With over 1.3 billion people, India is currently the second most populated country in the world. It is also a popular expat destination. Around 20,000-30,000 expats currently call India home. It has varied geography, from the Himalayan mountains to the tropical climate of Southern India, and offers an array of cultures. Get a glimpse into what moving to this vibrant country can be like.
Working in India
There are many opportunities for expats in India. The fastest growing IT industry in the world calls India home. Other top economic sectors are biotechnology, pharmaceutical research, manufacturing and engineering. Engineering companies are often on the lookout for foreign professionals who will relocate to India to eventually grow the business outside the country. Additionally, outside employers often outsource job opportunities to India due to the country’s low labor costs.
Be prepared for longer work weeks – they tend to be around 48 hours. However, if you’re willing to put in the extra effort, you’ll quickly gain the respect of your colleagues. Because the workplace can be a bit of a culture shock for expats, many organizations ensure new employees undergo cultural training.
In terms of finding employment, it’s all about who you know. You can conduct the search via online resources or recruitment agencies, but networking is the best way to securely land a job in India.
To work here, you don’t need to apply for a work permit. Apply for a business visa or an employment visa if you are planning to apply for jobs once you’re a resident. Foreigners intending to stay in India for more than 180-days may be required to register; check your visa to see if registration is required.
Life and Lifestyle in India
Culture shock is common for new expats. The vibe can seem louder and more unconventional than what some foreigners are used to. However, the motto is – embrace the change! Letting go of your old habits makes for a great appreciation of everything India offers.
In the southern part of the country, be prepared for hot weather with a lot of humidity. The Himalayas have an alpine climate that can vary. The western part of the country can be dry and arid.
Besides Hindi, English is widely spoken. And the cost of living remains low even in large cities like New Delhi and Mumbai. Housing in these areas will likely be your biggest expense. Despite this, many expats are able live an affluent lifestyle. Health insurance can be pricey if your new employer doesn’t cover it. Otherwise, the standard of Indian healthcare is good.
Hospitality reigns here, so don’t be alarmed if you’re invited to a neighbor’s house for dinner soon after your arrival.
The best way to get around in India is by taxi. Know how to operate this system and get mentoring from the locals. Haggling is common when it comes to cab fares as opposed to going by meters.
India is home to many wealthy people, but be prepared for the extreme poverty that you’ll likely be confronted with daily.
Moving with Kids
International schools are preferred by most expats. Reserving a spot in these popular education systems can be hard. Relying on your networks is highly recommended for school admittance.
After that, private schools are of high quality, but tend to focus on results and memorization. Public schools are generally not used by expats, as not all of them teach in English, facility quality is inconsistent, and class sizes can be large.
Moving to India
Whether you’re looking for adventure in retirement or moving for a career opportunity, we recommend you embrace the dynamic atmosphere of India when you get there. And to help make this the smoothest transition possible, you’ll need an experienced moving company to manage household goods and essentials during the process.