India's growing economy has led to the rise of a new middle class and the return of many people who emigrated before the current boom began.
India's economy may have suffered from the global economic downturn, but according to a recent Reuters survey of economists, it is expected to grow, with domestic demand driving the rise.
The result of this growth is the rise of the new middle class who have money to spend on consumer items. Since 1991, when a raft of liberalising reforms were introduced, India's economy has grown at an average rate of 6.4%. According to a report from McKinsey Global Institute, India's middle class now numbers 50 million – and is set to rise dramatically, potentially reaching 600 million by 2025.
At the bottom end of this group are people who can afford to buy television sets, a scooter or maybe even a small car. At the top end there are a group of aspirational, brand-conscious individuals who buy foreign-made cars and can afford to go on holiday once a year.
Shopping malls, gyms, cinemas and other leisure facilities have been built to serve this growing middle class, and these have played a part in luring back Indians who had settled overseas. Many emigrated before the current boom. Today, the combination of better job opportunities and the presence of facilities they have grown used to in the West means many Indians are returning.
The Indian government doesn't keep track of returnees, but labour market analysts say a conservative estimate would be around 60,000 in the last five years. Human resources agencies say this 'brain gain' intensified in the wake of the global financial downturn as a result of layoffs in the United States and Europe.
Most importantly for the Indian government, which has long fought the 'brain drain', graduates of the country's most prestigious universities now see India as the best place in the world to base themselves. In one survey, when students from the Indian Institutes of Technology were asked to predict which country would "hold the most promise for success" in 10 years' time, 72% named India, with only 17% citing the US and just 5% Europe.
Sheena Malhotra, 21, a law student at Delhi University, sums it up like this: "Sure, I might like to go abroad for one or two years to get more experience. But India is where things are going to be happening."
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  • Hhhmm... well is it really going to help us as we are moving forward to register our name in the list of being A Capitalist Country?
  • Don't tell me this survey at iit forgot china altogether
  • Don't be surprised to see reverse brain drain ... India Calling :)