India shining, but global glitter still hard to resist

NEW DELHI (TIP): This may offer a contrarian view to a compelling ‘India Shining’ narrative. A substantially higher number of Indian employees, if given an opportunity, will take the next flight to NYC than land a posting in NCR. And the lure of an overseas job has grown over the last five years despite the global slowdown and India growing in stature as an emerging market.

According to a Randstad survey, 85%of the respondents are keen on working abroad, of which 88% are women. In a similar survey conducted by Randstad in 2011, 74% of the respondents had expressed their willingness to move abroad for a job.

So, why still the foreign fascination? Bhaskar Chakravorti, senior associate dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, offers an explanation. One, there is an evident slowdown in economies across the world, including emerging markets. “Even economies such as India that are experiencing a rare burst of growth do not hold a promise that this growth is going to last and lead┬áto exciting new jobs. The alternative is to look elsewhere beyond one’s home market with the hope that somehow the grass is going to be greener on the other side,” said Chakravorti.

Second, business is increasingly becoming internationalized and some dynamic opportunities are opening up in new markets outside India. Information technology, too, is making people more aware of life beyond the boundaries of one’s home┬ácountry. “Naturally, it creates a desire to visit and work in these places,” said Chakravorti.

Siddharth Shekhar Singh, associate professor of marketing, Indian School of Business (ISB), said: “Earlier, going abroad for higher earnings and better lifestyle was desired because India offered few opportunities. Although India is a different place now, the old perception continues by and large, and perceptions take time to change. It is noteworthy that not everyone wants to go abroad for more income. Better lifestyle, equal opportunity for all, and lower crime are other reasons. And these remain issues of concern in India.”

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Moreover, in a globalised world, many believe that some work experience abroad combined with the experience in India might open better opportunities, according to Singh. So companies, too, are being advised to create a global work environment if they wish to retain top professionals. An old hierarchy-driven structure does not appeal to a global manager.

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