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THEMIS: ‘Brain-gain' return of India’s high-skilled entrepreneurs

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Duration: 0:20:19 | Added: 27 Feb 2014
Malasree Neepa Acharya presents her paper '‘Brain-gain' return of India’s high-skilled entrepreneurs: Home, transformation, and power politics in the cosmopolitan global south' in Parallel session V(D) of the conference Examining Migration Dynamics

This paper investigates the impact of entrepreneurs of Indian origin as social and economic actors that are choosing to return to emerging cities in India. I ask how do entrepreneurs of Indian origin who have lived for a substantial time in the US and/or EU construct their lives upon returning to cosmopolitan cities in India and what factors affect their actions. Entrepreneurs, self-employed owners, financers and managers of their own business or enterprise, are a specific subset of high skilled migrants who take charge of their destinies. I theorize that entrepreneurs— as a unique action-oriented subset of returning elites (Heberer 1999, Drucker 1975)—create their work and home space as a reflection of their hybrid subjectivities and life experiences as cosmopolitan ‘expats.’ These elites transform physical infrastructures of home and work, and social relations among resident Indians and fellow ‘expats’ within emerging Indian ‘Global South’ (Simone 2007, Dawson 2004) cities. The impact of these transformations reconfigure the ways in which global elites move through the world—these entrepreneurs largely redefine transnational networks across periphery and centre while actively creating their own connection to cosmopolitan spaces globally.

Utilizing primary interview data and cognitive social networking ‘maps’ created by entrepreneurs that have returned to Bangalore, India, an emerging ecosystem in India in the wake of globalization, I attempt to investigate the subtext of entrepreneur respondent discussions of ‘opportunity’ and ‘innovation.’ I contend that entrepreneurs who see their return as an opportunity to create a new venture or idea reflect a new cosmopolitan global citizenry whose rootedness and creation of subjective selves within India reconfigures multinational movements and settlement patterns of high skilled elites as part of a larger way in which they move through the world—thereby retranslating transnational ties and engagements with settlement within spaces around the world.

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