June 2000. A leading executive search firm in Delhi gets a frantic call from a client in Bangalore: a candidate hasn't turned up for a scheduled interview. The search firm calls up his home in Delhi and is told by his parents that he is already on the flight...for the US. The search firm later discovered that the software programmer they were chasing was juggling 13 jobs.
March 2001. Twenty-six-year-old Sujit Banerjee holds an appointment letter from a US database giant. He has been holding this letter for the past two months. The company has told him to keep waiting. Payal Srinivasan received a call from her US employer a few hours before she was to board the flight, asking her to hold on. For people like Payal and Sujit, the wait may turn out to be endless. And many of their friends who made it to the US at the height of the IT boom have also see their silicon dreams crumble. Jobless in Seattle, they now look back home for help. The US slowdown can no longer be ignored.