Should I go abroad to live or stay in India?
Others can only help you realize the pros and cons. Eventually its upto you to decide if the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa. Here's a few points to help shape your perspective :
a) Friends, family and social circle : If you are someone in early 30s or late 20s, the thing you'll miss the most about staying abroad is that everytime you come home you'll see your parents getting significantly older with their physical abilities shrinking gradually. When you are in India, even if you stay in a different city, you are likely to meet your parents more frequently and you dont notice the gradual deterioration of your parents' health but when you stay abroad and get to meet your parents only once in a year of two, the changes appear more drastic. To me thats the only factor which makes me think about going back. A lot of people mention how they had more social interaction in India but if you are like me - born in one city, studied in another and lived most of my life in India in another city - then your social life in India wont be significantly different from social life abroad (North America or Europe)
b) Systematic and predictable life : If ever I go back to India, this is the thing that I will miss the most - the predictability of most things around me. One thing I absolutely hate about India is the chaos and unpredictability (through there are a lot of people who find it ‘charming' and ‘lively' - so I guess its a matter of perspective) especially when it comes to dealing with Govt. or public services.
c) Earnings : While most many jobs its true that you will earn significantly more in North America or Europe, it's not necessarily the case if you are already earning reasonably well in India . I was earning around 36 lakhs per annum in India as a developer with 10 years of experience working for an investment bank in Bangalore ( and just before I moved out I had an eCommerce giant offering me 42 lakhs ). I moved to Canada on PR and found a similar role (with exactly same job title) with another Investment bank in Toronto paying me CAD 105,000. Considering the cost of living difference between Bangalore and Toronto, I'd say that purely from a financial perspective, my job in India paid better
d) Quality of life : When I was living in India working for an investment bank, an average day in office was easily 12 hours (including 2-3 hours on call everyday with developers, support and operations users from NY. Here in Toronto, nobody expects me to stay in office beyond 6:30 pm -7:00 pm. That gave me 2–2.5 extra hours per day which made a`massive difference t overall quality of my life. I'm still as busy as I was in India but I am getting time to spend on things that I wanted to do but never had time for like attending part time data science/machine learning courses at university, playing musical instruments etc. To me, that has been the biggest positive outcome of my decision to move abroad
e) Approachable Law Enforcement : Living in India, I have almost always avoided law enforcement. In general, from what I have seen, is that, if you are an urban white-collar professional who doesn't speak the local language or has local contacts, police is either plain unsympathetic or dismiss your issues/concerns as "first world problems". Same applies to courts of law. Securing justice in a court of law is riddled with difficulties from the very start for the ordinary Indian. The procedural difficulties one faces in getting their case heard is a big contributor to the chaos in the system. From getting an FIR registered to going to a lower court which takes its own time to decide cases and maybe even the High Court in case of dissatisfaction, means a case can take years to decide. This essentially means that in a lot of cases, people/companies can get away with not honoring a legal contract as they know that the victim wont really be able to take legal action and get a court verdict within a reasonable time
f) Public services : If you fall under upper middle class income category in India, chances are high that you pay taxes which are supposed to go towards implementing public services but you dont avail of those services because of their deplorable condition. Yes, technically education in Govt schools is free and you can get free medical care in public hospitals but practically, the quality of service, the hygiene level etc are so low that you'd never opt for them as long as you can afford private facilities. Living in Indian metro cities as a young urban professional, I always felt, most of the Govt services/facilities/schemes were not designed for "people like us"
g) Nosy people everywhere : I am somebody who is individualistic and prefer to live life on my own terms without uncalled-for advises from others. Though India is changing a lot on this front especially Indian metro cities but they are still nowhere near global melting pots (like New York or London or Sydney or even Dubai). For example, me and my wife have decided to live a DINK life and never have kids. In an ideal world, it should be nobody else's concern. But in India everybody feels entitled to enquire about when we plan to have kinds ( Interestingly even outside India, I've faced similar questions from Uber drivers of Indian/Pakistani origin).
Overall, its your decision and only you would know if the pros outweigh the cons or not. But in general, India isn't a great place if you are highly individualistic or make unconventional social or lifestyle decisions.
Stay in India my friend .There is no point in leaving your country .Our cultural ties are so strong that not a day passes by when you don't think of your country and your people. You will never feel the same with foreigners no matter how good they behave . They will always look down upon you .They don't let this feeling come over their faces .They are good at it but some day when you will get into an argument or something of that sort you would realize that your worth in the country is less than a cent.They will make you feel one
I would suggest you to keep working hard in India and one day you will make it . All that lifestyle that you see in other countries is earned because of intense hard work .I mean it .They work a lot . Those people can work that hard because that country is materialistic and they are ready to compromise on anything just for getting some cash .There is no value for any occupation as such .As far as you are earning good nobody bothers what you are doing there.There is no culture in that country .The only culture i have seen find its way through MONEY. We sometimes get upset that our country has changed negatively in recent times but what we fail to realize is that this change has been adopted from foreign culture only .It is increasing at a rocket speed in Metropolitan cities in India .You go to a metro and you go to a small town in India you would realize that metros give a glimpse of foreign culture and i am sure everybody is starting to hate metro culture nowadays .So if you choose to go abroad you are going to the SOURCE of this "cruel culture " in metros.People are really cold in these cold countries and the so called comfort is all what they have .But you should understand that this comfort is at a great cost .They are workaholic people who only care about making money .The more you make the better you are in those countries which is not completely true for India .Yes India is going through a developing stage so problems are there but trust me my friend the day all your problems will vanish you will get into depression.See, just imagine that i give you billion of dollars and tell you to chill and stop working .You will have no problem( as per popular belief that money is the solution to all problems) but after sometime (time depending upon an individual) you will find yourself in great depression.Challenges in life are necessary.They keep you alive .People in those rich countries have everything of materialistic comfort but yet they are the unhappiest people i have seen .some of them resort to drugs just to kill off their mood swings .India is better and it will get better but i hope it slows down its pace and never become like those rich countries where i have seen people suffering from psychosomatic diseases .Trust me physical diseases are still better than these psychological ailments.India is way better.
In case you still wish to go then i am giving you my order of preference :
Western European countries like Netherlands ,Belgium,France
I would never go to the latter two !
my own experience of my post graduation In Canada and
my stay at Netherlands ,France and where not LOL !
Don't go out because others are doing it. Don't stay here because others are saying that to you.
Ask yourself where you are likely to feel comfortable.
You have to ask yourself - Why and What's in it for yourself?
If you are single, why you want to live abroad and what's in it for you in India? Write pros and cons of both and then choose. Answering this question gives you more narrow choice.
If you are married, you need to discuss with your spouse and parents(if you care for them). Ask them if they can manage abroad, with you. If your salary doesn't help with finances abroad then you also have to convince wife to work. If she is of helpful type then yes, she'll take on that responsibility and then transition offshore won't exhaust you much.
Go to the prospective country and spend few days over there. Find out how hard it is to live day-to-day and then decide if india is worth it.
If you live abroad in countries like US, CA, AU and UK then one of the following things are the benefits to you -
- Better healthcare.
- Satisfactory responses on govt. services like police, roads, water, electricity and disaster management.
- Better lifestyle.
- No gender dominant laws, no caste discrimination etc.
- Mixture of cultures.
- Better IT and startup opportunities.
If you live in India here are some of the benefits for you -
- Indian Culture. You'll miss the festivals and other religious stuff even if you are not religious. Whether you like it or not, it's a gift that we are born into this culture.
- Good People. Yes, they exists and make living here worthwhile.
- Parents. Unless you plan on taking them with you.
- Specific type of Indian woman. Extremely rare but the one who adjusts, family caring and loving.
- Food. You can't find any restaurant or driveway food abroad having good taste like you get on chaupati food.
Don't make decisions based on glitter that you see after comparison. Live in those places, compare the pain and find where you are more comfortable and then decide.
I think there is no definite answer for this. It depends on your preferences, personality and priorities. Somebody will give more weightage to earnings / money, somebody to life style...there too there are personal preferences...some will like fast city life...other will like peaceful slow easy-going life style, somebody will give more weightage to friends / family / relatives etc.
My personal opinion is that best strategy is to spend few years abroad during your initial career time....typically after college passout till your first child is 2–3 year (not going to school). After that stay in India only. Reason is obvious. During this time you have least dependency, best enthusiasm, have priority to earn well and have some good savings. After this normally priorities change. You will not like your child's education being effected (there is lot of difference in education system in India and abroad).
Also, it feels very nice when you go aboard but with time you start missing friends, family, Indian Food etc. Basically the ‘At Home' feeling is what you start deserving. So, i would suggest stay aboard for few years but settle down in your home country only.
I will share my experience because i have gone through exactly what you have been going through.
I lived in London for 4 years.I Studied film making there and worked with a TV Channel for 2 years .
It was a great life as a bachelor.I was making 1600 Pounds in 2007 .I think that was a good amount as per my experience and educational background.
As time passed by i started thinking that i studied film making in India.I studied film making in London (Fees paid was 20,000 Pounds for 2 years ) and the job i was doing was producing live shows and editing.I was getting worried about my career as my skills were not being utilised . In UK the market is so slow.Its all Retail business mainly and people just live routine life . (In my view..I may be wrong )
So i decided to come back to india and settle down in Mumbai.Because TV & Film industry is vibrant here..So damn opportunities.I came back and struggled a bit to get into industry.I joined one travel channel and roamed around the world - Which i couldn't do if i had stayed in london for sure unless i worked in main stream tv channels which are very few and hard to get in if you are not born in UK.I was amazed by the professionalism and systems placed in indian industry.
Then i left my job and started my own VFX company and i got projects from USA and natherlands . We did 3 hollywood film VFX. - I couldn't become Boss and work on hollywood films if i was in London.I could do that because i was in Mumbai.
Then i started a Creative agency and the company is doing well.I am an entrepreneur here.Having good family and stuffs.
Still i sometime get tempted and frustrated about safety and pollution and stuffs.But every evening after dinner when i play carrom with society friends and cracking jokes i feel so happy that i came back.
I can enjoy with friends and family.I can live with parents.attend social functions..Have lots of festivals and all.
If you dont watch news and have good career you are happy in India.If you live abroad you will still feel something missing.Offcourse infrastructure and safety and all are great there but thats not the goal of life for me.For me career is the first thing and career is better in India than UK,Europe,Australia,New zealand etc..I am not sure about USA.There might be better opportunities in USA..Its already proven but UK,Europe,Australia and New zealand,Canada are same models.
So i would say if you are looking at doing business or looking at growth in career and being happy with friends and family...India is better place.If you are looking at nice roads,White people around,Snow falls or You are sure that you have better career abroad..then you can choose to settle down abroad.
Oh yea I have always preferred to stay in India as
- I wanted to take care of my parents. I skipped onsite options for better offshore jobs
- I have been working in IT for 12 years. I have travelled half a dozen times on short visits (2~3 months). I always wanted to get my Mom International Coffee brands, Decorative items etc.. every few months
- I recently lost my dad. This was an unexpected event. I spent good time with him. My happiness lies in being connected with my parents (Although I commute to home town). I want to take good care of my mom
- Being at home for a reasonable salary is much better than working and staying away. Money cannot buy good memories. Good memories give you peaceful life
- "Spend time on things Money can't buy". Its a personal choice. I love my decision and my life.
- Total merit depends on your job, salary, lifestyle not on location
- Pursued Masters at 33. Now working on my own personal interests
- Develop contacts to understand the startup circle and cutting edge projects done
- We miss somethings new place / culture but again satisfaction in career is more important than location / place / salary