The impact of the Indian expat

NRIs or non-resident Indians, many of whom had amassed great wealth, used to be called 'not required Indian' by some less than sympathetic Indians back home. However, times have moved on since the days when the millions of overseas Indians were viewed with such hostility.

by Newsweek

This is because the overseas money as well as the talent is returning home, providing a significant boost to India's economy and helping to support its aspirations to compete with China as the world's strongest emerging market.

Last year, Indians abroad contributed $22 billion in remittances and deposited $32 billion in to the country's banks, amounting to 23% of India's foreign-exchange reserves. The latter trend helps to protect the Rupee and keep inflation down. Also, the Indian disapora - largely consisting of professionals such as doctors, lawyers, scientists and engineers - has started to make big investments in India.

The government, realising the opportunities it has to get investment money from the well-off expats, has looked for ways to strengthen ties with them (for instance, Non-Resident Indian Days, where Ministers seek investment).

Some big Indian entrepreneurs such as Gururaj (Desh) Deshpande, founder of Sycamore Networks, have started making a significant difference to the country's fortunes. Deshpande was coach and investor to Sanjay Nayak, who has taken India's first homegrown telecom equipment company Tejas Networks to the second position in the market in six years.

Hotmail founder Sabeer Bhatia is planning a $2 billion infrastructure project in Haryana, which is expected to become India's Silicon Valley, and Lakshmi Mittal is investing $9 billion in a steel plant in the eastern state of Jharkhand.

India's Secret Weapon
By Jason Overdorf
Newsweek 13 November 2006
Review by Morice Mendoza

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