Indian companies lay off expat executives

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 28 January 2009, 04:43 Hrs   |    15 Comments
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Indian companies lay off expat executives
New Delhi: As part of cutting costs in a tough economic situation, Indian companies have started showing door to highly-paid expat executives. Most of the companies now seek people for higher positions from inside the country itself as it would be less expensive compared to hiring expats, reported The Economic Times.

K Sudarshan, Managing Director, executive search firm EMA Partners' India unit said, "Many of the expatriate executives, who have been asked to leave, are subject experts. Their value diminishes in a downturn as companies are no more expanding, and thus don't need people to guide in a new venture."

Since last few months, some companies have replaced their expat executives by Indian ones at the senior level. For instance, Aviva Life Insurance removed Bert Paterson and appointed former Citibank executive TR Ramachandran as the CEO for its Indian operation. Another Insurance firm Metlife replaced its CFO Nick Paket with an Indian hire. Aditya Birla Retail is reportedly hiring an Indian executive from a beverage company to head its supermarket chain, More, which was earlier led by Andrew Denby. Dabur Retail replaced its three expats, including CEO Peter Baker with Indians.

Expats were in big demand during the boom period of 2003-07, as Indian companies expanded rapidly and diversified into new sectors.

Most of these expatriates drew high salaries as compared to their Indian counterparts. "At least in one case, an expat CEO who was heading a sunrise foray of an Indian company was getting paid Rs 4 crore per annum, twice the amount that was being paid to his Indian counterparts," said an executive search professional, who requested not to be named.

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