Singapore: India will soon become an important source of professionals for Southeast Asian countries but their elite group prefers staying home to work for Multi-National Corporations (MNC) on better terms.

According to the book-‘The Migration of the Indian Human Capital’- it is also becoming increasingly difficult for Southeast Asian companies to source Indian professionals from major metros due to unattractive remuneration packages when compared to wages, bonuses and incentives given by the MNCs.

As such, more and more Southeast Asian companies were seeking professionals from second and third tier India cities, albeit on cheaper terms, to fill the gap of professionals, said Dr Faizal Bin Yahya, the co-author of the book.

The Southeast Asian companies, unlike MNCs, have always considered Indian professionals as cheaper source of management expertise, he pointed out.

“But this was no longer the case as professionals emerging from India’s IITs and IIMs, have better options and MNCs were now locating to India to tap their expertise,” he said.

Top Indian professionals also preferred to work in developed economies, especially the United States and Europe.

“The next best option for them was in the Middle East and the Gulf countries where wages and re-numeration are higher than those offered by the Southeast Asian companies,” Dr Faizal said.

The book also dubbed elite professional Indians as "Global Indians" with expertise and knowledge to work for any international company anywhere in the world but dedicated and committed to remain Indians with plans to return to their home country.

Indonesia is the next best place for Indian professionals, which already have some 50,000 of them working in the country. The Indian presence in Indonesia is backed by investments by heavyweight Indian corporations, such as Aditya Birla Group, Mittal Steel and Indorama Group.

Malaysia and Thailand have 20,000 Indian professionals  each but their presence in these countries remain limited due to restrictive employment contracts and immigration terms, said Dr Faizal.