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Re: Semi OT: Thoughts on relocating to India

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A typical offer in India is of a salary of $300 per month to CAD tech. at
starting level. The competition is too fierce. Vish's advise is sound that
you should not give it much mind if you are not direly compelled by your

|         |           G Vishwanath    |
|         |           <gvshwnth@yahoo.|
|         |           com>            |
|         |                           |
|         |           12/01/2004 12:52|
|         |           PM              |
|         |           Please respond  |
|         |           to seaint       |
|         |                           |
  |                                                                                                               |
  |        To:      seaint(--nospam--at)                                                                             |
  |        cc:                                                                                                    |
  |        Subject: Semi OT: Thoughts on relocating to India                                                      |


This is semi off-topic.
Skip reading if not interested in what may appear to
some of you as rambling.

A list member on steel-detail(--nospam--at), where I
am a more active member, wrote to me asking if I could
help with information and suggestions.
The list member's colleague, from India who worked as
a shop bench mechanic in USA was considering returning
to India and shifting to CAD.
I was asked if I could help with information and
I have replied, giving my thoughts and opinions.
I think this could be of wider interest and have taken
the liberty of posting an edited copy of my reply.
I have replaced all names with *****  as it was a
private mail to me.

G Vishwanath
Aka Vish

Hi *******,

There are many things to be considered here before we
can give him a helpful answer.

Moving from being a shop bench mechanic in USA to CAD
in India, is not common but neither is it impossible.
It all depends on his abilities, motivation and

What is his age?
What education has he received?
How long has he been in the USA?
Is he a North Indian (as his name suggests?) and where
exactly is his home in India?

Obviously he can't claim any experience in CAD.
As regards his experience on the shop floor, there is
scope for people with his experience only in selected
parts of India, and that too in selected industries.
Is he particular about relocating only to his home
town or state or is he willing to relocate anywhere in

Is his experience limited to Structural Steel
Fabrication or has he been exposed to equipment,
piping, pressure vessels, boilers etc?
Structural Steel fabrication has very limited scope
here. Most of the construction in India uses
Reinforced Concrete.

Why does he want to come back to India?
Shop bench mechanics in India would be willing to give
an arm and a leg to be able to migrate to USA.
Under the present visa rules it is almost impossible
for them to migrate. They make do with Dubai or some
other West Asian country.

The quality of life that a shop bench mechanic leads
in India will be nowhere near the quality he must be
enjoying in the States.
In the social hierarchy (that sadly still exists) he
will be moving a few rungs lower.
Can he adjust to greatly reduced income?
Tell him the income is likely be four to five times
less than what he is probably earning there.
(Of course the cost of living is also four to five
times less so that evens out)
But if he saves 20 percent of his earnings there, and
repatriates them to India, he will be better off when
he finally calls it quits and returns home to enjoy a
really peaceful retired life.
Looking for work here will not be necessary at all.

If he is still too young and wants to work in India,
he must accept the fact that the workplace facilities
he has enjoyed in USA may not  be available here.
He may not be able to mingle freely with his Indian
colleagues, particularly if he settles in a state far
away from his home state. Linguistic, religious, and
cultural diversity in India fascinates the tourists
and academicians but can be a nuisance for the common
citizen here. He must have the proper temperament if
he wishes be happy living with people who don't speak
his language, eat and dress differently.

The long sojourn in the States and his exposure to
your customs will set him apart from the rest. He  may
have readjustment problems after returning home. His
colleagues may be jealous of him and try to put him
down. Any ideas he may have to improve productivity
may be cold shouldered with cynical replies like "All
that is okay in USA. This is India. That wont work
here. When in India, do as Indians do etc. etc."
He may find himself taking orders from people who may
not know the job as well as he does.

Let him be aware of these possibilities before he
decides. I am not suggesting that politics at
workplaces is unique to India. I am sure USA has
enough of it too. But I would rather have politics at
USA with compensation in US dollars than politics in
India with one fifth the compensation and that too in

People like him are many.
They are to be found in all strata of society.
After several years in a foreign land, as old age
approaches, the old emotional, cultural and family
bonds which they did not care about while they were
busy enjoying good health and earning good money,
suddenly become more important in their lives and they
yearn to be back home.

They take this decision to come back on emotional

After getting back here, many of them realize their
After the initial bon homie and mutual back slapping
and warm hugs and the heady feelings of being back on
home soil,  slowly, as they settle down to their new
routine, they will see and feel the difference.
The long absence from home would have taken its toll.
Close relatives become distant relatives.
While their generation may be able to readjust, the
next generation, the children born in USA will not
find it so easy.

The living conditions here, the hot and humid weather,
old orthodox social customs, family, caste, community,
and regional  politics, the bad roads, poor
infrastructure, compared to USA, all combine to make
them regret their decision to come back home and those
who can do so, quietly pack up and return to USA or

Do tell **** all this.

Sorry for sounding so negative about this but I wish
to be honest in communicating my thoughts and
At the moment I too am unable to give him a
satisfactory answer to the specific question he has

May be he too has considered all that I have listed
above and he is thinking of returning home, due to
compulsions that I am not aware of.
You are welcome to give him my e mail address.
You are also welcome to forward this mail to him.

Let him write to me and send me his resume and answer
the questions that I have raised.
I will try to give him correct information.

Oddly, just last year, around the same time, a senior
structural engineer from India, working in the USA and
a citizen of the USA wrote to me to explore
possibilities of returning home and settling down
here. He even met me and we had a long and interesting
talk. He attended a number of interviews here.
He is now back in the USA. His bout of homesickness
ended and I expect it will be quite a while before
this ailment afflicts him again.



Your mail and my reply could be of interest to more
people on the list.
I am taking the liberty of reproducing my mail with a
short preface giving the background, and posting it on
the list.
I am of course not mentionling any names since yours
was a private mail to me.
But the issue is quite "public" and well worth
discussing in a wider circle.
Regards once again

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