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Japanese agency to scout Indians for Mideast and Africa jobs

Pasona caters to strong demand for talent in Kenya and Dubai

A factory near New Delhi operated by Motherson Sumi Systems, a Japanese-Indian auto parts joint venture. Many young Indians seek jobs in the Middle East and Africa.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Japanese staffing agency Pasona Group will match Indian workers with jobs in the Middle East and Africa, a large region popular among expatriates from the South Asian country.

Japanese companies operating in such markets as Kenya and Dubai have strong demand for Indian workers. Seeking to cater to these corporate clients, Pasona will create two divisions dedicated to the Middle East and Africa, respectively, at its Indian subsidiary.

Two Japanese and three Indian employees will be assigned to each division and will travel back and forth to cultivate demand in their target markets. Workers enlisted through the company's six branches -- including one to be built in June in Ahmedabad, in the western state of Gujarat -- will have interviews with prospective employers using Skype video calling software.

Pasona India has in the past year and a half sent eight Indian workers to Japanese trading houses and other businesses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kenya and South Africa. Through a more organized approach to those markets, the company aims to fill 100 jobs a year, according to Managing Director Yoshihisa Tani.

Many Indians, especially younger people, want to work in the Middle East or Africa. Hindu temples and shops that sell familiar food products there provide good living conditions to Indian business people, making these markets "home away from home," in the words of an official at the Kenya Investment Authority.

In 2017, India was "the country with the largest number of people living outside the country's borders" at 16.58 million, the United Nations reports, beating Mexico, Russia and China. Of that total, 9.03 million reside in the Middle East or Africa.

Trade and travel routes have linked India with the Middle East and Africa for thousands of years, and many business managers in those regions have Indian ancestry. Indians serve as middle managers or higher at many companies, local and Japanese-affiliated alike, in these markets.

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