Do we have enough jobs in India

For a job halfway around the world

"We are the German team here, we all work for the e-bookers office in Bonn. We finish the bookings here. Flight times change, customers call, rental car bookings. Now we are two German colleagues, two new ones who have arrived, starting on Wednesday to work on. "

Annika Teller, 27 years old, comes from Bremen and has been working in Delhi for a year and a half. So far, she has not regretted the decision to come to India.

" No not at all."

While surfing the Internet, she found out about the location in Delhi.

"And since I had just finished studying tourism, I thought an international experience would be interesting, it worked out spontaneously."

Marie Blomquist worked in a travel agency in Sweden for four years. During a vacation in Goa, she discovered her love for India and decided to look for work in India.

"I wanted to see India and I thought it would be a good idea to see how it goes in an Indian office."

With extensive information material and videos about Delhi and the new workplace, tecnovate ensures that the new employees have realistic ideas right from the start. The company pays for the flight to India and rents houses in good residential areas of Delhi for the foreign workforce. Annika Teller is staying with seven colleagues.

"And everyone just has their own room with bathroom, the only thing we share is the kitchen, everything is equipped, power failure, no water, that's just part of India."

In addition to accommodation including all ancillary costs and a maid who cleans and makes the beds in the morning, the company also provides discounted meals and free transport to work. These additional benefits mean that young Europeans can afford a great deal despite what at first glance appears to be a meager salary. The starting salary for the Indian and foreign employees is 20,000 rupees per month, which corresponds to around 400 euros.

"I have a little more, position of the team leader, 600 euros a month. That is absolutely nothing, but because you hardly have to pay anything, pure pocket money, you can make ends meet. What I was able to save here with my 600 euros, I couldn't have done it in Germany. "

Annika Teller has already deducted the voluntary social insurance in Germany for 120 euros a month. The Scandinavian colleagues are also enthusiastic about the low prices. If the Swede Silvia Sethi wants to ride Delhi's modern subway, it costs only 20 cents, a visit to the cinema costs one euro and in a simple restaurant she can enjoy fragrant lamb curry with freshly baked flatbreads for two euros. With 500 euros, she belongs to the middle class here.

"We have a really nice salary here. If you convert income and expenses, we have more than twice as much in India than at home in Europe, where life is very expensive. The salary is more than enough."

In the past, companies had to dig deep into their pockets to motivate Europeans to work in India. In addition to the normal salary, there was the foreign allowance, accommodation, company car with chauffeur and free flights home. These benefits are now limited to a few executives and experts with great experience. Audrey D'Souza heads the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in Bangalore. She has been looking after German companies and workers here since the 1960s. She sees big changes.

"In contrast to the past, Germans like to come to India to work here. In the past, those who were really good at business didn't want to come to a country like India because they would have lost touch with the latest developments. That has has changed completely and so young people today are happy to come. "

Young, motivated and flexible European guest workers who work in India for around 500 euros a month are a new phenomenon. They clearly show the attractiveness of India as a business and work location in recent years. About 30,000 foreigners from the west are currently working in India. Tecnovate managing director Praschánt Sáchni raves about them.

"We had the goal of offering our services in several languages. I could easily have engaged Indians who speak German or French, but I was also interested in the cultural aspect. An Indian may not know the difference between Carnival and Oktoberfest, for a German, the matter is clear. From our point of view, the idea of ​​employing workers from Europe was very successful. "

Competition is growing in India in Eastern Europe. Why should companies from France, Germany or Austria outsource office services to India, when in Eastern Europe, on their doorstep, so to speak, they can find cheap workers who are familiar with the language and the culture of the customers?

"Ultimately, it always depends on the relationship between quality and price. When there are outstanding people from Germany working in India, German companies kill two birds with one stone. They get the people they would like to employ in their company at lower prices Costs than in Eastern Europe. Why shouldn't you buy it there? "

Praschánt Sáchni can certainly imagine employing significantly more Europeans in the future. Is it difficult to find enough suitable staff?

"It's not a problem at all! Our partners in Europe are very surprised at how well the offer to experience India has been accepted."

The young Europeans are convinced that an intensive international experience looks good on a résumé. Future HR managers will be able to read Annika Teller's résumé for 18 months in India.

"A year and a half is enough, I want to go home."

More and more Indians who have worked in Europe or the USA and have often made a career are also moving home. Experts speak of "reverse migration". This term includes on the one hand the growing number of European and American guest workers in India, on the other hand also the Indians who are increasingly returning to their homeland. Two main factors are responsible for this trend: Since September 11th, the US has tightened immigration conditions, which hinders migration. On the other hand, the boom in the Indian economy is drawing in workers.

"Young people today have at least three jobs to choose from. Companies are really keen on someone who has a bit of talent and work experience!"

Lathika Pai, an entrepreneur, grew up in Bangalore and completed her engineering degree here. She then worked in the US in the telecommunications sector for twelve years. In 2002 she returned to India. Private reasons were decisive. She wanted her two children to grow up in Indian culture and in close contact with their grandparents.

"That was the best decision we've ever made, bringing them back to live with family."

It was not only a good decision to return to India for the children, but also for my own professional career.

Lathika Pai proudly guides you through the rooms of her call center. 25-40 new employees join her every Monday. She has hired 250 new workers in the past 12 weeks. Upon her return to India, she recognized the global need for affordable services. She raises $ 4 million through venture capitalists and buys her own company. Customers of American software companies can call here if they have problems with computer programs. Lathika Pai takes on 113 employees, today over 500 work here, the offices are planned for 1,500.

"The growth was phenomenal! And therein lies the greatest danger. We are growing far too fast. Last year the growth was 400 percent. The challenge now is not to compromise on quality, otherwise we will be in five years." not here anymore."

The 38-year-old has spent her entire professional life in the United States. Although she works in her hometown today, she first had to get used to the different cultures in Indian professional life.

"Indians always want to please you, a guest as well as a business partner. This means that they promise more than they can fulfill. They may be told that a certain program will be ready in three months, even though it will be nine in the end Takes months. I've taught my people to be realistic. Better to promise less and deliver more. But it took them twelve months to understand that it's okay to say "no" once. That's a big difference in the US, where it is not considered incompetent if someone says "it does not work" or points out the risks. Another difference is that the entire call center industry is extremely young. Employees who are currently four, five Years of completing their training, i.e. at the age of 26 or 27, have to take responsibility for 50 to 100 employees. That is a great burden for these young people. "

The Indian government is making it easier for companies that develop software or provide office services abroad to grow. This industry is exempt from tax until 2010 and capital goods can be imported duty-free. According to the industry association, there were around 370,000 jobs in this area in 2003. At the end of 2006 there should be twice as many. If the current trend continues, almost one million new jobs are expected by 2009. Rosy times for college and university graduates.

"A few years ago they would have struggled to find a job and then earn maybe 2000 rupees. After 20 years as a bank clerk they would have reached 10,000 rupees. With us, the starting salary is at least 10,000 rupees, with the performance-related bonuses they come to 15,000 Rupees. Income opportunities have changed radically from those of their parents. "

IT companies such as Oracle, SAP or Cisco Systems are relocating more and more development projects to India. The international pharmaceutical companies have tasted blood too. In their Indian research centers, they can employ four to six for the money that one employee costs in Europe. Even the news agency Reuters could not resist the temptation to low wages and will soon employ 1,500 people in the new branch in Bangalore - ten percent of the entire group. There are three reasons for India, says Kris Lakschmikanth, the head hunters india recruitment agency: The country has a large pool of well-educated university graduates, patent rights are respected, and there is a slow but somewhat reliable legal system. The bottleneck of current growth lies in the right staff.

"All my customers are desperately looking for staff." If I could only get 100 men, "they say," I already have the orders! "It's a boom here, someone in Austria or Germany, where companies have to close down every day, can do that. not imagine at all. "

In the areas of fashion, health or biotechnology, Indian companies are looking for foreign employees with specific know-how from Europe or the USA. Headhunter Kris Laksmikanth recently spent ten days touring the US and Europe to recruit IT project developers for Indian companies.

"Employees at this level are paid comparable salaries in India and the USA, but the quality of life is much better in India. This time I was looking for employees who earn around $ 150,000 a year. If they earn $ 200,000 in the USA, they can neither a cook, a chauffeur, a domestic servant - but that's not a problem in India. You can live like a maharajah here. Who would want to go home again? "

Antje Heiermann doesn't want to go home anytime soon. The 27-year-old studied English and economics in Bochum. After graduation, she sends application for application to a wide variety of companies for a year.

"Since the number of rejections was too depressing, I then decided to apply abroad. Actually, I wanted to look for a permanent job in Germany, that was born out of necessity."

Eventually she found out about a job at Bosch in Bangalore. In addition to software development, Bosch also operates its largest translation agency in the world here. Product instructions are translated here into German, French, Japanese and English. Antje Heiermann is the first German in the team. Despite preparation, Antje Heiermann is not spared the initial culture shock. But the Indian employees make it easy for her to get used to it.

"The reception was super nice. From my experiences so far, I can say that I've never been welcomed so nicely anywhere. They offered to show me the city, wanted to show where you can buy German bread. It was really very nice and was very touching, the first day above all else. "

Bosch wanted to sign Antje Heiermann for a year, but she was careful and initially only agreed for six months. Now she is sure. She wants to stay for at least a year.

Back to the tecnovate call center and the employees from Germany, Sweden and Norway. Would you encourage your friends to work in India?

"Yes, definitely."

If you are thinking of working in India, you should definitely do it.