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NRIs looking towards Home for Career Opportunities
Saturday, September 20, 2008

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' their experience.

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.



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