Thursday, November 29, 2007

Increasing demand for Research Scientists in India

During the recent weeks, I have been receiving enquiries for returning/returned Indian profiles in the R&D space.

If a European major Nycomedwanted post doctrates in Medicinal Chemistry in India, a Chinese conglomerate Fosun Pharma wanted professionals to be based in China. A friend of mine indicated that Dupont is looking to hire over a hundred PhDs in the next 12 months for their Knowledge Centre @Hyderabad- and these would range from doctrates in entomology to polymer chemistry -across basic sciences. There were also some feelers from Guatemala and Israel!!

The mystery however seems to unravel as the latest issue of Business World gives more insight.

-Over $ 10 billion has been invested in India by the World's best corporations for R&D investments in India in the recent past. This figure could double by 2010.

-The coming decade will see India's ascendancy marked by stupendous growth, but also the destination in areas such as wireless,low cost cars, semiconductor design, biotech and nano-technology. The cutting edge science and technology initiatives will see even expat researchers wanting to work in India.

--According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), there were 8836 Indian academics in the US in 2005-06.

-A creative research atmosphere is breathing life into many beneficiaries.

The Indian R&D ecosystem is now spawning sub-systems:

-start-ups. eg Texas Instruments (seniconductor design), Avesthagen (Biotech). Some professionals who have worked here, have gone on to start innovative startups funded by the venture capital community.

-contract firms like Wipro has provided product engineering services ( to Lockheed Martin, Boracade, Cisco etc) while Biocon has pioneered some work in ustom research in molecular biology and biologics.

-Joint Ventures with Universities eg IISc, IIIT closely working with Philips, HP, Siemens, Motorola, Nokia etc.

-Vendors like Trane India, ETA engineering providing products and services for AC systems and lab proccess applications and support facilities like Ge's Bangalore based John F Welch technology Centre ( JFWTC).

If you are presently looking for a global career in Research, you will be thinking about being in India now!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

A rich blog by a returned Indian...

I owe a treat to my blogging guru Gautam Ghosh for this posting.

He pointed me to this blog written by Mr.Vikram Chachra, an entrepreneur who has recently re-located back to India from NYC- a record of his observations of life in India as he re-settles in his homeland.

To quote GG, also an XLer like Vikram, it is a "must read" as " there are personal, social and emotional responses to moving to India that he blogs about, as well as the economic implications that he blogs about. Also about stock markets, rising real estate boom etc etc.Lots of pictures too !"

I am sure it would help set expectations for those aspiring to return to India-and perhaps discount/validate the media hype.

Happy reading!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

India Knowledge@Wharton-Report on Return to India

Here is an article prepared by India Knowledge@Wharton forwarded to me, by my pal Ratna Reddi!

Am sure quite a few of us will find it very insightful.

"The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE), a network of Indian entrepreneurs, estimates that 60,000 IT professionals from the U.S. have returned to India.India Knowledge@Wharton decided to take a different approach toward exploring this phenomenon. Rather than a statistical overview, we chose to take an in-depth look at theexperience of one family and view it as a microcosm of a larger trend.

Writer Shoba Narayan was born in India and came to the U.S. as a student. She settled down in the U.S., became a citizen, wrote for publications such as Time, Newsweek, Gourmet, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and authored a book, while her husband Ram had a successful career on Wall Street. After 20 years in the U.S., the family moved back to India in 2005. This is their story.As you read it, remember that it is being retold tens of thousands of times"

It is a 23 page report -happy reading!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Back after a breather...

Habits form easily.

Just as 'doing something' becomes a habit, it is surprising how 'not doing' also can get addictive! My last posting on the blog was almost 3 weeks ago..and there were a series of events that happened to take up my personal time, and even as I was realising I must post something meaningful, pressure mounting on me, it was really a revelation that quite a few well wishers started calling me to check if everything was alright :-)!

So here is an attempt to shake off the inertia and get back into the blogging mode.

Ah yes, one of my pals wanted me to highlight (especially for those who read my posts on the reader), that I have been posting some of the plum -not so confidential pick of the jobs that I have been working on. Actually I had included a widget on this blog, which would surely enlighten those readers who log on, about the typical and almost generic kinds of opportunities that me, and a few associates of mine, handle!

The period also saw me evaluating quite a few 'applicant tracking systems' to enable a better online resume management solution-and improve my firm's efficiencies. It is really shocking to note that there is indeed, a very few choices -in India, of state-of -art technologies for this recruiting domain- which is indeed booming, and attracting a whole new generation of tech savvy professionals- and most of whom are owner managed- with less than 50 employees.

Especially when it is increasingly becoming difficult to get the 'right people', and technology can help in automating some of the mundane tasks, and help improve productivity, I was really intrigued that we didnt have too many "Indian " focussed products for the SME market. Am sure there is a great market for a decently priced product -and more so, if introduced on a subscription based model for a profession that gets rewarded on success mostly. Zoniac, Cbiz, Resumer Opus, Hirecraft, 3i's Veda are some of the more prominent players, and Taleo is threatening to come in..So hopefully things will change in future.
Perhaps it also had to do with my mother being hospitalised last week, but spending long hours thinking about the medical profession and its impact -over time, I couldnt but resist crystal gazing into the future of the recruitment industry, and the career paths for a recruiter!
To me, a recruiter today is 'the family doctor ' who existed in India, about 3 decades ago. No matter what the illness, we had a doctor uncle or aunt, who was very familiar with the family, the lifestyle, the generic diseases they suffered from -and so often even talked us out of being sick, just being around!!
Then came the age of specialist docs, who began by setting up a nursing home in the neighbourhood- having a polyclinic inviting some of the other colleagues to complement the skills and treat 'out patients'- but soon ran into problems relating to 'technological obsolescence' and infrastructure bandwidth. Ofcourse, the 21st century has seen the growth of corporate hospitals, and keeping in sync with the outsourcing theme-even medical tourism and telemedicine are growing by leaps and bounds.
Are we going to see a similar evolution in the transformation of the recruiter?
Traditionally, we had recruiters expanding by having multiple locations across the country.In the Indian recruitment world, we have seen the biggies eg ABC, MaFoi, Peopleone- have all gone to become ' global corporates' by being part of world wide firms-there are a whole lot of others being wooed by VC firms and PE firms with a lot of passion-and a lot of tier 2 and tier3 firms thinking of forming alliances to stay abreast/ get to the next level & continue to add value!
I am tempted to draw parallels from the consulting, accounting, or legal firms -which have been part of a more matured industries...and predict, there is room for a lot of worldwide networks of small recruiter firms..who would retain their own personal identity, strength of their networking and relationship management skills, and have the 'localised' yet 'personalised human touch' that manage 'intimate aspirations of career growth'-which no software or large firm can replace!!
Technology has been helping compress time, distance, efficiencies and to use a ciche'- geography is becoming history!!
And as Google announced Open Social earlier this fortnight, I am left wondering whether all the jobsites today -will become a la classified advertisements, and the world will be taken over by applications that leverage on interpersonal networks!
Are we ready for the change?