Wednesday, March 01, 2006

R2I - Decision

This is post#2 in my R2I series. You can access Post#1 on R2I – Dilemma here.

So, what factors go in to the decision making process for this crucial step in life? Like a true consultant, the answer is ‘it depends’. I can hear you smiling and thinking this guy is copping out, but if you think about it, it really depends on each family unit and their desires and aspirations and most importantly the fire from within. R2I is not about making SWOT analysis to come to conclusions, but about thinking through various factors and ultimately making decision based on your inner calling. Regardless of the analysis and the time put in to the decision making process, there will be surprises, both good and bad. So, it is important to have a time bound decision making process and go with your heart.

Here are some of the things seen discussed in the context of R2I. Of course, these may or may not be applicable to you. Also, the importance you give to various factors will solely depend on your family unit and it is NOT equal..

Frozen image
When R2I is discussed, people discuss it based on the country they had left behind. People talk of the golden environment they know off. This image is some what frozen in their mind and that’s the country they would want to go back. But, like anything else in life, things have changed and that applies to India as well. How much India has changed and whether that is favorable or not is all relative. One thing is certain, regardless of when one left India, it has changed (for better or worse) and one needs accept that fundamental shift.

IT Boom
Yes, it is true that there is an economic boom in India now and the IT sector is very robust. It is very realistic to expect a decent IT job and get financial compensation in India. It is a less known fact that, other sectors like pharmaceutical, automotive and tourism industries are also booming.

But, the R2I decision should not be based on the job market alone. Job front should be just one of the factors that should be taken in to account. Our careers are just one part of our life and other factors like quality of life, social network, personal space, sense of belonging etc., should be taken in to account as well.

Family – Parents
This is a frequently considered reason for many R2I decisions. Most of the first generation immigrants would have their parents back in India and would want to move back to take care of them. Once they return, who takes care of who will be a different story, but from an external reason perspective this might sound politically correct.

Family – Kids
Another popular R2I reason is that kids are starting grow under the influence of alien culture and behave differently from their parents. So parents decide to return to India, so that kids can be like them. From the kid’s perspective, this might sound hollow and they might not see it the same way. Of course, the kids will be different as they are growing up in a culture that is different that of their parents grew up with. But then again whose is the reason for that?

Sense of Belonging
Some people have a sense of insecurity and feel outsiders in their adopted country. This feeling gets exacerbated at times of job loss, personal emergencies or tragic events and major terrorist incidents. Even some normal life events like kids dating could be perceived as emergencies and can ignite the feeling R2I.

My two Cents…..
As I mentioned earlier, R2I decision should come from the heart and must be strongly internalized for it to be successful. Give allowance for issues and frictions and do not give undue importance to one factor at the expense of other aspects of your life.

Remember, you don’t need to give reasons for your R2I decision to anyone but you and your immediate family must be convinced of this major step.

Next R2I planning (Hopefully, I won’t take a month to come up with my next post.)


  1. Good info Ram. I wish more of our NRI folks see this and maybe I will also carry it on mine shortly :-)

  2. Visu,
    I am in the R2I-Dilemma stage. Hopefully soon I will come to a Decision stage soon.

    - Laks Sankaran.

  3. Ram,

    Did you prepare a checklist that you can share?


  4. Thennavan

    Good Luck.. I know it could be one of the toughest things to tackle..

    I have few more posts coming and they hopefully will answer your 'checklist' query..


  5. Ram,
    Where u in Columbus Ohio ? I think I have come to ur house and If I dig my papers up might even end up with ur old phone number. But anyway my family and I have been mentally preparing ourselves to come back and your posts are going to help us a lot.

    I would like to discuss a few things with u if you do have some time. Please let me know and we can discuss this offline.


  6. Karthik

    I used to live in Worthington area... It is quite possible that we would have met.. if you are also in CMH area..

    Sure.. send me mail and we can hook up offline..


  7. Can you please post your experience in