What motivates Indian expats to return?

#1 Oct 4th, 2018, 14:24
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  • mindfully is offline
#1
I am working at an MNC and many senior executives have come back to work out of our Indian office from the US. These guys have spent between 5 and 15 years in the US. The offices are is in pretty bad cities (Gurgaon and Bangalore) and are slowly getting only worse. One of our directors travels 4 hours a day to work.

The common reason I hear are that they want their children to grow up in India. I find that rather odd. The cities are polluted beyond belief. Also because most of their children will for sure go abroad for studies later on and potentially settle there given how affluent and westernized their parents already are. Isn't it a better option of such NRIs to stay in the US?

Another reason I hear is that they come back for their parents, which I can definitely understand. I don't suppose their parents would like to move with them to the US.

Being relatively younger, I am on working on the path to living and working abroad. I think I am the first generation to feel scared to continue living in a dying choking city to make me want to move abroad. The previous generations famously went for the money primarily.

If I go abroad, will it be harder for me to accept India's urban when I come back after a few years?
#2 Oct 4th, 2018, 14:39
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Originally Posted by mindfully View Post Being relatively younger, I am on working on the path to living and working abroad. I think I am the first generation to feel scared to continue living in a dying choking city to make me want to move abroad. The previous generations famously went for the money primarily.


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#3 Oct 4th, 2018, 15:23
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I don't understand. English works fine the world's largest economy - the United States of America
#4 Oct 4th, 2018, 15:25
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My employer will happily send me to the US. It's just that I have certain issues to take care of.
#5 Oct 4th, 2018, 15:29
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What motivates Indian expats to return?

You have never yet lived abroad and you are wondering why people want to come back?

Go, do it... And then ask.

Edit... Cross posted! Looks like you have it organised already. So you will go, and find out for yourself

For a year or three years, though, although you may be aware of some ugly things, you will probably be overwhelmed by the wonder of your new country. So you won't be able to answer.
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#6 Oct 4th, 2018, 17:46
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Originally Posted by mindfully View Post I don't understand. English works fine the world's largest economy - the United States of America
I'm not so sure about that!

And as for expats wanting their children to grow up in India - if you can afford to send your child to a good school in India then go for it!
#7 Oct 4th, 2018, 22:19
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Originally Posted by mindfully View Post What motivates Indian expats to return?.....I don't understand. English works fine the world's largest economy - the United States of America
If the returnees are citizens then they get to test the waters and see how it goes and then exercise the option of packing and leaving if they don’t like it there. The non citizen returnees are obviously permanent returnees, reasons vary for each one of them.

Want to come here for clean air? Think again. Green card is a mirage now, with only 7% applicants from each nation getting the green signal each year one may have to survive on H/other visa in perpetuity. That means you are walking on water now. Folks who have been working here for years got their H1 extension applications rejected this year and were told to leave within a matter of weeks (‘not enough salary, sorry, get a Masters degree from US or get 100k salary’). Indian employer can send you here, but then you must factor in the high cost of living as well, your savings will shrink to next to nothing.
#8 Oct 4th, 2018, 22:54
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Thanks for the reply.

I did have knowledge about about the green card problem. But I don't think I would have a problem with that because I expect to be in a higher salary bracket. My friends from my company who went there are making easily more than $100k. Also if the incentive is to not get kicked out of the country, I think I would work hard enough to become a manager who would have a different green card queue.

I have had a chronic problem in life of weighing work more than anything else and I have paid dearly for it. I'd be glad if it serves some purpose
#9 Oct 4th, 2018, 23:01
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First, you might look to - http://www.r2iclubforums.com that is primarily focused on discussions of and among people of Indian diaspora who wish to return / or have returned / or have returned after returning...

Second, the way I think about it is that someone who is born in a small village and stays the entire life there does not know a whole lot of about the life outside of it and has less geographical decisions and uncertainty. As one expands out from there, one sees more, the experiences expand. I have been to 20-30 countries and often not as a tourist. Found enough things there to like and even some not so nice things about them. So, there are pluses and minuses to every location on earth.

As the life situations change (parents and self ageing, health, divorces, children, making a lot of money, losing jobs, etc.), where to live in the next phase of life becomes a decision with an expanding choice of locations, and one appreciates good and bad points of among those choices. So, some decide to return to India. To the extent that the economy is doing well, it is less of a deterrent.

Some of the considerations you mention are real. Speaking for ourselves - retiring in/returning to India hasn't been a consideration at least in part because the Himalayan region that we like is a bit too light on the healthcare and amenities and the big cities in the plains where the healthcare and amenities are located are too polluted and overrun.

But - Surya2015 has a very good point too. Not everyone finds success - and sometimes the success is short lived and a person returns to the comfort, or the prices of success is too high in the personal terms.

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