Mumbai – The City of Dreams

Mumbai – The City of Dreams

Sanjog Charan

May 30, 2020

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Mumbai – the city of dreams
Mumbai – the city of dreams
Mumbai – the city of dreams

Average Expatriate Salary is Twice the Global Average

A recent survey indicated that the average expatriate salary in Mumbai is 217,165 USD, which is more than twice the global average

Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat services, says Mumbai had the uppermost percentage (44%) of expats sent by their employers to India. “These expats often profit from relocation packages, which goes some way in explaining the higher salaries expats enjoy in the city,” he says. He added that employment for expats was very high in Mumbai and many work in the field of engineering.

Age may well have something to do with this phenomenon. For instance, the survey found 52% of the expats in London were millennials. Mumbai’s expat workforce is older: 54% were aged 35-54, equated to the global average of 45%. Obviously, expats in Mumbai seem to be older and more experienced.

The general belief among HR professionals is that foreign workers coming to India from more developed countries need to be rewarded for the ‘hardship’.

The term for this is ‘hardship allowance’, which can include housing costs, a chauffeur-driven car, premium healthcare packages, club memberships and educational fees. Some of the international schools in Mumbai such as American school of Bombay and Oberoi International School have annual fees as high as two million rupees.

It is therefore no surprise that more and more Expats are accepting India assignments. Besides the cultural superpower attraction, having India on their resume as the fastest growing economy and the large salaries are strong magnets.

History of Mumbai

Mumbai, formally known as Bombay has always been the economic hub of India since the time of the British and is a city populated by migrants, with stunning British era Architecture, a 2000-year history reflected in the Elephanta caves. Mumbai has been a city of first’s for India and is its art and entertainment capital. It hence grows on people who first arrive here and usually magically captures them to become its own. Many migrants never leave Mumbai.

Mumbai, a city so prodigious with its integration of 7 islands, known with its various accolades as the city of dreams, the city which never sleeps; India’s financial capital; India’s entertainment capital; Bollywood; the Gateway to India; doesn’t seem to end surprising in the modern era. It is said that the Islands of Mumbai were gifted by the Portuguese to the British as part of a dowry.

Mumbai is the ‘World’s highest paid Expat City’; an accolade which is driven by the wealth of opportunity the city has been offering to global corporations. Mumbai is closely followed by cities like San Francisco, Zurich and Shanghai, with the other top Asian cities being Jakarta and Hong Kong.

While expats in Asia were generally well compensated financially, all — including Mumbai, the mega-city home to more than 18 million people — ranked lower in expat job opportunities than U.K. and U.S. destinations such as London, San Francisco, New York, or even Birmingham.

For Expat housing; Mumbai is arguably one among the world’s most expensive real estate markets. The real estate market in Mumbai is complex and usually managed through agents. One may need extensive hand holding support through the process of identifying suitable housing and going through the process of negotiations, registration of the contract/ agreement in the Government offices/ courts, getting property to be in live able condition and property moving in process. Although there is sufficient supply in the market; finding a high-quality apartment, equivalent to western standards is usually a challenging exercise.

Expats prefer living in areas of Malabar Hill, Lower Parel, Worli, Bandra, Powai, Santa Cruz, Juhu and Andheri

Apartment blocks are the most common type of Housing available in Mumbai. There are popular areas and buildings that tend to attract foreigners; however, most expats will find themselves negotiating for an apartment in a stand-alone block with little or no amenities.

Educational Institute in Mumbai

Mumbai has reputed International school options to select from, offering both excellent academic guidance as well as a wide range of extra-curricular activities for all round development. These schools may offer ISC, IGCSE and IB. It is best to start school admission process as early as possible in order to be able to secure a seat in the International school. The preferred school for expatriates is the American International school at Bandra Kurla. Parents do give a lot of thought and time to selecting a school for their child specially when they move to India. Curriculum, teaching standards, school infrastructure, fees, location, safety — all are crucial while making that choice. Earlier, there were few options in curricula and a small list of old and established institutions to choose from. Now, new-age campuses and legislation, such as the Right to Education Act, are revolutionizing school education, with an explosion in the number of schools and a wider choice of Indian and international curricula, the task of finding the best school is tougher than ever for expats moving to Mumbai.

Neighborhoods in Mumbai

The most preferred neighborhoods in Mumbai are Hiranandani Powai, Bandra west, South Mumbai areas like Colaba, Lower Parel and Juhu and their respective monthly rentals for a 2 bedroom semi-furnished apartment can start as low as INR 45,000 and can go up to INR 3,00,000 respectively, similarly a 3 bedroom fully furnished apartment can be as high as INR 5,00,000 per month.

A leave and license agreement is an agreement wherein the licensor temporarily allows the licensee to use and occupy licensor’s immovable property full or a portion of it, for the purpose of carrying business activity or residential use. For this, the licensor shall be paid by the licensee a fixed amount also known as the rent. The leave and license are usually granted to the licensee for a period of 11 months. The agreement must be registered before the sub-registrar at the place of jurisdiction (the place where the immovable property is located).

  • Benefits of leave and license for tenant

  • It can be used as a valid address proof anywhere in India.

  • These leave and license agreements are legal documents binds the licensor in terms of the security amount, rent amount, stay duration, other payables for the use of property that cannot be changed once the agreement is signed by both the parties.

  • It is imperative for a tenant as it protects his right to stay for a certain duration and endures some stability. It gives surety of the conditions of the stay.

BKC – Bandra Kurla Complex is the new commercial hub for Mumbai with many global MNC’S having their offices unlike Nariman point and fort which were the prime commercial locations of the economic capital of the country.


The city of Mumbai is now in par with any of the global capitals like London, New York and Singapore and people coming from different parts of the world with certainly agree to it with economical growth.