According to reports in Indian newspapers, business owners in this Asian country are increasingly turning to expatriates to fill skills gaps.
India’s information technology industry is becoming more and more reliant on expatriate resource in order to fill key skills and training gaps experts report. According to reports in Silicon India, expatriates have knowledge and experience that many of the local population in the region lack.
The newspaper cites Infosys Technologies as being a company that is representative of current trends. This IT firm currently has over 100 expatriates employed within middle and senior management positions. Discussing the employee dynamics, Mohandas Pai, director and head of global sales and operations commented: “Some are hired to fill skill gaps. There are a lot who want to work for a world-class company that has its base in India. They want to have an India experience in their CV.”
Sanat Kawatkar from Towers Watson supported the newspaper’s claims but also added that the skills shortages were not confined to the IT industry. He estimated that 25% of actuaries in India are drawn from an expatriate population: “Insurance firms typically hire expats to fill management positions in finance and actuarial services, in which the local talent pool is limited.”
Discussing recent trends in India, Dipak C. Jain Dean Emeritus at the Kellogg School of Management commented:
“Expats offer Indian companies the ‘know-how, the know-who and the know-what’ that they would find difficult, if not impossible, to replicate effectively.
“Just as the U.S. workforce is ‘browning’ with the addition of foreign talent, so too do we see the trend that India is slowly ‘creaming’ as foreigners increasingly seek opportunities in the world’s largest democracy.”
It seems that the attraction between expatriates and job opportunities in India is mutual. Speaking in an article on Livemint.com, one British expatriate, 35 year-old Robert Mackie, described the logic behind his own decision to accept a job that was based in India. Not only did he consider the opportunity to work in India as being a positive addition for his resume, he also believes that his time in Asia has shielded him from the job cuts that have negatively impacted his colleagues back home:
“I have seen very good friends of mine either lose their jobs or getting downgraded,” said Mackie, who has a leadership role in product development for Jaguar. “It was very sad watching from the sidelines.”