Monday, July 4, 2022

India is not on expats’ list due to healthcare concerns

Reports indicate that many expatriates refused job offers from India saying they were worried about the healthcare system in the country

PRAVASISAMWAD.COM

Th Covid pandemic has turned India into a region of healthcare concerns. Reports indicate that many expatriates refused job offers from India saying they were worried about the healthcare system in the country. There were other factors, too like pollution and safety, search consultants and company executives were quoted saying. The moves come at a time when sectors like electric vehicles (EVs), battery, solar and renewable energy, and aviation, have been looking for global talent to overcome the shortage of local manpower.

Search experts say that the offer acceptance rate among overseas professionals was about 25% and it was taking almost double the time to close a senior expat job vacancy, in five-six months, compared to two-three months for a local CXO-level hire.

Suresh Raina, partner at global leadership advisory firm Heidrick & Struggles was quoted saying that “India is not in the same league as some other nations for expat preference. In fact, expats who are considering coming to India also do a lot of due diligence before they take up an offer. To improve the odds, the role has to be exceptionally rich or the compensation really attractive. Even a small country like Thailand is a more preferred destination for many than India.”

Mahindra and Tata Motors, for instance – that have global centres in Europe and the US for design and research and development (R&D) – have been appointing local talent and setting up global satellite units so that expats can travel to India whenever needed.

The aviation industry is another example. Satyendra Pandey, Managing Partner at the aviation advisory firm AT-TV said that the Indian aviation sector had witnessed exponential growth in scale and complexity over the last decade. It now faced a dearth of talent across functions which can deliver at this scale while competing with global behemoths. “Expats are able to meet the gaps,” said Pandey.

Expats do their own extensive due diligence before accepting an offer from an Indian company. This includes political risk assessment, company balance sheet analysis, corporate governance issues, board composition, culture, technology and market specific risk. Also, they consider the weather, school system and air quality

In turn, the sector offered exposure to overseas professionals in a growth market with a large tech- savvy traveller base and rapidly improving infrastructure. “What attracts expats here is the pay, level of exposure and control, the latter two being far greater than they would get in other geographies such as the Middle East,” said Pandey. The next few years belong to Asia, with India clearly poised to be a leader, said Pandey.

Even so, expats do their own extensive due diligence before accepting an offer from an Indian company. This includes political risk assessment, company balance sheet analysis, corporate governance issues, board composition, culture, technology and market specific risk. Also, they consider the weather, school system and air quality. “In the last two years there has been a lot of negative publicity about things such as the healthcare system as well,” said Pandey.

Indian companies on their part have been coming up with various flexible work models to attract expat talent. “One such model is four weeks of work from India, then fly to their home location and work from home for two weeks. Then take a week’s break with family and come back. An increasing number of Indian companies are receptive to such models where a person can spend more time with family and the family does not have to relocate to India. The cost of travel is taken care of by the company,” said Raina of Heidrick & Struggles.

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Tirthankar Ghosh
Tirthankar Ghosh is a senior journalist and presently Managing Editor, Newsline Publications. He has also been writing for well over 15 years for the New York-based Air Cargo News Flying Typers.

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