Rahul Gaikwad rejected a job in Dubai with a salary that very few 24-year-olds get, and joined a telecom company in Mumbai. His annual package is Rs 11 lakh less than the one offered by the foreign company in his campus interview.
“An immediate fat salary is not everything. I will grow much faster in India than elsewhere. While things are stagnant everywhere else, every sector is booming in India,” said Gaikwad, an MBA from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS).
He is part of the new generation of management graduates which views India as a far better job market than other countries. Placements for some of Mumbai’s biggest B-schools are just over and this year, for the first time, students have rejected high-paying foreign offers for Indian companies.
In JBIMS, 15 students were offered foreign placements of whom five rejected the offers. Last year, JBIMS students received 12 international offers, all of which were taken up.
At SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, of the six students offered international placements, one rejected it.
International placements come with an average pay of Rs 25 lakh per year, while Indian companies offer about Rs 12 lakh. But a generation confident about the nation’s burgeoning economy seems to be stemming the age-old ‘brain drain’.
Academicians reason that with the rest of the world in a slowdown, India is the only country with such high growth and job security.
“It was surprising to see students reject international offers. Foreign offers used to be our placement benchmarks. It is a sign of the ‘foreign bubble’ bursting and India retaining its talent,” said Dr Stephen D’Silva, faculty placement coordinator, JBIMS.
Since there are very few business school graduates and a cloudburst of companies coming, the designations and job responsibility a fresh MBA gets in India are far better than abroad, said D’Silva.
“Foreign companies usually recruit freshers as management trainees,” he added.
It is more about work exposure than money, said Professor Abbasali Ghabula, chairperson, external relations, S.P. Jain College. “The jobs are interesting, the salaries almost match up and the bonuses are far better in India. Also, if it’s about international exposure, most Indian companies send their staff for international workshops. So it has double benefit,” he said.
Amol Chaskar, for instance, refused a Rs 22 lakh-an-annum job with an established oil company in Nigeria to settle for less than half the salary with a Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company. “In the long run, India is the job market to be in. And it won’t be long before our salaries overtake the ones abroad,” said Chaskar.