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Microsoft’s brand calls to US workers eyeing India return

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The interest in Microsoft also stems from the relative stability the company promises. Moving back to India can be a complex process that requires juggling Visa, Greencard or citizenship paperwork. Do you give India a go for six months, a year or two years?

(A charming lass from The Chugh Firm was on hand to answer many of these questions, and she was peppered by the participants for some time.)

“Resourcing” yourself to India can prove financially and culturally satisfying, according to presenters at the event.

Old country, new country

Informatica, for example, opened its India office in early 2003 and now employs 120 workers there. The staffers receive lower wages than they would in Silicon Valley but get the same stock options and other perks received by employees here, including free lunches and Friday beer specials.

Employees will have to deal with a chaotic, exploding technology scene in Bangalore. The infrastructure remains backward compared to the US and the Bangalore sprawl has forced some people to accept three-hour, one-way commutes. In addition, many of them will have to work odd hours in order to join US meetings via teleconferencing. But even that is changing with some companies requiring the US staff to stay up late, if the Indian team is bigger.

Complaints about the US losing out on Indian talent returning home can, of course, be directed in part at the government. Many workers find it easier now to apply their expertise in India rather than deal with obtaining visas here and having the FBI give you a call. In addition, Indian graduates now have more than enough reason to stay at home and give the IT market a go rather than flock to the US.

Airtight’s Bhagwat pushed the audience to be aggressive and approach a return to India from the perspective of an entrepreneur. Workers should seize the opportunity now and try to start businesses or manage parts of large businesses. In ten years’ time, plenty of Indian managerial talent will exist.

The interviewees, however, seemed more enamored with the idea of taking a traditional approach and working for a giant such as Microsoft. “It’s a pretty obvious choice,” said one hopeful.

Microsoft’s reputation could prove advantageous as IT companies of all sizes increase their business in India and China. A good brand goes a long way to getting the best talent.

For the curious, the companies looking to hire Indian staff included Broadcom, Conexant, Dell, EFI, GDA, Google, Informatica, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Metta, Microsoft, Montavlo, NetApp, Symantec, Webaroo, Yahoo!, Extreme Networks, OpusSoft, Oracle, Intel and Accenture. ®

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