Relocating to India for work – Some practical tips
When you think about India, you think about many things – colour, vibrancy, busy streets and a buzzing economy. No wonder that many multinational corporations rate India amongst their top 2 markets now.
Just some stats
• India is now the fastest growing large economy – at 7% plus it is expected to exceed China’s growth for 2016
• Google and Facebook rate India as their second most important market – right after the US
• 50% of India’s population is below 25!
• 400 of the world’s Fortune -500 have a presence in India
Indian Visa System simplified
The Indian Government has taken some concrete steps to make travel to India much easier including
• Visa on arrival for citizens of 180 countries (to be implemented in phases)
• E visas for most citizens of most countries Tourist and Business)
• Lifetime OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) cards, allowing people of Indian origin to travel unfettered
• Simplification in work visa procedures has reduced turnaround times
India offers opportunity but certainly no cake walk
I am associated with a service apartment / budget hotel chain in Delhi NCR, and have seen a phenomenal change driven by globalization. With so many multinational corporations in India, thousands of expats are travelling to India for work. Many of them coming here for the first time find it difficult to adjust to the conditions.
Indian cities are not known to have great standards of living. With high growth comes the cost – traffic snarls, power interruptions, noise pollution and a certain degree of chaos. Its shame that Indian cities have got a bad rap in recent years as there is so much history and culture that goes unnoticed. Delhi is one of the oldest capital cities in the world and has a rich history – yet navigating the streets of Delhi takes some doing. So how does one plan their trip to India if they get that superb career opportunity to work in a high growth, dynamic economy like India. Not only would it offer superb career opportunities, but also an opportunity to learn about how people function effectively in a seemingly random environment.
Plan in advance & figure out the logistics
Realistically the options for people coming to India to work are
• Stay in a hotel -It may be sensible to put up in a hotel for a few days but the cost, lack of cooking facilities and space would be a deterrent for a long term stay. The options in front of you are clearly
• Rent an apartment and furnish it – This is a good option if you are specific about the kind of decor and furnishing you would like. It is also much more economical than a hotel but has a a few issues associated that need to be tackled. The primary one of course is finding the right apartment and signing a lease – there are many pitfalls in the lease documentation that people need to be aware of including early break clauses. The other issue of course is what to do with the furnishing if you decide to go back early. Requires time and effort but not an impossible task!
• Stay in a long stay hotel or service apartment – This is an in between option to either a hotel or renting an apartment.
Coming to Delhi NCR? Options a plenty – but how do you choose the right one?
There are many considerations you have to take into account before choosing a service apartment, guest house or a hotel for a long term stay. Chief amongst them should be
• Location – Google Maps lists a lot of places that can be a good starting point. Be warned though – a lot of places on maps could be wrongly listed, unsuitable or shut down. Ideally something close to place of work, as traffic in India can be un predictable. Airport and highway being close by would be a bonus.
• Reviews and reputation – Tripadvisor and Booking.com reviews are a great place to shortlist your real research. Other than ratings, one must understand if the previous guest’s requirements were similar to their – long term stay, serviced stay?
• Ask for a trial stay period – Going to a new city to live in is always daunting. From basic questions like where to shop, how to get a cell phone connection to more complex questions like having a social circle. It would be wise to stay in a place you are considering for a week or so before you decide to sign a longer term lease. Of course this is not possible with a rental accommodation, but many guest houses and service apartments will give you the option
• Cooking – This is one of the biggest issues when choosing a place. Its definitely not a great idea to depend on the resident kitchen for meals other than for a few days. Having your own little kitchen is a huge plus
• Long stay discounts – Most accommodations will have a long stay policy, which you must ask for if you want to sign a long term contract. The longer you lock in the better rate you can get.
• Cabs and rental cars (Parking space) – If you are coming for a medium term then getting a rental car is a good idea if you are confident of driving. Cabs in India are reasonable but the quality isn’t consistent. Having the accommodation company provide you a dedicated transport at an extra cost would take care of many issues, including security.
• Luggage storage – Most large service apartments and guest houses have in house ware houses space for storing luggage for long periods of time. This service should be complimentary
So take all these factors into account before choose. And it’s best to have 2-3 options before you actually come to India, rather than looking for accommodation while staying in an expensive hotel. Our company, a guest house provider in Gurgaon has been managing long stay logistics for guests for over 8 years. I hope these practical tips will be useful.