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October 30, 2006


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I am in the process of putting together a package for an employee to work in Mumbai for 12 months. It's a senior appointment and I would be grateful for any information on the cost of living in Mumbai in terms of utilities etc (I have some idea on rent costs from the previous postings). I would be interested to know what a fair monthly allowance would be to cover utilities, general extra cost of living in Mumbai (I am based in London by the way). Can anyone advise?

Thanks Jos

Roop Chandel

I lived in Mumbai for 2 years (2004-2005) and here is my assessment.

I was working as a Technical Advisor to a local Manufacturing Company and in addition to monthly salary I was provided the following:

Esteem with driver and all expenses
2BR appt in Hiranandani with telephone and other expenses
Upto Rs25K/Yr for Medical Expenses (normal visits)+ 10lac Medical Insurance

My kids are grown up and here in Canada so I and my wife were living there only.

The Life style was good and comparable to here in the west (forget the dirty roads, shanty towns, etc).

Considering all cost that (company paid for)+ out of my pocket, myestimate is that for Rs 50-60K you can live very well.

Also I find that now India is liveable.

Suneel Mahamuni


Many thanks for sharing your knowledge on living expenses in India. It is very detailed and helpful. I am from Mumbai but work and live in Dubai where more than 50% of salary goes into house rent. Something very difficult to digest. I travel to India on business almost every month and nowadays, I do not see any difference in quality of life and lifestyle between life in India and abroad. I believe the reverse trend has already started. Once again, thanks for your information.

Akshay Kapoor

Hi, a very informative blog. I'm planning to relcoate to India too - more as a result of the credit crisis et all then anything else! Been in the financial markest for 12 years and have worked in India and abroad too.

If I do move back will probably give up banking and be getting out of the rat race. Would be looking for a max 25 hours a week job. Is it possible to find sunch jobs in India - maybe as visiting faculty in MBA schools or corporate training or consulting etc?

Something relaxed and low stress and just 3/4 days a week with decent hours. Even if it pays just Rs 40/50 k a month its fine.

Any ideas anyone?


Manish P. Bhagchandani

This is definitely very informative. I am 32, currently in the US. I have been in the US since 1994 and have decided to move back to Ahmedabad, Gujarat by the end of 2009.
I have a BS in Business Administration and will finish my MBA in 2009. Can anyone provide details on Ahmedabad living expenses?


I would like to move to India from Iran , I would like how much is the normal cost life (meal, food)per month for one person or living in a boarding (per month)

thanks and regards


We are Indian parents with a US born baby. We are thinking about returning to India, do you have any idea about the cost of schooling? I hear that NRI fees are extremely high!?

Do schools discriminate NRI's and charge them high fees?

Neeraj Sharma

I have been living in US (mostly lower CT/NY metro) for the past 15 years and wonder if I ever will be able to move back to India as a working professional. The ongoing compensation in Indian metros does not seem to make up for cost and quality of living (from what I hear). The top C level jobs seem to pay no more than 60 lacs per annum and a few exceptional may pay more. Not saying its not enough for me but being half way into my career, I would like jobs with substantial upside in future.

Since I am from Himachal, I won't be working anywhere close to my parents, relatives or hometown Shimla anyway (since Delhi isn't to my liking). But if I stayed in US until retirement, I may not find India home anymore than US. The good thing about US is that you can live outside a tier 1 city and easily commute to work. Are Indian metros getting better or will get better in this respect? Comparing cost of living, if you would want 50 lacs in Bombay, how much would you want in some of the other metros, esp Chennai? I feel so weird saying the new names even though I am glad the names were changed.


dang, don't take western values to india. even this article is enough to make me hurl. its so bizarre that you folk seem to think you are entitled (even to the point of bitterness) to consume india at lower prices. india isn't wal-mart unless you turn it into wal-mart; which you will if they let you.


Thank you so very much for your wonderful and detailed comments. I love to travel - but am strapped for cash now. I was thinking of going to India from the US. I applaud the way you have carefully itemized the costs.
Thank you again
Helping people find the best locations to live & travel


Thank you so very much for your wonderful and detailed comments. I love to travel - but am strapped for cash now. I was thinking of going to India from the US. I applaud the way you have carefully itemized the costs.
Thank you again
Helping people find the best locations to live & travel



I am 19 years old and am thinking of moving to Mumbai for about 3-5 years in order to puruse a career in acting. I wanted to know the price of a 1 bdrm flat in someplace like juhu. I am trying to tally up what the total expenses will be so I can bring that specified amount with me before I go. And also, is the Juhu beach area safe to travel at night and in daylight? As I will be travelling alot to meet people in the industry. Also, if someone could recommend a part time job for me so that I can make some extra cash while pursuing my dream would be greatly appreciated. I speak english hindi and punjabi fluently so language is definately not a barrier.


is it possible to get a decent job in india with a furniture sales experience from usa?


is it possible to get a decent job in india with a furniture sales experience from usa?


We are planning to move back to India, preferably Delhi/Gurgaon. What would be some good sites to look for mgmt jobs in IT? I have 10+ experience working in both India and US.


Has anyone looked at HYD? There are tons of high tech jobs there. Most senior programmers make 1 lakh/month. Not a lot of hig end jobs though. Cost of living is cheap, brand new 2 br apts near hitech city are selling for around Rs. 40 lakhs. Cost of living is abt. half of Mumbai, about Rs. 50k a month. There is an excess supply of real estate there because it seems everybody and their mother is into building flats these days.


can any one give some inputs on some economic staying and fooding accomodation as paying guest in mumbai. it should be within rs. 5000/- per month. thanks


Hi there,

Your post was great! Really informative. I might need to adjust it for inflation over the past three years but it gives me a good idea of what to expect. I have been thinking about returning and was wondering if you could give me an idea on how you got started in terms of looking for the right job back home. If you know of any agencies or recruiters who specialize in placing returning Indians, I would appreciate that information. And I'm not in IT. I'm looking only at marketing or brand management recruiters.

Thanks again for the wonderful piece!


Hi Folks,
I read all the blogs regarding the cost of living in India. This gives me a sense of what I can expect.It was very helpful. As an Accountant, I take decisions based on numbers. I propose to spend 6 months in india every year to get away from Canadian winter with -18c temperature.Thanks once again,

Raghu Kumar

Hi Folks,

This is Raghu from Chennai, having been working for a leading Multinational Company managing Expatriates around the world. I am now on my own doing free lance Consultancy Services to a few companies. i can advise you with regards to the best packers and movers, mainly from the US, UAE, Singapore, UK, Hongkong and Australia in to India and Vice Versa.

I can also give suggestions regarding real estate, info on schooing, culture shock for those returning after many years. My services are free of cost for the readers as I want my experience to benefit our fellow country men.

You may write to me at raghukumarsampath at the rate of yahoo.co.in

Thanks and Regards, Raghu


hmm....sounds very upsurd to me. Cost of living parameters you have mentioned here are way very high end. No one in India can survive these costs. How can a driver earning 7k survive then? Meaningless article suggesting people to go over the top


Does anyone have experience moving back with kids in high school? I am in this dilemna now and was wondering what are some of the good colleges in India (aside from IIM, IIT)? Anyone have experience with this?

Bonnie Dudley

I have found for the first time great information that I need. I am planning what can not be called a trip but an adventure in India in two years. Plan to be there for about 6 to 12 months at this time. I have had to find other goals that are doable, I am 62 and will be 64 when I go. I do not know if I will have companions or not, yet. I am in facebook under Bonnie Dudley, it would take to long to explain all the information that I am looking for. , I know that pilgrimages are common, is it passable to travel by train on some legs of my journey with donkey and cart?
I have to many questions and to little information because no one has asked or cares. Roads? distances from towns and villages? This is easier to find.
Information such as: Do small villages have places a traveler can stay? Where is the Donkey (live stock) Market in Ahmedabad, Gujarat? (I have read of it). How expensive are Donkey Carts? What are the Vet. availability in India? Are there stables in India? What are the challenges of traveling by donkey cart?
There is ample data on the Monsoon, but not too my questions. During the Monsoon, what regions have warm rain? Cold rain? Do people preserver and go on because they must during the Monsoon? If so where? Where dose life come to a stop do the severity of normal Monsoon? Dose the Monsoon have a rhythm to it? The list goes on.
At this time safety is not an issue, I have to clarify my agenda, thereby were I wish to go, see, and do. I have experienced much by doing and living in the USA. I have always seen what few see before them.


Nice writeup with details.
I would suggest you update this by a time line, metro area, suburbs etc.
You can make it a interactive graph.
Just a suggestion to draw more visitors..

- thanks


So, basically I should buy a foreclosed house in Detroit and I will be able to live on less than what I could anywhere in India. The prices do not sound very attractive...I was hoping for a better deal. Any suggestions for a $500 retirement and a 20K place to hang my hat?

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