As the massive layoff spree continues in the US, India could look forward to some talent gains. “Back to Bharat” is slowly gaining momentum among expatriates hit by job losses who are looking for a safe haven at home. 

IBM is the latest to announce cuts, laying off 3,900 employees as it missed its annual cash target. In the last few days, Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft were some of the large players to announce layoffs. At least 80,000 Indian employees are reported to have been affected by the layoffs in the US.

Gaining ground

K Pandiarajan, Executive Chairperson of the Chennai-based CIEL HR Services, said the “Back to Bharat” trend is gaining ground in the executive placement segment. Agreeing with Pandiarajan, MS Prasadh, Head of Workforce Research & Analytics at Xpheno, a specialist staffing solutions company, said that layoffs by large global players have put their expatriate employees on the runway to look forward to opportunities back home in India.

The complexities around renewing or extending visas and entry permits are driving this movement back home. Over the last two months, Xpheno said it had observed an 18–20 per cent rise in jobseeker activity by Indian expatriate talent seeking opportunities in India.

Recruiters are receiving inbound queries via social media, while job portals are seeing a spike in applications. According to recruiters, there are as many as 65,000 accessible active Indian expatriate talent in the market looking for options with Indian employers. The size of this talent pool has increased by nearly one-third from the sub-50,000 figure a quarter ago.

The top three sectors among the active talent pool are IT services and consulting (26 per cent), Infrastructure (12 per cent) and Oil and Energy (10 per cent). As for the experience level of candidates, a 48 per cent majority are in the mid to mid-senior level with 5 - 15 years of experience.