Monday, August 10, 2009

Home again....Emerging market countries are luring talent back home

by Karen Coppock

“I was working in London for Reuters and was keen to come back home [Ghana] …” said Kenya’s Kiss media group’s co-founder, Patrick Quarcoo to Russell Southwood of Balancing Act News this week.

Patrick is not alone. According to AnnaLee Saxenian and her peers Vivek Wadhwa, Richard Freeman and Gary Gereffi, immigrants are increasingly looking to their home countries for opportunities. In a paper they published in March, they found that Chinese and Indian “returnees” return to their home countries for “career opportunities, family ties, and quality of life.” The dual trends of aging parents and very dynamic economies makes returning more attractive than ever….and almost half plan to stay there.

These individuals are unique in that they are comfortable in both US and developing world cultures and business environments. Many have cut their teeth at entrepreneurial start-ups in Silicon Valley and other technology hubs. They may elect to join MNCs and help them be more successful in the returnee's home country or alternatively, begin to create a new wave of local and entrepreneurial competitors for these firms. Likely they will do a combination of both, providing both a challenge and opportunity for MNCs.

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