U.S. companies have been hiring workers from India for years, especially graduates of U.S. universities.
But Indian companies, as well as American firms operating in India, are now trying to convince some of them to return to India.
A job fair at the San Jose Convention Center this weekend is focused on helping companies recruit Indian workers who may in the U.S. on a visa by informing them about the professional and economic opportunities back home.
Organizers also stressed that the job fair is also open to anyone who is interested in working in India.
Among the companies involved in the job fair are: Flipkart, an Indian online shopping company; consulting firm Accenture; and Amazon.com, which runs development centers in Indian cities.
Others include: McAfee, which is now part of Intel; SmartPlay Technologies, an Indian semiconductor firm; InfoTech Enterprises, an Indian engineering design firm; Indian manufacturing firm Jindal Steel & Power; Tata Motors; San Jose-based Synapse Design; and UST Global, an IT services firm.
There are 13 companies involved in the jobs fair.
An East Coast version of this job fair held last weekend in New Jersey drew about 1,000 people, said organizers.
A pilot job fair was held last year.
"We are looking for professionals where there are gaps in the Indian market," said Sandeep Bhushan, the business head of Shine, a career site that is part of India-based HT Media, whose publications include the Hindustan Times.
Indian companies need experienced people who can step into project management roles up to senior levels, said Bhushan.
The companies are typically looking for someone with eight or more years of experience and specific domain knowledge. The workers ahould have the ability to lead large project teams and run large Web sites, said Bhushan.
"A lot of that experience is right here in America," he said.
India's private sector "is booming," said Bhushan, and though the salaries may not be on par with the U.S., the cost of living is about one third of that in this country.
India is pitched as a "sea of opportunity" in a PowerPoint presentation about the job fair, with strong GDP growth rate, rising salaries, and improving housing, healthcare and education.
That's in contrast to another slide that makes the obvious point that U.S. has "barely recovered from a downturn," with "signs that it's headed for another."
The return of Indian workers to India has been characterized as a reverse brain drain, but Rajiv Dabhadkar, founder of the National Organization for Software and Technology Professionals in India, believes that is a naive view. He said he sees a more "circular migration," where Indians will continue to come to the U.S. for jobs and experience but may be more likely to return to India than in the past, taking place.
Donna Conroy, of Bright Future Jobs, a group that has been critical of companies that offshore jobs, was upset by the efforts of U.S.-based companies to try fill jobs in India. "It lets me know that they have canceled America and the American global workforce off their list," she said.
Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov , or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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