TECH TALK: Dear NRI: Alternatives and Next Steps

Dear Non-Resident Indian,

It is time for you to ask themselves a basic question: what do I do with my life? The answer to that can help guide the decision to return to India or not.

Much of the world is stuck in a no-growth or slow-growth zone. History and the excesses of the recent past have caught up with the US, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Contrast that with the growth opportunities that are being seen for India and China. Where would you be rather be for the next decade? That is the fundamental question NRIs need to ask themselves. It is in this context that a return to India needs to viewed. Simply put, life in these developed markets is going to be more of the same for the most part of the next few years. Life in India is going to be a roller-coaster ride, but one which seeks out higher-levels with each curve. Take your pick.

There is a need to think through the alternatives that are there. The easiest decision is to not make one and let things go along as they are. The N+1 Syndrome just one more year will ensure the decision never gets made. The tougher decision is to pack ones bags and return back. It is a very difficult decision to make because now, India is the foreign land! When you left India, there were few cares and commitments. Now there are many. The decision is not an easy one.

Consider the alternatives carefully. You know your business and the industry you are working in. How will life be in the next 3-5 years? What are the opportunities? On the personal front, what does your family want to do? Are you willing to accept a disruptive innovation in your life or would you prefer maintaining the status quo and hoping for the best?

If you do decide to consider a return to India, here are a few suggestions. Take time off from work for 4-6 weeks and come and visit India first. Travel around, meet people, meet prospective employers. If you are becoming an entrepreneur, then meet others in the same space. See your yourself the change that is happening around India. Think about where you want to live. Take a flight on Jet Airways and see the difference. Book a train ticket online yes, the largest eCommerce site in Asia is now the Indian Railways! Travel on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Talk to others who have come back. The decision to move is a game of mental chess only, you are playing against yourself.

I am not trying to give a rosy picture just one which is realistic, or maybe more optimistic (because I am one). One can of course talk about the things that are wrong in India and there are plenty. Water shortages, poor infrastructure, periodic power cuts, and so on. If that is the attitude, then India is not for you. However, if you are willing to inject a disruptive innovation in your own life and tear up the green card (or the equivalent permanent residency certificate of another country), then India will more when welcome you with open arms.


Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.