From the 1960s through to the turn of the century, the sons & daughters of well-educated middle class Indians made a dash for America because their parents held down respectable but poorly paid jobs in India and the next gen wanted to live a better life in the USA. Over the last decade, the progeny of affluent, well-connected Indians – the sons & daughters of business owners, CEOs, financiers, management consultants, etc – are flocking to America in droves. In fact, amongst our client base we have noticed, the more affluent the parents, the greater the likelihood of the kids seeking to build a life in the West. Given the booming job market in India for techies, financial analysts, consultants, etc what is driving the latest generation to build a life in America?
This perceptive piece in The Print talks about the refreshed, new & improved version of the American dream as sold by Indian influencers to Indian youngsters: “As Sai Shethabhish Naidu Palla packed his hopes into a suitcase to move from Hyderabad to California, he knew he could count on one person to help him stateside — an influencer named Yudi J.
Just like Palla, the American Dream is still alive for thousands of Indians. But the messenger has changed — it’s no longer stories from faraway relatives or Bollywood films, social media influencers are the ones driving the ‘Let’s go to the US’ bandwagon. Indian influencers like Yudi have inadvertently stepped into a gap they didn’t even realise existed and are creating content centred around moving and living abroad in Western countries. From lifestyle to higher education to immigration advice, their content is fuelling aspirations and expectations about living in a foreign country.
“Based on the comments I receive, my followers are definitely interested in the kind of life I live in California,” said influencer Aaliyah Kashyap. “Whether they find it aspirational or not, I think seeing a real perspective of what life is like as an Indian abroad is interesting.”
The path to the US today is paved with uncertainty, money and high expectations. Education and immigration agencies — along with stories from the diaspora — are usually the first introduction young Indians have to the logistical issue of moving and living abroad. But now, social media content is providing a concrete base for Indians to plan their journey overseas. Whether realistic or aspirational, this content has clearly struck a chord.
“Yudi gave me a blueprint on what my efforts should be like from starting to end,” said 24-year-old Palla, who attended California State University and now works at Google in the Bay Area. “Watching his content made me feel confident and comfortable.””
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