Earlier this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted a GDP growth rate for India of 7.4% for 2018 and 7.8% for 2019 making it the world’s fastest growing economy. India welcomes foreign investments and is attracting companies with a series of government initiatives, economic reforms and a wealth of young motivated tech talent. Additionally, the Indian government has focused on high-growth industry sectors like technology, infrastructure, financial centres, automotive and healthcare. India is also focusing on creating more ‘smart cities’ like Hyderabad, Pune and Gurgaon rather than focusing on only one location which further helps boost the overall economy geographically in India. This strategy will allow flexibility and more options in terms of locations within India for foreign corporates to consider investments.
While historically, India has had a reputation as a challenging expat destination, the article notes that expats living in Mumbai were the highest paid expats in the world. Housing costs for expats in Mumbai are the fifth highest in Asian cities. For companies considering moving talent to Mumbai, they might need to reconsider based on costs. Other cities in India, like New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai were ranked as low cost by Worldwide Cost of Living 2018 survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit. That report stated that “India is tipped for rapid economic expansion, but in per-head terms, wage and spending growth will remain low. Income inequality means that low wages are the norm, limiting household spending and creating many tiers of pricing as well as strong competition from a range of retail sources.”
India’s industrial strategy has been at full throttle over the last four years under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with ambitious plans for driving technology, infrastructure, financial centres, the automotive sector and healthcare. Burgeoning tech cities include Hyderabad, Pune and Gurgaon. Once a farming area, Gurgaon sits just south of New Delhi and is now a hub for Google, Facebook, Uber, Booking.com and TripAdvisor.