Young execs head to India

The Christian Science Monitor reports[*1] :

According to the head of Evaluserve, India’s need is great. He and others agree that India already has an abundance of domestic talent. But if it wishes to compete globally, it must have global resources – in other words, it must be fluent in the language and culture of its clients.

That’s where the expats come in. “We are not only an India-centric company,” says Ashish Gupta, head of Evaluserve India.”So to have this mingling of cultures is very, very important to us.”

In all, he estimates, India will need more than 100,000 expatriates by 2010. In 2002, the government reported that 13,000 expats were working in the country. Yet the need goes beyond language skills to the highest levels of management. “In India, most business is at the start-up stage, so we need managerial talent,” says Sudhakar Balakrishnan, director of Adecco Consulting in Bangalore.

Indians themselves have filled some of this shortfall, as more are staying here rather than venturing abroad – reversing decades of brain-drain. The need for foreigners remains, however,whether it is for foreign companies establishing their presence in India or for Indian companies wanting experienced Western executives.