‘50% US green card holders plan to return home’

The US may experience reverse brain drain as thousands of Indian IT professionals contemplate returning to India, according to a survey conducted by Corp-Corp.com, a US-based technology job portal.

Last Updated: May 05, 2011, 01:17 AM IST

New York: The United States may experience reverse brain drain as thousands of Indian IT professionals contemplate returning to India, according to a survey conducted by Corp-Corp.com, a US-based technology job portal.

The finding was based on a survey of more than 1,000 survey respondents of Indian origin, nearly half of which were IT professionals that plan to return to India.

About 50 percent of the respondents have plans to return soon, while 6.4 percent of them have already returned to their homeland.

Survey participants included permanent residents, US citizens and work visa holders.

Fifty-one percent said their decision was based on wanting to rejoin family and 26 percent cited better opportunities as the reason to return to their homeland.

Around 10 percent are planning to return for they believe their kids will get a better education in India.

"The results are very important for American businesses because they may face challenges in filling the gap of these resources," said Prabakaran Murugaiah, CEO of Corp-Corp.com.

"Businesses cannot replace an experienced workforce overnight," he said.

The survey results show 69 percent of visa holders and 57 percent permanent residents or citizens intend to return.

These are some of the motivation to return to India: Nearly 51 percent for the return is rejoining their family members in India; 26 percent for better opportunities in India.

Only 3 percent says they are returning due to job loss, which is consistent with low unemployment of around 6 percent in the IT sector even though the generic unemployment is over 8 percent.

Around 10 percent are planning their return to provide better education to their kids in India.

There are about two million Indians living in US and many of them hold bachelor or higher degrees.

Indians share a large percentage in the numbers of PhD holders.

Among the Asian Indian population, around 60 percent are in management or professional occupations.

Murugaiah says, "Many of the returning Indians have aged parents back home to take care. Also, recent economic growth in India with many good opportunities fueled their thought process of heading back."

"In addition to that, many US companies are opening their offices in India and hiring more to target the growing market in Asia. There may be some challenges in filling the gap created by these resources, because we cannot create a 10 years experienced resource the next day," he said.

"However, there are 6 million IT professionals working in the US and this may not pose a bigger impact for the US tech industry. This trend may very well be a win-win situation for both countries," he added.

PTI