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Moving back to India

Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Hello

Its been about 5 years since I first came to the US - am well settled, have a great job, a brand new car and a good life in general. But happiness (my family) is missing!

I have pondered over several options in the recent past -

1. Bring family here

- Impractical. Current visa procedures in India make it very difficult to bring my parents and siblings here even for a short term. Secondly, they really wouldnt be willing to stay for long in a place where they have no peer group, mobility and independence

2. Take a short stint in India

- Quite feasible but I prefer not to be a rolling stone. I would like to make a move once and for all and start settling down instead of oscillating between locations. I still have not ruled out this option but its not very appealling to me.

3. Move permanently back to India

- The option that I am considering the most. However, many apprehensions are abound. 5 years in the US have made me feel American to a large extent (No! I dont have an American accent! but it makes you look at life differently - makes you challenge ideas). From my experience, if one has to live in India they have to forget idealism and work with the system even if they want to effect a change.

I have several questions in my mind -

1. Money!!! I came here for money but found a lot of other things. Still, its the primary concern in life since society by and large measures your success with this one factor. How is the payscale in India? Will the current outsourcing boom last? If not, then what?

2. Comforts - In the US a car, gasoline, an independent apartment and travelling/touring are not luxuries but affordable necessities. 5 years ago, working in India and living in India presented many challenges. How is it now?

3. Society - How does Indian society view a US return? Would I go back there and find that I was the stupid one to come back? All my friends have gone searching their own dreams? I came back to an empty memory? Living and earning abroad brings about a unique aura of success (mainly due to way you can splash money around) - how is it when you live and earn in India?

Many more.. but I am interested in hearing from people who have made the transition from US to India (either successfully, or failed and returned). I would like to seriously evalute the pros and cons of such a life altering move.


Commentary From the Sidelines of history
Sameer Jamal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 16, 2001
Posts: 1870
I have not moved from US to India but still I would like to add few thoughts.

Working Environment: If you compare the present situations in India with 5 years back, I can say you will definitely see the change infact the working environment is at par with USA apart from the salary.

Comforts: You can get all those comforts here if you have money no problem at all.

The System: Yes this is one thing where you will face many problems and you will really get annoyed some time specially when you are coming from a country which has got one of the most transparent systems however you have an advantage of living with your family so you can tolerate it .


Society and People's Perception: It depends upon the locality where you choose to live, in the cities like Banaglore, Delhi or Mumbai you will be percieved as just another guy howeever in a smaller cities your social status will be better, I think you have fear that you might become a socially isolated but this is not the case however people do annoy you most of the times saying why the hell you have returned to India ? What went wrong ? be prepared for these type of question because it will really annoy you, may be after sometime most of your close relatives/friends start saying " I think it is better if Paul should return back to US he is wasting his time here he has got lot of talent".

Transition: First two weeks would be really cool you will enjoy socializing with your relatives and friends then comes the problem and frustration, after few weeks you might become frustrated, so go ahead with some plan to avoid frustration. Generally when you come back to India to start you own business or to live a retired life people your society does not bother but the problem comes when you come back to to do just another job then you have to give answer to your society.
[ June 18, 2006: Message edited by: Sameer Jamal ]
Arjunkumar Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
Originally posted by Paul McKenna:


I have several questions in my mind -

1. Money!!! I came here for money but found a lot of other things. Still, its the primary concern in life since society by and large measures your success with this one factor. How is the payscale in India? Will the current outsourcing boom last? If not, then what?

Outsourcing boom will not continue as its continuing for last 3 years.Thats not to say that everything will collapse but it will adjust itself.For example,one big semiconductor giant laidiff 1200 people last week here whereas other giant is thinking of tripling the investment in India.

2. Comforts - In the US a car, gasoline, an independent apartment and travelling/touring are not luxuries but affordable necessities. 5 years ago, working in India and living in India presented many challenges. How is it now?

If you are talking about cities situation might have improved.You can afford all the things but with some headche.!!In many south asian countries things won't run as smooth as they should because of population density and underdeveloped land.But you can afford all these things at reasonable price except real estate which is very expensive(You may not find this expensive!!)


3. Society - How does Indian society view a US return? Would I go back there and find that I was the stupid one to come back? All my friends have gone searching their own dreams? I came back to an empty memory? Living and earning abroad brings about a unique aura of success (mainly due to way you can splash money around) - how is it when you live and earn in India?

Indian society is not as coherent as other societies.You find people travelling everywhere in the world on weekly basis to those who don't know the name of their adjacent state.Those who are in IT field in India will definitely consider this as a stupid move.
My suggestion is 1)Find the technical area where you would like to work for next few years. 2)Find the companies in India with your interest. 3)Purchase an apartment. 4)Try here for 6 months.5)if you don't like,give the apartment on rent and go back.


Namma Suvarna Karnataka
Rohan Sathye
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 30, 2004
Posts: 61
Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
Hello

Its been about 5 years since I first came to the US - am well settled, have a great job, a brand new car and a good life in general. But happiness (my family) is missing!

I have pondered over several options in the recent past -

1. Bring family here

- Impractical. Current visa procedures in India make it very difficult to bring my parents and siblings here even for a short term. Secondly, they really wouldnt be willing to stay for long in a place where they have no peer group, mobility and independence

2. Take a short stint in India

- Quite feasible but I prefer not to be a rolling stone. I would like to make a move once and for all and start settling down instead of oscillating between locations. I still have not ruled out this option but its not very appealling to me.

3. Move permanently back to India

- The option that I am considering the most. However, many apprehensions are abound. 5 years in the US have made me feel American to a large extent (No! I dont have an American accent! but it makes you look at life differently - makes you challenge ideas). From my experience, if one has to live in India they have to forget idealism and work with the system even if they want to effect a change.

No Offence but this is little starage .. how can spending 5 years of life in US make you feel more american than Indian assuming you have spent 20-25 formative years of your life in India ? :-). And IMO idealism doesn't work anywhere. System is present everywhere, in developed contries its more efficient in developing countries its evolving.


I have several questions in my mind -

1. Money!!! I came here for money but found a lot of other things. Still, its the primary concern in life since society by and large measures your success with this one factor. How is the payscale in India? Will the current outsourcing boom last? If not, then what?

I wish some one can predict the future. Somebody can say that Yes the outsourcing will last for next 10-20-30-40 years and then nobody will have to do programming. Machines will take care of it. :-). But that's not happening. But considering the options for outsourcing at present, I think India is the most promising bet. And the kind of salary you can get in India if you have a good experience is really decent. You can live your life very comfortably. Good House / Good Car/ Good bank balance / Good Family life / Good domestic help ( :-) this last item is very important once you have a family of your own ) are easily affordable.



2. Comforts - In the US a car, gasoline, an independent apartment and travelling/touring are not luxuries but affordable necessities. 5 years ago, working in India and living in India presented many challenges. How is it now?



Well as I said above, all this is possible. You can get good cars ( not porshe/ corvette etc. but you do get camrys/ corrollas/accords/ city/skoda/ maruti etc) in India. Yes roads are not as good as most of the developed countries but then they are getting better. The problem with India is Massive population.. so its always gonna be tough to catch up with huge number of people wanting things..if you know what I mean. So now roads are getting better.. but more and more people can afford cars now a days.. so that puts aditional load on the developing infrastructure.. But te situations is much better than what it was in 90ies.


3. Society - How does Indian society view a US return? Would I go back there and find that I was the stupid one to come back? All my friends have gone searching their own dreams? I came back to an empty memory? Living and earning abroad brings about a unique aura of success (mainly due to way you can splash money around) - how is it when you live and earn in India?


Well you don't have to worry about Indian society's view on US return. Its such a non-news item now a days. As there is so much back and forth migration happening .. that Indian IT professional with 5 years exp. in US is very common thing. And I have absolutely no idea about you but, I would not be able to "spash" money even after staying 10 years in US. I bought a house , car and got married after going to India from US and it drained my bank balance :-)


Many more.. but I am interested in hearing from people who have made the transition from US to India (either successfully, or failed and returned). I would like to seriously evalute the pros and cons of such a life altering move.


Well I did go back to India 4 years back. And just recently I returned to US. Both ways the "transition" was successful. I went back to India because I was missing my family. Wanted to get married. I was quite happy in India. Obviously there were trade offs. But then its quite natural. I came back to earn some more money and am pretty clear that I will be going back again before my son starts his schooling. And please don't make a big deal out of it. Its not such a life altering move IMO. You are going back to a country where you grew up. If you keep an open mind and don't compare everything (e.g. oh the traffic su***here.. back in US, it used to be 5 mins drive for 10 miles commute.. here its 20 mins for 10 KM etc. etc. etc.) with US, the you will be allrigt.

All the best.

Rohan.
Eric Pascarello
author
Rancher

Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
Ah, I know it is because you are not working with me anyone. No easy target to pick on! You want to eat the real Indian food there and not the watered down version they server in restaurants. But can you get lobster ravioli there!?!

Eric
Arjunkumar Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
This one?
Ajith Kallambella
Sheriff

Joined: Mar 17, 2000
Posts: 5782
You are displaying all the symptoms of a Non Resident Indian suffering from R2I(Return2India) dilemma. I have been here in the US for well over a decade now and I can relate to some of your contemplations. Here are a few things you should consider( in no particular order )

  • It is unclear from your post who is in your family. Are you married? If so, try to get your spouse and kids( if any ). That should be fairly easy with your work visa. Have you asked your parents/siblings if they would rather stay back in India or join you here in the US? Most would like to stay put rather than going through an unnecessary move. Ask them.


  • The work environment in India is no better or worse than it is here in the US. However, the work-life balance is way better in the US than in India. I have heard and seen IT folks working in excess of 16 hours a day back home. Everything else being equal, I'd prefer to work in a place that allows me to spend good quality time with my family. Five day work weeks, and a work culture that does not interfere with a good quality of life is very important for me.
  • Because most IT companies in India do business with US clients, it is highly likely that your Indian employer might want you to work here in the US for one of their clients. This is an inescapable truth. Are you open to returning back to US? or for that matter, working away from your family in India in another foreign country for extended periods of time?
  • As you reckon, some of the things that you take for granted here in the US( electricity, water, infrastructure, commuting to work etc) are often luxuries in India despite the growth and prosperity we have seen in the recent past. While may not be major issues for you, they will certainly affect your lifestyle and quality of life.



  • You may have stronger reasons to return to India that is not apparent in your post. However, I strongly recommend that you evaluate the proposition not from your heart, but with your brain. Rationalize your decisions and try not to think emotionally. Pick up a copy of "The World is Flat" book and you will understand that the world is really shrinking. Three to four years from now, regardless of where your home is, you will be a globetrotter. You will be able to afford visiting your family once in a while or bring them over to the US for leisure. India is only 24 hours away( by air that is) from any part of the US. There are places in India that take more than 3 days to reach by train.


    Good luck!
    Ashok Mash
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 13, 2000
    Posts: 1936
    Excellent post, Ajith.

    If I remember correctly, there was a similar thread here a few years ago; I guess it was Maha moving back to India then, but its probably not very relevant today.

    I have considered and still thinking about a possible move back to India, though I don�t have definite timeframe in mind. I have been living in Europe for about six years, and I am eligible for citizenship etc, yet, I have never been able to settle down here, despite my girlfriend is from here, and I own the house where I live etc. One of the main reasons why I would consider moving back to India are my parents, for instance. When it starts to look like they could use some help, not monitory, but emotional as in just being there to support them, heart starts dictating the brain!!

    Ajith raised another valid point there � about inviting them here � and answer so far is a resounding no! They prefer it there, and also the fact that they have to acquire a visa to travel here, and that the medical doesn�t offer as good coverage as they in India at the moment!

    Of course what ever I save here for the proverbial rainy day will be good for a�rainy week� in India at the moment, but with the economy booming as it is now, I doubt if it would have same mileage in a few years from now.

    Work-life balance would be a priority too � and I don�t particularly fancy the rush hour traffic in Banglore or other cities � so I might even give up IT for good, if I have to!

    Sorry this isn�t exactly helping the OP � but thought I might add another angle to the �moving back to India� idea.


    [ flickr ]
    Paul McKenna
    Ugly Redneck
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jul 08, 2000
    Posts: 1006
    Thanks to everyone for their inputs. For now I am still contemplating the thought. As mentioned earlier, my reasons are more due to family (my parents) than anything else. For now, I am going to sit tight until the end of the year and then make my move. In the interim I am even considering having best of both worlds, i.e. work abroad, earn money, have a good quality of life and be close to home. Such a scenario can be satisfied only in a few places and one of them is Singapore (2 hrs from home, easy & cheap commute for parents, good earning potential, tamil is an official language and much more..)

    Any one here from Singapore? How is it there? Any light one can shed on this will be useful.
    Anil Kumar Saha
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Apr 07, 2004
    Posts: 111
    Read this link
    SIngapore Java Job Info


    Regards,

    Anil Kumar Saha
    SCJP 1.4
    http://www.agilej.blogspot.com/
    Suresh Thota
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Sep 24, 2003
    Posts: 152
    Hi Paul,

    There are some threads discussing the lifestyle, job opportunities and salary structure in Singapore. please do a search.

    some key points.
    - Very costly to own a car
    - Cost of living more than US
    - You feel bored after spending some time on this little red dot
    - Very modern
    - Salaries are improving a lot nowadays
    - affordable domestic help a big plus for working couple with children

    Cheers
    Suresh


    SCJP 1.6
    Raghav Sam
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Apr 12, 2001
    Posts: 412
    Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
    Any one here from Singapore? How is it there? Any light one can shed on this will be useful.


    I am in Singapore but I have plans of moving to US...in fact my situation is the reverse of you.

    As for the IT market, I have not explored much because of the above reason. IT jobs predominantly fall under 2 categories: Finance (banking), Electronics (manufacturing)

    But living here is costly!! The rentals are on the rise even for HDB apartments. Transportation is cheap and in fact you can bicycle your way to work if you get a house near your office. I do . As somebody suggested, owning a car is costly and not really necessary unless you prefer to drive down in your car. Everything's orderly, people are friendly, language should not be too much of problem as English is understood even if they can't speak back. If you know tamil, it just like in Chennai.
    It is near to India (4 hrs by air), near to Thailand, Australia. But all said, I am getting a bit bored here. May be I will come back and settle here...but that should be at least some years from now...
    Jesus Angeles
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Feb 26, 2005
    Posts: 2053
    Paul, you can try plan as way ahead as possible, like 10 years ahead, or even up to retirement.

    With that on hand, it will be easier to decide which path to take. E.g. which direction will your plan go if you go home? Will the destination be acceptable to you in that scenario e.g. less money for your family?
    ab parashar
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Mar 28, 2005
    Posts: 130
    google for R2I club
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: Moving back to India