Regional News : EA could emerge as biggest destination for India’s professionals

It’s not just the usual suspects. There are many emerging geographies too that are looking for skilled and highly skilled Indian workers.

It’s not just the usual suspects. There are many emerging geographies too that are looking for skilled and highly skilled Indian workers.

In fact, a look at the international recruitment pages show that employers from several African companies often scout for Indians in various jobs including IT, education, governance and financial services.

Nimisha J Madhvani, the high commissioner of Uganda in India, in fact feels that the eastern African countries could emerge as the next big destination for Indian professionals, especially in view of the financial services meltdown in various other parts of the world.

“The global financial crisis has thrown up new opportunities in East Africa for Indians especially in the financial services sector.

In Uganda, we have an open capital account and all visas are issued on arrival.

The country is also racially integrated and the historic ties that the country has with India helps Indians to settle in very easily,” says Ms Madhvani. Over the last seven years, there have been over 450 families from Kerala who have moved to Uganda.

“Indians who have moved here in the last couple of years are in various professions including IT, financial and other services, the energy sector and small businesses.

The fact that there are many big businesses run by people of Indian origin is also an advantage,” says Madhvani, who is herself from a business family of Indian origin.

Experts feel that the deep Indian diaspora in the region is working as an advantage in attracting people from India.
“Kenya is an example of a country that provides a lot of opportunities for skilled Indians.

Banking and financial services in that country is poised for big growth and Indian professionals could find big growth opportunities for hemselves. 

The fact that the Indian diaspora is deeply entrenched and spread across Africa and knows its way around is a big advantage for the new immigrants,” feels Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann professor at the Harvard Business School, who has specialised in research on Global Indians.
And it’s not just Africa.

There are other non-traditional destinations that are drawing Indian skills.

“There are various countries which now attract investments from India, including Indonesia, Japan and Mauritius.

In recent times, we have had requests for assistance with work permits for many different countries.

Besides, Jamaica, which is in geographic proximity to the US, and with a marginal time difference, has also emerged as a destination for outsourced and IT support work.

Companies from other countries have established operations here and recruit Indian skilled workers to render service from Jamaica to their clients in the US.

During the past two years when H-1B visas were scarce, Jamaica offered a viable option,” says Mumbai-based immigration lawyer Poorvi Chothani.

Ravi Pillai, who heads Nasser S Al Hajri Corporation - the biggest employer of Indian workers in the Gulf region - feels that there will be huge opportunities emerging in Papua New Guinea in the next couple of years for Indian workers.

“There are big infrastructure projects that are coming up in the region and we have signed contracts to recruit a large number of people.

Starting from the end of 2010, Papua New Guinea will emerge a big destination for Indian workers,” says Dr Pillai.


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