Oct 17, 2009

Visiting Scholar Vivek Wadhwa Warns About a "Reverse Brain Drain"

From The Washington Post

Beware The Reverse Brain Drain To India And China

By Vivek Wadhwa

Editor's note: This is a guest post by Vivek Wadhwa, an entrepreneur turned academic. He is a Visiting Scholar at [the School of Information at] UC Berkeley, Senior Research Associate at Harvard Law School and Executive in Residence at Duke University.

I spent Columbus Day in Sunnyvale, fittingly, meeting with a roomful of new arrivals. Well, relatively new. They were Indians living in Silicon Valley. The event was organized by the Think India Foundation, a think-tank that seeks to solve problems which Indians face. When introducing the topic of skilled immigration, the discussion moderator, Sand Hill Group founder M.R. Rangaswami asked the obvious question. How many planned to return to India? I was shocked to see more than three-quarters of the audience raise their hands.

Even Rangaswami was taken back. He lived in a different Silicon Valley, from a time when Indians flocked to the U.S. and rapidly populated the programming (and later executive) ranks of the top software companies in California. But the generational difference between older Indians who have made it in the Valley and the younger group in the room was striking. The present reality is this. Large numbers of the Valley?s top young guns (and some older bulls, as well) are seeing opportunities in other countries and are returning home. It isn?t just the Indians. Ask any VC who does business in China, and they?ll tell you about the tens of thousands who have already returned to cities like Shanghai and Beijing. The VC?s are following the talent. And this is bringing a new vitality to R&D in China and India....


Last updated:

October 4, 2016