India’s attractiveness among the expat professionals as a potential workplace has taken a major hit in the wake of recent cases of rape incidents and attacks on foreigners, a survey says.

The survey, conducted among 2,200 expat professionals, found that 72 per cent of the respondents who were keen to work in India in the first half of 2012 are now shifting their attention to countries like Philippines, Gulf/Middle East, Hong Kong and Singapore, among others.

However, the remaining 38 per cent of these respondents are still willing to work in India, said the survey conducted by

Also, the hiring of expat professionals in India is expected to decline by 15-20 per cent this year, after a rise of 18 per cent in 2012.

The recruitment of expat professionals has already declined by 37 per cent during January-March quarter 2013 from the levels seen in the first three-month period of 2012.

According to industry estimates, there are 39,000 expats working across various industries in the country at present.

The study attributed the shift in expats’ views on Indian job market on the recent cases of rape incidents and attacks on expats in the country.

The expats are worried for their safety and are no longer keen on India as a preferred working destination, while work culture and infrastructure are other major reasons for the shift, it said.

“Expats were keen to be part of the Indian workforce to not only gain first-hand experience in a global economy but also be a part of the dynamic India growth story, but now they are suffering from safety fear in India.

“The crime and continuous attack on foreigners in India is the major reason where expats are not considering India as comfortable and suitable job destination as of now,” CEO Rajesh Kumar said.

He further said India Inc is still keen to hire more expats but they are suffering from willingness of not working in India by expats.

“Expats hiring in India expected to decline by 15-20 per cent overall in this year,” he added. The survey said information technology, automobile, hospitality and manufacturing are most affected sectors.