« Mumbai Diwali: My Bang is bigger than yours! | Main | Doing Business in India: Dealing with the inertia of the legal system »

October 30, 2006


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Amit Singh

Hi Vikram

I throughly enjoyed the last 45 mins reading your blogs. 'I truly learned something' - thats how I feel.

The detail in the information was very helpful. And your light narrative writing style makes this an easy read.

I too am moving to Mumbai in Feb.

To put your opinions in context, I think your readers would love to learn more about your background. I hope you feel comfortable sharing details, like what you did in NYC, why did you want to try India, how did you shape your career towards India.

I'm single - are Mumbai women approachable? I'm talking about the safe, clean stuff; like dinner, movie, strolls.


first of any such information i've found thus far. tremendously helpful...

would be helpful to know variance in income levels / job supply between nyc and mumbai / delhi for finance related jobs. i know that's a tough one and some what open ended yet curious on your perspective.

thanks again and will certainly be back for more...


Vikram Chachra

I can't comment on the job market in NYC. There is huge demand for top tier finance professionals in Mumbai as new entrants are coming in droves. Starting salaries for fresh MBAs (from IIMs, XLRI, etc) are in the range of Rs 10 lacs in foreign banks and sell side brokerages. If you are a sell side associate with 2-3 years experience in the US, you will most likely end up with Rs 12-18 lacs at local sell side firms like Merrill. MBAs with 10 years experience can probably get base salaries of Rs 50 lacs plus bonus. FII Buy side firms in India pay more than sell side firms. You can expect 40-50% more at PE and hedge funds. The bonus upside in India is somewhat limited and a total package of a crore is considered decent for most portfolio managers. Opportunities industry in Delhi are somewhat limited although a few large PE funds operate there.


It is great to see this anlaysis. Will add you to the blog-list of the Return-to-India section of GaramChai.com


Very interesting! very informative indeed.
Just curious if you have any idea of kids schooling expenses?
I am sure this will be quite a lot depending on the type of school



Living expenses in Bangalore is something I would like to share for the benefit of those planning a return. This will be the cost for a small to medium NRI trying to live a middle class life style. This is cost per month for a family of 2 Adults and upto 2 children

Rentals 3 Bedroom apartment Rs.30000
This would include your maintenance, cable TV,maid working 2 hours per day, laundry and electricity , gas and water.

Phone, mobile, internet... Rs.3000

Local transport... Rs.5000

Food expenses .... Rs.15000

Phone and Internet Estimate Rs.5000
(most of the cases it will happen)

School fees and tuitions 4 lakhs per annum... 35000

To sum up you need one lakh a month approx.

If you happen to own your house may be you can manage with 80000 per month.

Too high,,, well if you are planning a meaningful and purposeful life, relocate to smaller towns andyou can live at 50% of the cost...well schooling is the compromise. and be doubly happy.

The choice is yours...


this was an excellent piece of info. any ideas about the salary levels for CA/CPA with 9 years experience. just curious. i am also having relocating plans.this year prob. the bet is bombay/blore or gurgaon! thanks guys! very useful!


Hi...thanks for info....we are too returning to india by end of this year. u have done gr8 job. highly appreciate it.

abt the cost of living in condo...i defer from you simply because you have mentioned one requires $200k (Rs 200,000) thats 2 lakhs rupees a month..for rent. I guess its typo here with one more zero..difference of indian n US style of writing numbers.

condos in Mumbai range from RS 30 lacs to upwards of 80 lacs for two Bedroom median range is around between 60-70 lacs for decent condos. which would make the mortgage be around 15k-30k depending on how one takes it.

ONE MAIN THING not inluded is schooling. schooling in Mumbai is not FREE. goes from 10k-40k per year (ie $200 to $1000 per yr)

thanks once again

Vikram Chachra

Hi Dhawal,

The piece you refer to is a bit dated. Rents in Mumbai have gone up by approx 20%-50% as since last fall as there is a huge shortage of good quality apartments. Please keep this in mind while budgeting a move to Mumbai.



This blog is really informative. I was looking to move to Gujarat (Rajkot) where my folks are from. My parents already own a house there, can anyone give some indications on the cost of living there. I was looking to rent out the property in London (Monthly rent £1500) and 'retire' early in India and get away from the fast paced life of doing long hrs working and being away from family on business. I also need to know the cost of education there as i have young children.

Lokesh Sood


All you guys looking to move to Gurgaon /New Delhi call me at 9810003555.Will help you find a good apartment and relocate with least hassles. You must budget for USD 300k (with the falling $$) for buying and Approx 2k upwards for rentals for a decent accomodation with a good neighbourhood in Gurgaon, Delhi is another story.


One of the best blogs i have ever read on this topic. Very insightful. Great job.

Overall one thing is for sure that it does take an arm and a leg to live well in a megapolis like mumbai. When i say live well, I mean live in a crummy suburb like bandra where the infrastructure is crumbling and traffic is bad. Oh not to mention the horrible mumbai weather.

I live in the US and currently have zero intentions to return at this point but as and when I have thought about it I doubt mumbai, delhi or bangalore would be the places I would go after. I hail from a much smaller city (like bhopal, chandigarh, surat, baroda, guwhati, jaipur) where you can live like a darn king for a much smaller amount.

Of course you will not be able to access all the high profile employment opportunities but heck if I have to leave wall street or silicon valley, i might as well leave it for an entirely different experience rather than to re-enter the rat race in India. If rat race it is then best to run it alongside big boys here in the US.

In a second tier city a mega mansion will cost you about $150k and you can live like a king on $1k. So if you have $1M saved up, you would not have to work for an extra day if you dont want to. If so why run the rat race in India.


Hi Vikram,

Could you please give some information on the Income Tax?

Specifically, i am interested in knowing, what I have to do, to make sure that the money I earned in US, does not get taxed in India, when I move back.



I have been quoted a much lower rent - it is not the city centre/south of the city but I wondered if it might be a bad location. Do you know Goregaon (East) on the north side of Mumbai?


James, Goregaon(E) is a fairly decent location. You are about an hour (or two) of travelling away from the south end of the city, but otherwise the place is decent. I live slightly further to the north.


I am planning to move back to Mumbai/Pune in the next 2 or 3 years after 40 yrs in N. America. I would like to know what it would cost to furnish a 2 bedrm apartment with decent furniture, TV, stereo, computer and other essentials. Do you get decent delivery and after-purchase service on these items? Are there reputable dealers? Is setting up an apartment hassle free? Also, how convenient and costly is routine car maintenance in India?

Hope someone can help with comments.

This is a great blog and will need to keep going, given the constantly changing prices and conditions.


You should budget approx Rs 10 lacs to furnish your apartment well. If you are planning to move into a new apartment, then you should budget another Rs 10 lacs for woodwork as most builders don't provide shelves, storage space, etc. There are two decent electronics stores in Mumbai with branches across the city: Vijay Sales and Sony Mony. Both have decent delivery. The after sales service depends on the brand. LG has the best after sales service amongst the white goods brands.

Don't expect to set up your house in a couple of weeks. If you are planning to buy a house and renovate, budget at least 3-4 months with a lot of running around and close supervision on the process. Avoid moving here during monsoons, you won't be able to get much done. Ask your local friends for advice. Only 1% of India's retail is organized, the rest is based on personal relationships. Be prepared to bargain for everything, including electronics, white goods. No matter what the store manager tells you, he can give you 10-20% discounts on most items you buy.

Hope this helps.


I've been offered a job in Mumbai as a computer programmer. I have to make a decision by next weekend to accept the job or turn it down. Mumbai seems like a very energetic and spontaneous city to live in. Is it comparable to the size of New York City? I don't necessarily like living inside a big city because I'm more of a country man. I enjoy to live away from the city to feel peaceful. Is there any nice rural areas within a 0.5-1.0 hour ride of the city? It seems like it would be much cheaper to live outside of Mumbai rather than in it, but I could use some recommendations on smaller cities/towns outside of Mumbai to live in.

Secondly, can anyone lookup how much a intermediate/mid-level programmer makes on average in Mumbai? I want to make what I'm being offered is on par with the rest of the IT community.

This opportunity sounds really exciting being 30 and single. They are offering to pay for a driver, maid, and cook. I was told by a friend from India that you could have a really nice place to live for Rs 20k/month, but it seems small apartments inside the city cost that much alone. Though I'm not sure what part of India he lives in.

Also from what I've heard is that it is forbidden to eat cow meat in India and that diets consist mostly of chicken, pork, turkey, and fish as meats. Is this 100% true or can you order a steak or hamburger at some resteraunts in Mumbai? It's not like I'm going to miss McDonalds or Burger King, but occasionally I would get that craving from growing in the U.S.

Thanks in advance for any advice or help you can give me in making this HUGE decision!


The information was great but a little dated. After 20+ years in the US as a construction professional, I am contemplating a return due to the accelerating opportunities available in India at present. The one major expenditure missing is schooling for kids.Any infomation on that will be appriciated. Also Do these figures still hold up or should there be a multiplier attached to this?

thanks a lot


The article was really interesting, but it also vindicated my decision to move back to a smaller place(in more ways than one!)like Dehradun. We moved back 10 months ago from the US. Life is very peaceful where I live;it is in Vasant Vihar, a "posh area" of Dehradun, with not much vehicular traffic, nor very crowded. It is very clean, has beautiful big houses, and good roads. You can get just about anything delivered to your house. I'm paying Rs 9,000 as rent for a 3-bedroom house which was recently remodelled and repainted.My (almost) 5 -yr old goes to a very good school(there are lots of these here!)and we found an excellent daycare for my 1 1/2 yr old dtr. You can have bank managers and insurance agents come up to your house when you need them. Not everything is a bed of roses, but we are very happy here, even though salaries are nowhere near what you would expect to get in a metro. For about Rs 35,000 a month, we have what we consider a pretty good life.

Dennis Osborn

I really enjoyed your site.. I have been to many sites and yours was the most informative. My wife and I are retired on a small pension. After Federal Taxes and Health Premium deductions, I have about $2,200 per month, until I recieve Social Security from the U.S. government.

Can I use Cigna Health Insurance in India?

I will not be seeking employment, so I can live anywhere, can I live comfortably on this pension?

I have about $50,000 dollars cash that I can invest in my living expenses. As for buying a house, I am not sure....since I am not wanting to immigrate to India, just live there for a while to learn its customs and language.


The piece you refer to is a bit dated. Rents in Mumbai have gone up by approx 20%-50% as since last fall as there is a huge shortage of good quality apartments. Please keep this in mind while budgeting a move to Mumbai.



I was wondering if anyone knows how to find a job in Mumbai. I was born and raised in America, but would love to move to India for work. I have a bachelors degree in Finance and Real Estate Investment. If anyone has any information that can help me, please email me at [email protected]

hilton naidoo

hi people
can any1 help me?im south african indian born male...gonna be in india as of the 2nd week in april 2008.need some assistance in finding accommodation etc..pls pls mail me if [email protected]

Garage Door Hardware

Since I will be home this week, I plan to catch up on my paperwork, housework - and alll of those little projects that we always keep putting off - if you know what I mean... LOL!!!!!! Heck, I even looked up that today! Now tell me - how funny is that?????

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blogs I like

September 2009

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 11/2004