I am heading out of home in a couple of hours from now but I thought I will complete the post that I started to write last week, and never came back to it. I have some interesting ideas to blog about in the coming days but that will have to wait until I catch up on the more important things.
A couple of days back, somebody from Hindustan Times contacted me to find out if I would be interested in contributing to a story she was doing on returning Indians who want to do their ‘payback bit’. I told her that the reason for my returning was definitely not to pay back the country (not to say that I am against the idea – but, quite honestly and not to take any credit, that was not the main intent) but was more to cash on the opportunity that currently exists in India. Realistically speaking – I am paying back the country by bringing down my learnings and best practices from the US and using that in bringing foreign currency to India, but that’s really incidental and not intentional.
This got me thinking – again – about the major reasons why somebody returns (or shoud return) back to India. Having stayed both in the US and then back in India – I think I am in a decent situation to comment on it.
- Indian Opportunity and Global Citizenship: I think that in the competitive world that we all live in currently, it is rather naive to confine self to a nation’s border. One has to be ready to travel, stay at a particular country for a few years / month – according to the needs of the business / industry, a country’s economy growth and his / her ambitions. We all have to start believing in the concept of ‘Global citizenship’ and by that logic, India is a far more lucrative option for most industries – given that our GDP is growing by 8.5% every year which is higher than most other countries (with the important exception of China). And the opportunity is not only because of the outsourcing boom but also because that more and more VCs and big companies have realized the role of India and are willing to pump in more and more money.
- Closer to Home: Agreed that this is one of the biggest plus. It’s always far more comfortable to stay with family because it provides a lot of different kind of support. Even if you are not staying with your family – you know that it’s much easier for your family to come meet you or for you to meet them – without thinking too much about the international travel rules, visas, etc.
- Things have improved and it can only further improve: This has been said and talked about in numerous blogs, articles and the fact is that things have been continuously improving in India and there is no looking back. There is better infrastructure, better malls and restaurants, more foreign brands, higher salaries, more confident people,etc. In general, there is a lot of positive energy amongst the people – which makes the place all the more lively.
- Life is more eventful: If you are in India – you can be sure of one thing that you will never be bored. Just switch on the TV, pick up a newspaper and you will see all kinds of events happening (positive and negative) and a lot of events will be those which you will be able to connect with. It’s because they have a history and the history connects you with your childhood. So, if there is a protest because of the reservations for a certain section of the society, you also notice a new fly-over opening up making traffic and driving little less painful than before. Not to say that it’s not eventful elsewhere but the events in India makes more sense to Indians because of the factors outlined above.
- More satisfaction on serving the country: Having said all that I said above – when you see that what you do things that brings happiness in fellow countrymen, you feel so much nicer. Seeing others getting happier because of some of your actions always gives satisfaction but if you know that you can easily do things for somebody needier gives a lot more satisfaction.
So – yes – I am selfish enough to say that I came back to India because it is a more opportune place to be in but I am honest enough to say that my actions does pay back country in some way, even if it is indirect and not intentional.