India today offers better economic opportunities than the US, say seven out of 10 US-returned Indian entrepreneurs, suggesting a dramatic generational shift with consequences for both countries.
In a study by three top American universities, 72% of Indians who have returned from the US to set up companies at home in recent years said the “opportunities to start their own businesses were better or much better” here.
Faster professional growth (54%), a better quality of life (56%) and the same or better professional recognition (64%) are the other key draws.
“What was once a ‘brain drain’ that worked for the US economy is now reversed, to the long-term benefit of India and China,” says the study by researchers at the University of California Berkeley, Harvard and Duke universities.
The researchers, led by Berkeley visiting professor and entrepreneurship researcher Vivek Wadhwa, evaluated responses of 153 Indian entrepreneurs who had founded their companies in India, managed them for at least a year and spent at least one year in the US as a student or worker.
The study also found similar results for Chinese entrepreneurs.
Earlier studies established that immigrants had founded over half (54%) of all start-ups between 1995 and 2005 in Silicon Valley.
But the new findings suggest that India and China may have the edge in creating the next Silicon Valley.