ICSI & NRI Network

Important Web Link: Ministry of External Affairs — Overseas Indian Affairs


ICSI's NRI Network represents a cross section of NRI professionals, experts, entrepreneurs, visionaries, businessmen, scholars, educationists, writers, authors, besides trade commercial, educational and cultural organisations in countries where they are settled and the domestic corporate to serve as conduit between them for promoting the Service Industry and the overall cross cultural relations. In its NRI Network, ICSI has undertaken initiatives to bring the Indian Diaspora to contribute to the Indian economy by way of greater involvement in strengthening its financial muscle by bringing to fore their readiness to contribute to their soil.

Mission & Objective(s)

  • Serving as Asia's first Centre for Research and Consultancy for Service Industry Promotion.
  • To work for establishing a Deemed University of Service Industry.
  • To work as NRI Club for bringing NRIs, Domestic Corporate and others on a common platform for sharing their views, expertise and resources.
  • To act as Facilitation Centre for NRIs.
  • To link Non-Resident Indians, particularly of Punjabi origin with their motherland culturally and emotionally.
  • To harness the rich financial, scientific, technical and entrepreneurial resources of the NRIs for developing Service Industry related projects and infrastructure in Northern India for employment generation, having a multiplier effect on the economy.
  • To help Indian Corporate set up Service Industry related projects overseas.
  • To assist/encourage joint research in Service Industry segments by scholars, academicians, HR practitioners and others in India and overseas.
  • To provide consultancy and also prepare Project/Feasibility Reports for setting up Service Industry related ventures in Northern India.
  • To organize annual Conventions/Conferences/Conclaves of NRIs and Domestic Corporate for promoting mutual business & social interests.
  • To promote NRI visits to Northern India and help offer customized packages especially for religious and pilgrimage sites.

NRI Network

India has the second largest Diaspora in the world. The total population of Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) is estimated to be 28 million as on January 2015, as per Ministry of Overseas and Indian Affairs (MOIA) data.

Today, Overseas Indians are in virtually every country and region of the world. The Overseas Indians have knowledge and resources to reinforce India’s effort in niche areas, said Mr M Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India, while addressing the valedictory session to confer the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards, on occasion of the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

The Foreign Policy Magazine in its analysis on a vast number of parameters has rated India as the No 1 destination in the world. Frost & Sullivan, a US-based agency has on number of indicators selected the ‘Make in India’ initiative as the best initiative to drive manufacturing.

The FDI inflow during the financial year 2014-15 was spread across the sectors evidencing the fact of positive eco-system of investment opportunities which India is now providing. NRI’s have invested US$ 4,684.25 million by way of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in India during the period April 2000 to June 2015, according to data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

The stock of NRI deposits in India has risen substantially recently, it has increased from US$ 47.9 billion in March 2010 to US$ 103.8 billion in March 2014, according to Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

NRI remittances are an integral part of Indian economy. It is received principally from those who are short-term residents abroad and need to sustain families back home, constitute an important element in our balance of payments. They also help propel in varying degrees economic activity in their home states. The more affluent segments of the NRI groups are increasingly a source of investments in diverse fields including information technology, healthcare, energy, mineral resources, retail, hospitality, gems & jewellery etc. The continuing liberalisation of the Indian economy, and the most recent policy initiatives taken or proposed by the Government, are expected to galvanise the involvement of the Overseas Indians in the many fields of economic activity.


  • The Government of India has recently relaxed the FDI policy norms for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). Under this, the non-repatriable investments made by the Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) and NRIs will be treated as domestic investments and will not be subject to FDI caps.
  • The Government of India has also raised FDI cap in insurance from 26 per cent to 49 per cent through a notification issued by the DIPP. The limit is composite in nature as it includes foreign investment in the form of foreign portfolio investment, foreign institutional investment, qualified foreign investment, foreign venture capital investment, and non-resident investment.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has raised the threshold for foreign direct investment requiring its approval to Rs 3,000 crore (US$ 469 million) from the present Rs 1,200 crore (US$ 187 million). This decision is expected to expedite the approval process and result in increased foreign investment inflow.
  • The definition of NRI was expanded to include OCI cardholders as well as PIO cardholders. NRIs investment under Schedule 4 of FEMA (Transfer or Issue of Security by Persons Resident Outside India) Regulations will be deemed to be domestic investment made by residents, thereby giving flexibility to NRIs to invest in India, according to a press release.
  • Foreign Trade Policy & Procedure
  • Welfare Schemes for Overseas Indians

NRI Contribution to Indian Economy

The Indian Diaspora is a generic term to describe the people who migrated from territories that are currently within the borders of the Republic of India. It also refers to their descendants. The Diaspora is currently estimated to number over twenty million composed of "NRIs" (Indian citizens not residing in India) and "PIOs" (Persons of Indian Origin who have acquired the citizenship of some other country). The Diaspora covers practically every part of the world. It numbers more than a million each in eleven countries, while as many as twenty-two countries have concentrations of at least a hundred thousand ethnic Indians.

The NRI and PIO population across the world is estimated at over 30 million. As per a UNDP's 2010 report, after Overseas Chinese, India has the largest diaspora in the world, estimated at 25 million, besides being one of the largest "sending" nations in Asia, with an emigration rate of 0.8% out of which 72% work in other Asian countries. Out of these 25 million, about 12 million are PIOs and the remaining are NRI’s.

The Indian Diaspora falls into three categories:

  • The first category is composed of the indentured labour voluntarily or forcefully taken during the early British era as estate labour to faraway colonies. Many perished on the overcrowded and under-stored ships to Fiji, Trinidad, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka etc. Those who survived in the colonies and stayed back, became a part of the host country, and in the absence of communication lost much of their cultural traits. They had to struggle hard to reach the top. The early Canadian emigrants had a similar arduous life. What, however, differentiated them was their enlightened nationalism and their resultant role in India's Freedom Struggle.
  • In the second category, are those who had settled in British colonies, mostly the third world, as professionals or to do petty business.
  • The third category of immigrants is made up of the third generation migration simultaneously to the petro-rich Gulf and prosperous states like the USA and Canada.

The remittances from USA by the Indians alone was 69 billion $ in 2012 as against 60 billion $ by the Chinese. This is depicted as under.

Migration to these countries was strictly on the basis of time bound work permits. Thus, remittances from the gulf area are substantial and more or less constant. Meanwhile, in countries such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, Indians have made their presence visibly felt through their professions. The Indian Diaspora has received universal recognition for its intellectual contributions, entrepreneurial acumen and enterprise.

For example, in the US of America, the Indian Diaspora comprises less than 0.5 % of the population but accounts for well over 5% of the scientists, engineers and software specialists. The wealth generated by the Indian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley is around $ 250 billion, more than half of India’s GDP. In fact, their astounding creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, especially in the knowledge-based industry, has brought them wealth dwarfing the American dream. Today, the 20-million strong Diaspora is looked upon as the vibrant, new face of India that could leverage the country's economic and social growth.

As per the estimates of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, the number of NRI’s is now 22 million, of which 50% constitutes the first generation immigrants from India and their immediate families. According to another estimate, there are 25 million NRI’s and their number is growing rapidly. (NRI’s need for a pro-active policy, The Tribune, Chandigarh).

NRI’s comprise of just 2 per cent of India’s population but their annual income of $160 billion ( Rs 7,84, 000 crore) is comparative to one third of India's national income and 35 per cent of the country's GDP. Amazingly, however, we are still far behind China, whose 50 million Chinese Diaspora has an annual income of $ 700 billion equivalent to 68 per cent to the country’s GDP. The per capita income of a Chinese overseas is $14,000. An overseas Chinese has a PCI (Per Capita Income) which is 17 times higher than the PCI of a Chinese while an NRI’s per capita income is 18 times higher than the PCI of an Indian. India could well learn a lesson from China where over 70 per cent of the total FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) comes from the non-resident Chinese.(Source: India Today, January 13, 2003)

ICSI has chalked out an ambitious agenda, including setting up its chapters in Singapore and Thailand. It plans to organize bankers and insurers forums for financing infrastructure projects in North India. Also, it would strengthen the role of ICT in Service Industry, especially in the domains of Media & Entertainment, Cinematic Tourism, Urban development, Housing & Real Estate. The objective of these forums would be to bring NRI resources, expertise, entrepreneurial acumen, FDI, FII, and venture capital to India. This would bring development and prosperity to the country and strengthen the cultural and emotional bond of the NRIs with the land of their forefathers.