Outflow of talents to the US is not a bad thing for New Delhi’s IT clout

By Wang Jiamei Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/26 19:18:40

Local dwellers are seen in a rainy day in Kolkata, India on July 1, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

Some have blamed the lackluster development of India's internet industry on the country's brain drain, but this may be a false proposition.

For starters, India has had a dominant share in the global outsourcing industry for many years, with its software outsourcing sector accounting for about two-thirds of the world market. According to a report from ResearchAndMarkets.com, software accounted for 74.5 percent of India's total electronics and IT production in the 2018 financial year, and some 83 percent of the software developed in India during the year was exported.

Some may argue that despite the global popularity of India's IT outsourcing, an awkward fact is that India's tech industry has failed to produce giants like Facebook, Google or Alibaba. While IT outsourcing may be considered part of the low end of the IT industrial chain, dominating the software outsourcing game is still a great achievement, and it may still be the most suitable choice for the country to participate in the global tech industry given India's current national conditions and economic fundamentals.

It is true that waves of Indian graduates are leaving India for better jobs in Silicon Valley in the US each year and there have been concerns about keeping talent within India. But perhaps it's not such a big deal after all. While many are going abroad, there are more staying in the country and India has a remarkably big talent pool.

More importantly, as Silicon Valley's multinationals are increasingly inclined to hire Indian people as executives, we have seen no shortage of Indian-born CEOs at the helm of top US companies over the years. 

The success achieved by Indian-born chief executives like Sundar Pichai of Google, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, and Shantanu Narayen of Adobe in Silicon Valley has greatly promoted the recognition of the Indian IT community by Western mainstream society.

Besides, the successful entry of Indians into the senior management level at Western multinationals has contributed to the intimate relationship between India and Silicon Valley in terms of IT service cooperation to a certain extent. The senior management network in the West naturally brings more economic and technological opportunities for India's domestic IT businesses.

Moreover, in Silicon Valley, many of the Indian diaspora are entrepreneurs and have established their own businesses. If in the future the Indian government can improve the national conditions and offer favorable terms for entrepreneurship, many of the start-ups might go back to India, taking with them the latest technologies and capital. This would give a big lift to the Indian IT sector.

Finally, India's elite diaspora have contributed substantially to the next generation in India. For example, early in 1992, a group of successful Indian-American entrepreneurs, executives and senior professionals founded the Indus Entrepreneurs to help and foster the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. 

There are currently 15,000 members of the organization across 14 countries, and it has become an influential platform for promoting IT development in India.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn

Posted in: INSIDER'S EYE

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