The recent appointment of Parag Agrawal as the CEO of famous social media company Twitter has again proved the growing dominance of India-born talents across the globe. Parag Agrawal was born in India; he studied and grew up in India before leaving for the United States. But he is not the first executive running a global organization born and grown in India. The list already includes Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Sundar Pichai of Google, Shantanu Narayan of Adobe, Arvind Krishna of IBM, Rangarajan Raghuram of VMware, Jayshree Ullal of Arista Network, Ajaypal Singh Bagga of MasterCard, and many more to the list. Moreover, 35 percent of employees at NASA, a world-renowned US aeronautics and space body, and a total of about 38% of doctors in the United States are Indians. The US is an example only; usually, Canada, the UK, and other developed countries have a similar trend of Indian migrants. The efficiency of Indian talent has been proved and felicitated everywhere, and hence Indians are designated with prominent positions in significant Global organizations.
It sounds like an outstanding achievement, but after detailed analysis, it is the failure of our country that we are not able to hold such talents with us. Of course, every time an Indian achieves something outside of the country, we feel proud. But later, we discussed brain drain for sure. First-time brain drain was broadly discussed in the late sixties when Dr. Hargobind Khorana won the Nobel prize. Several India-born intellectuals have won the Nobel Awards after that. But, contrary to that, only one Indian citizen Mother Teressa has won The Nobel Award for the country after the late sixties. Could we not win all those Nobel Awards if our scholars had received a better environment and facilities here in the country itself? Similarly, our talent is going outside but are we attracting talents from other countries in the same ratio?
Unfortunately, we cannot even accommodate and manage reverse brain drain properly. Reverse brain drain was observed after 2000, which can be attributed to developing superior techno-based ecosystem, dot com, and digital boom. The Telecom boom enabled better internet and phone connectivity, and people started coming back, and they wanted to work honestly for the development. As a result, we saw a sudden surge in the IT offshore business and BPO industries. But after 2015, brain drain is again on the rise and continuously increasing.
According to reports, more than 50 percent of the top rank holders in class 10th and 12th exams between 1996 to 2015 have earlier left for higher studies and later settled in overseas countries. There is a particular belief that the present Indian education system is inappropriate and cannot bestow world-class education: additionally, Indian course material and syllabus lack creative, practical, and updated content. In India, limited students get an opportunity to study in world-class institutions like IITs, IIMs, NITs, AIIMS, XLRI, etc. The Indian government provides many aids and monetary support to maintain the standard of these institutions. But again, most professionals migrate to developed countries after completing courses from such institutions. Apparently, our best talent is emigrating to developed countries for better facilities and remuneration for their skills. On the other hand, if such professionals can stay in our country, they can make India self-reliant with the overall development, talent, and intellect.
More than six lakh Indians have surrendered their passports to accept permanent citizenship of other countries in the last five years. Until September 2021, 1.1 lakh people have taken the permanent resident status of other countries. The number of people leaving the country has not decreased even during the Corona period; moreover, citizenship inquiries for other countries have increased significantly.
The desire for more money and success is the main reason for brain drain. The newly wealthy class does not find life attractive in India once they get out of the country. Another appealing reason for migration is the social safety net provided by the welfare states. A welfare state provides basic needs like education and healthcare either free or at an affordable price. In recent years, millennials have left India as they want to live freely without rigid social rescripts. According to reports, many billionaires have chosen other countries citing better business and life. However, most Indian industrialists do not consider India an ideal option for business. Bureaucrats, businesspeople, and other wealthy people of India have also been sending their children abroad for higher education for a long time, most of whom get the green card and permanent resident status. The growing population, declining per capita wealth, unhealthy environment, and slow social changes are cited as the main reasons.
Our country’s political and economic scenario also does not attract superior professionals. If a distinguished professional wants to work in the country, he does not get the necessary regulatory, financial and socio-economical support. The country’s federal structure focuses more on determinants like caste, religion, character, community, etc. than professionals’ talent. As a result, talented professionals move to other countries, and professionals with mediocre talent remain inside the country. Entrepreneurship, industry, medicine, science, and business domains are not considered popular professions in our country. People involved in politics, film, and cricket easily make headlines, while no one cares for those who work for actual development. Bureaucrats also encourage brain drain by delaying simple work and not giving the right platform and respect for the talent.
India is a fast-growing economy with abundant resources, skilled human resources, and political stability. India is developing as a significant market for all the world’s largest companies. The number of start-up unicorns is at an all-time high, with 42 out of 79 Unicorns coming into existence in 2021 only. The government of India should make necessary arrangements to ensure a better quality of life, outstanding employment opportunities, favorable social structure, financial and social security, development, gender equality, and freedom in actual means. The Government of India should take this matter seriously to prevent brain drain; otherwise, we will continue celebrating the upliftment of other countries with the significant contributions of our people.
Guest author Prabhat Sinha is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of global IT MNC Intelligenz IT. He is an Amazon Bestseller author, entrepreneur, and international speaker. By education, Sinha holds MBA and LLB degrees from prestigious universities. He is an active columnist and writes on issues related to IT, commerce, entrepreneurship, international business, innovation and productivity.