Over a decade ago Amrop and the Harvard business school first published its study titled "The International Executive" and provided pointers to global organisations on how a cadre of internationally adept executives might be developed. India is now on a path of rapid growth and we are delighted to publish another first of its kind "To be or Not to Be"; Expatriates in Indian Companies".
In this study the term Expatriate refers to a person of non-Indian origin, but working and residing in India. On the other hand the term Repatriate refers to a person of Indian origin who has returned to India for work after having spent some or most part of his professional career outside India.
This research has unique depth as conclusions and insights are drawn from a diverse group of senior executives, with their own unique personal experiences on the subject. It establishes that there an increase in willingness to look beyond India and native Indians – that goes well beyond the obvious advantage of skills and ability. But many appear less prepared to accept the wider benefits and hence experience lower value. The expatriates also appear less prepared for this adaptation which at times is complex.
The drivers of expatriate attraction themselves are not without surprise and suggest possibilities that are promising. The research has given body to debates such as the question of "who is better" . Expatriates or Repatriates. The answers challenge many past mind sets and while for many Indian organisations "Repatriates" are a preferred choice when seeking global talent, the research establishes that their fitment can be full of strife.
Best practices and suggested approaches have been put together that provide a framework for reaching a successful balance. Incorporating other research work from Amrop, the study also recommends Indian companies to build a cadre of international executives through a sustained long term approach to globalization of internal talent. In a small but relevant way, the role of the Government has been debated and parallels drawn with other countries. The key message for Indian companies being – prepare, support and enable fitment. While for expatriates, they need to focus on adaptability and demonstrate value and not simply rest on past laurels.
At many places in the study percentages have been calculated basis comments by respondents. Given the nature of this quantitative study, these percentages may not be truly generalized.
The study is gender neutral and 'she' or 'he' is used for the ease of language and will always mean both together.