By Prarthana Mitra
Skipping 12 places forward, India entered the top 15 countries for expats to live and work in according to a recent survey, registering an improvement in its expat explorer overall score from 0.43 to 0.51 in a year.
Computed on the basis of a questionnaire dealing with the economic condition, financial opportunities, social experience and family life, the annual HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, published in March, provides valuable insight into the best places to live and work out of.
Best cities to live and work in
The list includes obvious destinations like France (Paris), North America (New York and Los Angeles) and Switzerland (Zurich and Geneva) in the top ten, alongside Asian commercial capitals like Singapore (Bangkok), Indonesia (Jakarta) and China (Shanghai). However, it is Mumbai which grabs the top spot in the coveted list. According to the report, foreign workers in Mumbai earn an estimated $2,17,165, which is more than twice the global average annual income for expats.
How does India fare?
The report further noted that the average annual income of an expat in India is $1,76,408, which ranks as one of the highest salary packages in the world.
While most of them originate from advanced economies like Europe and North America, the report was able to confirm that 71% of expats have immense confidence in India’s economy and political structure, with 31% owning property in the South Asian country, which is being billed as the fastest growing economy in the world.
Construction, manufacturing, financial and IT sectors employ most of the expats in this country, and nearly 50% of them belong to an age demographic of 35-54 years. The report said, ‘the number of resident expats who recommend the country for career progression has increased by 12 percentage points since 2016 to almost two-thirds (63%), placing it seventh in our ranking for career progression.
Most expats are also in agreement about the fact that India is a good place to start a business, and even if they shifted strictly for work, the relocation has improved family life too. Almost half of the expat children make new friends easily in India, according to their parents.
This is a good bill of health for India where brain-drain robs the workforce of valuable human resources faster than you can say “expat.” At the same time, while emigrating diaspora often has a tough time adjusting in many western countries, where they barely make minimum wage most of the time, India is setting a different example, and opening its doors to workers who are making it their home. However, the economic and political stability quotient in the survey is questionable, as demands for reservation and rampant unemployment continue to persist.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.