indians in the us, antal india
ETtechAn Indian employee at a US-based technology giant has cancelled his planned year-end holiday as he is insecure about his job. His company has been going through layoffs—not as bad as some of its other tech peers—but bad enough to have him very worried, especially since he is on a work visa. Meanwhile, he has been tapping all possible avenues to land a new gig, in the US or India.
Another techie on an H-1B visa laid off from a FAANG firm last week says the outlook looks bleak. Once laid off, an H-1B visa holder has 60 days to find another US job, where the new employer does the sponsorship and relevant paperwork; else the person is deported. Some of his colleagues who have posted on social media about their job losses have seen an outpouring of support and job leads. But there are no guarantees, he says.
“In this market, within that time frame, it looks very tough,” says the techie, who has been reaching out to recruitment firms for a suitable opportunity in India.
As global tech biggies including Meta, Twitter, Amazon and Salesforce go on a layoff spree, while others announce hiring freezes, the anxiety around an impending recession and worsening layoffs is getting to Indian/Indian-origin executives, especially those working out of the US.
Some—both laid off and still employed at impacted firms—are looking out for opportunities in India; while others are searching for roles in more stable companies in their current locations. A bunch of Indian recruitment and search firms told ET that the volume of calls has shot up in the past few weeks as layoffs accelerated.
Experts say while the Indian job market has also come off from its recent highs, companies here are still hiring and it is perceived as a far better bet than most other countries.
Joseph Devasia, MD at Antal India, says in the last week alone, he has had 8-10 Indians—formerly with Twitter, Stripe, Salesforce, Amazon, Lyft, among others—reach out to him. “They want to line up something here,” he says.
Indian companies are still hiring, including those in IT services where attrition is high. For instance, there’s a severe shortage of product managers here, says Devasia, citing the instance of a Singapore-based product manager from Twitter who reached out.
“There is still demand for good tech talent, both in IT and non-IT sectors. The number of offers during the peak has come down, but hiring continues,” he says.
James Agarwal, MD at BTI Executive Search, says many senior executives are now telling him that they don’t need project management or operations management roles with big teams; they are happy with hands-on tech roles. The number of such reach outs have gone up sharply in the last 7-10 days.
Other senior Indian-origin executives, many now US citizens, are increasingly looking at Indian companies operating there.
“We see extremely senior executives from the US tech world keen to work for Indian companies in business development roles based in the US,” says R Suresh, MD at Insist Consulting.
“They view Indian services companies and even the SaaS world originating out of India as next gigs to associate with,” he adds.
Several Indian execs who aspired to work abroad are now changing their mind as they feel the current environment is too risky.
BTI’s Agarwal cites the case of a senior-level executive working with a leading product-driven multinational, who was earlier insistent that he wanted a foreign job, preferably in the US. The executive has now signed up for a CXO role in Chennai.
“The company is doing good work in the product development space and there are strong career advancement opportunities. Most importantly, it’s a safer bet,” says Agarwal.


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