These days when you think of high tech overseas, India is usually top of mind. And for most people, the first Indian city associated with high tech is Bangalore. But although Bangalore has historically been the "Silicon Valley" of India, says Rajul Garg, vice president of people and corporate development at GlobalLogic, other regions such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Chennai all have a substantial technology workforce.
Hyderabad is always looking for strong .Net skills because Microsoft is there and you will find a ready market for .Net skills. The city of Noiter is big for telecommunications skills.
Foreigners, especially Americans, are attractive to Indian companies because they have great language skills and a greater sensitivity to the client point of view, otherwise known as customer service skills. In addition, Garg says, they have the domain skills India needs. If, for example, a company wants to build a health club, a local programmer may not have the kind of experience to understand the business requirements of that type of enterprise.
Other skills that are a real plus at the moment are knowledge of Ruby, mobile technology, and streaming media.
Salaries range from $5,000 a year to $100,000 a year, a range much wider than Americans are used to. India has a paucity of specialized and experienced technicians and managers with domain-level experience under their belt. Thus, they command high salaries, comparable to U.S. levels.
The cost of living varies widely as well, although one can get by cheaply if needed. New Delhi is one of the most expensive cities in India along with Mumbai and Bangalore, Garg says. "The beauty of going to India is you can live like a millionaire. You can have a chauffeur, a cook, a nanny for each kid, and do all of that just as a programmer," he notes.
Americans also benefit from India's colonial past: "In a country as diverse as India, speaking English is the only way a northerner can talk to somebody in the south," Garg says.
There's a range of ways to get into India, from coming into the country with a backpack and a tourist visa to signing up with one of the big consultancies like Tata, which has a policy to regularly send its U.S. employee to India and other countries so they get a better understanding of different cultures and markets. A work permit is required, although getting one is trivial. "If you were to show up on a tourist visa and say you are looking for a job we would fix the rest," Garg says.