought about by such 'videshi acquisitions'
- 'desi' investment bankers seem upbeat about the possible 'merger'
of existing and returning talent in the same boardroom, and more importantly
on the same sides. "For this to happen, they (NRI bankers) have
to be prepared for lower salaries," says Balaji of Ma Foi. Jayaram
Easwaran, chief of corporate development and board member of Dexterity,
says the meltdown has opened up an avenue for India Inc. "Their
skills are not exclusive to financial services because they are trained
to think big, strategise and lay a road map for development. Indian-owned
companies, which are trying to make the transition to professionally-run
entities, like the Mahindras and the Murugappa Group, can now tap into
this readymade talent pool."
According to Iyer, even institutions like IDBI may find the workforce
an asset. The only glitch is with the pay packet, since dollar-denominated
salaries are unlikely to come knocking for a while. "So long as
people are not myopic about their salaries, they should find jobs in
Chennai or elsewhere," says Easwaran. CV Poornima, a Chennai-based
head hunter, predicts a 10 to 15% dip in salary. "It is going to
be a long hard summer," warns Iyer, since the meltdown is only
the tip of the iceberg. However, with Chennai itself emerging as a good
place to work and live in, alongside Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad,
the return of the native is a clear possibility.