by NADEEM BADSHAH
CITY OFFERS HIGHEST EXPAT WAGES IN THE WORLD
MUMBAI has been unveiled as the city where expatriates pocket the highest salaries in the world, according to research.
Workers in the home of Bollywood earn an average of $217,165 (£156,943) a year, compared with the global average of $99,903 (£72,194), with around a quarter of them in engineering roles.
The financial capital of India beat off cities including Shanghai in China, Jakarta in Indonesia and Hong Kong which were in the top 10 of the study by HSBC Bank.
However, India was ranked just 33rd out of 61 nations for career women in research by InterNations, a guide for expats.
The Britons who have moved from the UK to Mumbai include actor Upen Patel, singer Ash King and Yusuf Hatia, managing director of public relations and marketing agency Fleishman-Hillard.
Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat, said Mumbai has the highest percentage (44 per cent) of expats sent to work there by their employer. And it is home to a more experienced workforce than the average, with 54 per cent living in the city aged between 34-54.
Blackburn told Eastern Eye: “As the financial capital of India, Mumbai is the hub of developments in financial tech and is home to some of the world’s most successful international businesses.
“Expats tells us that Mumbai top the table when it comes to their salary earnings, earning significantly more than the global average. These expats often benefit from relocation packages which goes some way in explaining the higher salaries expats enjoy.
“Furthermore, employment for expats is very high in Mumbai – 89 per cent are employed versus a global average of 78 per cent.”
Blackburn added: “We know that 22 per cent of expats in Mumbai work in engineering, following recent moves from German and other infrastructure companies supporting government projects and public-private partnerships.
“All of this points to the fact that Mumbai is playing a key part in India’s rapidly growing economy, eager to compete on the world stage and making it an exciting destination for expats who want to progress their career.”
San Francisco in the US was ranked as the best city in the world for expat job opportunities ahead of London, New York, Dublin and Birmingham.
But the research found that cities in Asia that offer high wages are also expensive to live in. Just 17 per cent of urban expats said their area is an affordable place to live.
A burger and chips meal with a drink costs `283 (£3.14) in Mumbai, a litre of whole fat milk is `58 (64p) and a two-litre bottle of Coca-Cola is `77 (85p), according to website Expatisan. Monthly rent for furnished accommodation in an upmarket area is `67,966 a month (£754.42).
Lindsey, an expat from Kent, lives in the city formerly known as Bombay with her husband Mick and their two children.
She said: “The quality of life in India is very different to that in the UK. Mumbai is dirty and polluted, but there are small islands of absolute opulence open only to wealthy Indians and expats.
“The luxury hotels and clubs serve fabulous poolside buffets surrounded by immaculate lawns, but just metres away, on the other side of the wall, there are homeless families living on the street.
“Quality of life back home is fresh air, green fields, availability of good quality fresh food. Here in Mumbai, it means being chauffeured around in air-conditioned cars, having housemaids and attending fabulous functions.
“What I like most about Mumbai is the people. There is a can-do attitude and they are very confident and positive. They are also very resourceful.”
Research by InterNations found that 18 per cent of expat women working in India rate their overall job satisfaction negatively, which is three times more than 2016 due to long office hours.
The survey found that Mexico, Myanmar, Cambodia, Bahrain and New Zealand offered the best career prospects for women.
Malte Zeeck, founder and Co-CEO of InterNations, told Eastern Eye: “Our annual Expat Insider survey shows that the share of women moving to India for work is decreasing.
“The dissatisfaction might be, at least in part, due to the extremely long hours they have to put in. Female working expats in India have the second longest full-time working week of all the 65 countries ranked in the survey, only surpassed by Uganda. With an average of 47.4 hours per week, they spend 4.7 hours more in the office than the global average.
“Therefore, it might not be a surprise that three in 10 female expats (30 per cent) are unsatisfied with their work-life balance, which is eight percentage points more than the global average.”
The annual survey quizzed 7,000 female expats living in 168 countries.