Moving to India | All You Need to Know
Allby Priyadarshini 15 September 2020
If you are planning to move to India for work or education, then this is the perfect guide for you. APAC Relocation will give you a comprehensive account of all you need to know before moving to India.
Brief overview of India
India is a huge country with the world’s second-largest population. It has a rich and vibrant culture with diverse communities spread across the states. You can think of India as a mixed bag of surprises. When it comes to language, India has an array of 22+ languages spoken all over the country.
However, Hindi is most widely spoken and English is commonly used in the urban sector of the landscape. In most cases, language will not be a major barrier as most people understand English. As an expat, initially the densely populated cities may be overwhelming to you but people in India are easy-going, friendly, and willing to help.
In recent times, an emerging trend is that a substantial number of people are moving to India to take a shot at experiencing the exotic culture here. Stats suggest that almost 30,000 expatriates are currently residing in the country as it is a popular destination for expat teachers, spiritualists, corporate workers, artists, etc.
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While moving to India, it is also important you prepare yourself for the climate and weather. India is a mix of tropical and alpine regions, with six seasons. In most cities, you will experience hot and humid summers. While the southern region has high temperatures all year round, monsoons bring heavy rainfall there. You will be happy to know that in India you can also enjoy snowfall in winters in some parts of the Himalayan region.
A huge chunk of expat population is concentrated in major metropolises here.
New Delhi is the national capital, is a big city and is continuously growing. It is a good mix of old and new, in terms of heritage and modernism. The city has world-class architecture and amenities of international standards. Multi-national companies and other industries are thriving in the city and this has led to a heterogeneous population. However, the city has always been welcoming to foreigners and you can easily call it a melting pot of people, culture and cuisines. The cost of living in Delhi is relatively less than other metro cities like Mumbai & Bangalore.
Bangalore is also known as the Silicon Valley of India, has the maximum number of expatriates in the country. Most of them here are on expat-assignments with MNC’s or for business purposes. It is a pretty modern city that mostly follows western trends in terms of amenities and services. It is also home to many premier institutions of defense and aerospace. Even though top firms and industries are operating in the city, Bangalore is still in the nascent stage when it comes to infrastructure. One good thing is that the weather here remains pleasant throughout the year. When we talk about the cost of living, Bangalore lies on the expensive side as it is a cosmopolitan city.
Mumbai is the financial hub of India, is the most densely populated city. However, it is magnificent and magical in its own way. Since it’s a coastal city, it remains hot & humid throughout the year. Also, the stark divide of rich & poor is evident as you will witness skyscrapers on one side and slums on the other. However, there is good news for Bollywood fans as Mumbai is home of the Bollywood film industry and you may often get a glimpse of celebrities. The cost of living here is high as rent is exorbitant. People often exclaim Mumbai is a city that never sleeps and it is constantly evolving.
Ahmedabad is the sixth-largest city in India. It is one of the major hubs for economic and trading activities. This city has a lot of history and heritage and is considered one of the best Indian cities to live in. It attracts a lot of expatriates every year. The city has a bustling energy and locals here are friendly and helpful. In terms of the cost of living, it is considerably less as compared to Bangalore or Mumbai.
Chennai is located in the southern part of the country and boasts of many colonial structures. The city is peaceful and thriving with traditions. Chennai also has many MNC’s and industries where expats come from different parts of the world. The local language spoken is Tamil but most people understand and speak English. It is a developed city with all kinds of modern facilities and infrastructure. The weather in Chennai may be a bit challenging for expats as it is extremely hot & humid being a coastal city.
Hyderabad is the city where most IT companies are creating their bases. Top MNC’s like Amazon, Google, Microsoft have their campuses in Hyderabad. This city is a contrast between historic and modern architecture. Located in the southern region of India, the temperatures here are soaring high throughout the year. However, expatriates can enjoy the iconic charm of the city. Hyderabad is famous all over the world for its Biryani and foreigners who live here enjoy it too.
While relocating to any place, finding a house/a place to stay is of utmost importance. India has all kinds of contemporary options in this case. You can easily find apartments, gated- communities, bungalows/villas for rent or lease. Apartments come with a wide variety of utilities too, you can opt for furnished, non-furnished, or semi-furnished homes according to your preference. Facilities like 24/7 security, clubhouse, swimming pool, gym, children’s playground, etc. are available in most apartments and gated communities. Rent is fairly high but it depends on which city you are living in. Serviced apartments are also available and you can choose from a wide range of budgets and facilities to suit your requirement.
Cost of Living
Almost all major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai & Kolkata offer a decent standard of living. Facilities and services are modern and as an expat you can lead a pretty affluent life. In comparison to the west, the cost of commodities like food, entertainment, transportation, education, etc. is low.
Education & Schools
Indian society takes academics seriously and you will find strong academic aspirations amongst students here. Almost all cities have international schools and they follow an international curriculum like IB/IGCSE. Also, there are many Indian international schools which follow the Indian syllabus with the international style of teaching and assessment. International schools provide outstanding faculties and campuses. There are many premier residential schools as well which provide holistic education and guidance to its students.
Public Transport is very cheap but not the best option always. Overcrowding is one major factor that deters expats. Most cities have ‘Taxi culture’ and it is a popular option. Uber cabs are readily available all across the country and the charges are moderate. Driving a car on Indian roads can be dangerous for you, especially if you are not used to packed traffic lanes. Let’s just say it will be a bit tricky at the beginning, but once you are accustomed to the way Indian traffic works you can go ahead and buy/rent your own vehicle. The Delhi metro however is a very convenient and fast mode of transport and expats often find it easy to travel via metro when in Delhi.
While relocating to India, you should put prime focus on your healthcare status regarding vaccination and insurances. It is advisable that you are vaccinated for diseases like malaria, dengue fever, influenza, etc. as these are common in India. While you will find plenty of English speaking doctors, the condition of healthcare services in public hospitals are not up to the mark. So, it’s best you always choose a private hospital/clinic which will be equipped with modern facilities and technology. In most cities, you will find local pharmacies or drug stores that are open 24/7 and you can easily buy over-the-counter/prescribed medicines. You can also consult with your embassy in India for more guidance on health & safety matters.
Lifestyle & Travel
Last but not the least, let us guide you through how you can enjoy your time in India by exploring various places here. Like most other western countries, big cities here have similar café/dine-out cultures. Cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore have many pubs, cafes, and restaurants where you can spend your evenings. Beer culture is huge among the youth in cosmopolitan cities like Bangalore. There are many specialty cuisines in restaurants as well. People are also fond of movies and you can enjoy international cinema in the theatres here. When it comes to travel and leisure, India will not disappoint you.
There are many heritage sites as well as beaches and mountains to suit every traveler’s mood. If you are interested in history & culture, you can explore places like Rajasthan, Hampi, etc. For beach lovers, you can try the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Goa, etc. If high peaks and starry nights are your thing, then you will enjoy the north and north-eastern states of India. This will give you a good summer-break and you can escape the heat too. Weekend getaways are a constantly growing trend, and you can choose to take-off to nearby exotic locations depending on the city you live in.
APAC Relocation for your relocation needs
Our team of experts and counsellors have helped many expats move to India every year. We will guide you through every step in the relocation process beginning from documentation to packing lists, we create an exhaustive list where nothing goes a miss. Our movers make sure you can make more informed decisions and is responsible for packing, loading of boxes & containers, documentation, custom & clearances, etc. All you have to do is get in touch with us and let us know where you are moving. APAC relocation ensures you have a smooth & hassle-free relocation process moving to your new home.