In businesses worldwide, the intense competition for talent continues. Multinationals are increasingly turning to the strategy of placing “returnees”—foreign nationals who have previously lived and worked outside of their home countries—in hard-to-fill slots in China and India. Returnees are considered far more adaptable to local cultures because they often speak the language fluently and are more familiar with cultural traditions. They are very often highly educated, with work experience in the Western world and familiarity with Western business practices. Moreover, they may be highly motivated to return to their roots out of a desire to honor family commitments, such as caring for aging parents in the homeland, or a wish to familiarize their children with ancestral surroundings and traditions.
For their part, many returnees expect that bringing their Western educations and work experience back home to China and India may result in increased pay and prospects—a move up the organization chart, so to speak. A survey conducted by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, “America’s Loss is the World’s Gain,” confirmed these great expectations; it showed that among Indians, the percentage of respondents holding senior management positions increased from 10% in the U.S. to 44% in India, and among Chinese, it increased from 9% in the U.S. to 36% in China. (more…)