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When Steven Tyler and his Aerosmith bandmates left the stage of an arena in Bangalore, India, on June 2, 2007, they stopped to greet Accenture employee K.M. Venkatraman. "I was amazed," Venkatraman says. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime

The systems analyst won backstage passes as part of an Accenture employee benefits program. A special Web site, the "Accenture Zone," hosted online ticket sales for the event and distributed Aerosmith videos and music. At the same time, it advertised job openings at the company and offered discounted tickets to Accenture employees.

Revolving Door
All employers want motivated workers. And as anywhere, employers in India hang onto their top talent by giving out raises, bonuses and promotions. But in India's overheated labor market, companies struggle to retain the competent majority of employees.

"It's a very mobile society," says Richard Goetz, formerly associate general counsel for Ford Motor Co.'s international division and now a partner with Dykema Gossett in Detroit. "Clearly there's a revolving door, especially in the technical-university level in IT-related areas, given all the outsourcing jobs available."

Beyond amenities, however, geography can determine whether an employer can attract and retain the people it needs. Companies locate their offices in Bangalore or Hyderabad because those cities have developed large skilled work forces. But poaching abounds in such high-tech centers.

"Companies have found it difficult to retain employees in the first-tier cities, so they're looking at secondary and tertiary locations," Docksey says. "There are fewer multinationals in poorer states, such as West Bengal, Tamil Nadu or Kerala, so multinationals might find it easier to retain a work force there." A s more compa nies disperse their locations around India, development will spread, bringing attractive jobs and benefits to employees across the country.


Michael T. Burr

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