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July 25, 2004

New York Times profiles Indian returnees

The New York Times has published an interesting article featuring several professionals of Indian origin who quit successful careers abroad and returned to India. As the article indicates, several of the returnees are venturing beyond their lives in "gated colonies" and making a positive change to their wider social environment.

Here's one from the many examples in the article:

A radiologist, Dr. Kalyanpur had resigned himself to a significant pay drop upon his return. Then he proved to Yale that he could accurately read CT scans and other images transmitted via broadband to India. He began working for them from afar before starting his own business, Teleradiology Solutions Inc., in 2002.

He spends his days reading images for the emergency room nightshifts of about 40 American hospitals, compensating for the shortfall of nighttime radiologists in the United States, and being compensated at near-American salary levels. His partner, like him, is American-trained; at least two more Indian-born radiologists are moving back from the United States to work with them.

"India always suffered from the cream of its medical community migrating overseas," he said. "Now there is the possibility to go back."

India changed in the time Dr. Kalyanpur, 39, was away. Where it once took a year to get a phone connection, it may now take a day.

But he changed as well. He and his wife gravitated to Bangalore, where neither of them had ever lived, in part for the cosmopolitanism in its pubs and cultural life. Regent Place drew them because many European expatriates also live there.

"It makes the transition easier," he said.

On his return, India's poverty loomed up at him, and he and his wife grapple with how to deal with it. They raised money to put a playground in the government school in the village across from their housing complex, and are doing the same for another school nearby.

It is a small attempt to bridge India's great and growing gulf. On a Saturday, children with want visible in thin faces, in bare feet and tattered uniforms, scaled the swing set bought by the returnees, whose own children played across the street inside Regent Place.


Click Here to read the full article.