Monday, October 01, 2007

Setting expectations for India bound professionals

In the recent past, I have come across two articles that revolve around the increasing trend of professionals looking to India.

1. The six qualities for India bound expats needed for the person to succeed.

Personally, I think these are apt for professionals going to any foreign country-as one really cant classify them as only "Indian centric" issues.

2. Written by an Indian based in US-but having a very good pulse, highlights five, nay, eight
top reasons for IT professionals returning to India !

I am inspired to try and expand the horizon, beyond expats and IT professionals -to a larger canvas of all professionals bound to India for professional & personal reasons. It is also pertinent to the large section of those who have gone to the US in the late eighties & early nineties for higher education, have stayed back for citizenship-and now looking eastward.

I wish to play the devil's advocate and try and list down some of the 'wrong reasons' to come back to India !

- Salary as the primary motivation to relocate.

It is amazing how each of the 'aspiring' returning Indians are aware of atleast one in their peer group-who has come to India with a dream offer. Great role. Wonderful pay. Relocation. The works. But thats how it gets "legendary"-because there are more exceptions than the rule!!

My own take - please concentrate on the role on offer, the scope for growth within the company, and a due diligence of your employer's commitment to the India component of business. Am sure once this is the driver- the salary wd fall in the general band-take or give 10% this way or that way.

-Opportunities galore

Opportunities exist in plenty for a variety of skills. There is an acute shortage of middle and senior management professionals. For those already in the senior executive cadre, and those participating roles in the strategic decision making internationally, there is likely to be a dearth of roles -as they are still the bastion of the core management team.

In contrast, as of now, the relative sizes of companies in India are smaller-and so there is a future for those who wish to be handson, grow with the company-and manage the challenges thereof.

-Managing people

The Gen Y is increasingly ambitious, aggressive, and seeks instant gratification. As a manager in India, there is a need to understand them, in order to manage their aspirations better. There is a need to harness the sheer raw talent.

In a matrix organisational stucture, your being away in a remote location has its own dynamics. Those familiar with the Indians -will know there is a premium (fancy) for titles & designations.

-The Forty hour week.

While there are a lot of MNCs and Indian companies-across industries -who have adopted the "5 day working " mode-its rarely as simple as that. With increasing globalisation, most middle managers are reporting into superiors/clients who work in different time zones. There are no guesses to keep track of how many conference calls and meetings actually happen during the "Indian time zone of 9am to 5pm"!!

-The grinding commute to work.

It isnt Mumbai or the metros where you spend an hour and half commuting one way to work. Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune-all are increasingly becoming notorious for the longer time being spent in traffic, simply as the cities are building infrastructure to keep up pace with the burgeoning businesses.

And yes, please come to India -for the same reasons you went abroad.Look at long term opportunites-not just a myopic view of the offer in hand. The work place is throbbing with energy, state of the art technologies, bright youngsters, ...

Its a great place for building a career. And the timing is just right...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AK....Great insightful post...This is the reason why I do not miss your posts....
It is must read for all the professionals coming back to India...