Role Reversal: India's Tech Titans Grab Talent From Silicon Valley

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by Srinivas_K, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

    Jun 17, 2009
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    Role Reversal: India's Tech Titans Grab Talent From Silicon Valley

    George Anders ,

    Rohit Bansal boarded a plane in his native Delhi and headed for Silicon Valley. Traditionally, such a journey would mark the loss of another Indian tech star in favor of greater opportunities in the United States. This time, however, the human-capital migration is starting to flow in the opposite direction.

    • The 31-year-0ld Bansal has struck it rich in India, where he and cofounder Kunal Bahl run Snapdeal, one of Asia’s leading online retailers. With closely held Snapdeal valued at perhaps$5 billion or more, Bansal hardly needs a U.S.job. Instead, he prefers to hunt for California-based technical talent that he can lure back to India.

      “We need a few really good designers,” Bansal explained in an interview this past spring. “Not too many products get built for the first time in India. That expertise is far more evident in the U.S.” In return, he says, Snapdeal offers ambitious U.S.-based designers, engineers and product specialists a chance to aim their efforts at India’s market of 1.2 billion people — nearly quadruple the U.S.’s population.

      A map of the U.S.? India? Boundaries start to blur (Photo credit: Prince Roy via Flickr/Creative Commons)

      Much of Bansal’s U.S. recruiting has been aimed at Indian-born techies who came to Silicon Valley seven to ten years ago — and now are open to the idea that their next big career move should involve moving back to their homeland. “They’ve had a pretty good time, professionally, in the U.S.,” Bansal says, “but they realize that the best opportunities to make an impact may be in India.

      India’s Economic Times newspaper recently declared that the country’s longstanding “brain drain” of technical talent moving abroad was now turning into a “brain gain,” as expatriates began flocking home.

      One case in point: Punit Son, a former mobile-technology executive at Google and Motorola in the United States. He’s now returned to India as chief product officer for Flipkart, a top e-commerce company. Another illustration: Namita Gupta’s decision to join Zomato, Indian-based online rater of retail establishments, after having previously worked for Facebook and Microsoft.

      A decade ago, Indian tech specialists who returned home to comparable jobs after a U.S. stint might have needed to endure a pay cut of 50% or more in nominal terms. Not any more. Bansal says leading Indian tech companies are able to put together pay packages that come close to matching U.S. salaries, for the right executives. That’s at the official exchange rate — and in practical terms, everyday living expenses such as housing, private-school tuition and personal services are substantially cheaper in India.

      What’s more, Bansal says, India’s fast-growing economy means plenty of chances for returning Indian executives to enjoy stock options that might soar in value. There are always a few U.S. tech companies with soaring market valuations. Many others, however, have plateaued. In India, he contends, growth is just beginning.
  3. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

    Jul 12, 2014
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    Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
    I don't think there is enough traffic from Silicon Valley to india to justify the term "role reversal". Lot more to be done for this to happen.

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