Monday, February 14, 2011

Relocating In Mumbai

Mumbai is India's largest city by population and is the financial and commercial capital of the country. The city is a highest contributor to GDP and income tax in India. Most of the well established companies are headquartered in Mumbai and generate huge revenue from this city. Many foreign banks and financial institutions also have branches in this area and the city is the 4th most expensive office market in the world.

Most of India's major television and satellite networks, as well as its major publishing houses, are headquartered in Mumbai. The centre of the Hindi movie industry, Bollywood, is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest in the world. 

Each day hundreds of people come to Mumbai from different part of the country and around the world to achieve their aspirations, career goals and pursue studies. However, if the “City of Dreams”, beckons you, there is a lot of stuff you should know before you move here. I moved to Mumbai in 2005. As I grew up in the city, I have experienced all the highs and the lows of having to work and travel in Mumbai.

State and central government employees make up a large percentage of the city's workforce. Mumbai also has a large unskilled and semi-skilled self employed population, who primarily earn their livelihood as hawkers, taxi drivers, mechanics and other such blue collar and white collar professions.  The city also has a huge number of call centres employing thousands of people each day.

If you are planning to relocate to Mumbai, there are couple of things you should be aware about like accommodation, availability of food, travelling and few other things. Let me take you through it bit by bit.

Accommodation:  One of the biggest challenges to survive in the city is accommodation. Though there are lot of brokers available in Mumbai to help you with accommodation, it comes with a big pinch in your pocket and a lot of risk of being duped. To rent a standard 1BHK apartment in the suburbs it will cost you like 15,000/- plus a huge deposit and brokerage. If you are a bachelor you may find a room on sharing basis in and around the suburbs which again most probably is par below the standards and zero security. In such conditions, you may want to rent an apartment somewhere outside the suburbs like Thane, Mira Rd, Vasai, Vashi, ect.

Food: Ever heard of the word Dabbawalas? You probably did. It’s a business collecting the freshly cooked food in lunch boxes from the residences of the office workers and delivering it to their respective workplaces. For bachelors one can avail a Tiffin service which is delivered at your residence at your convenient time. The service is almost always uninterrupted, even on the days of severe weather such as monsoons. If you wish to eat out Mumbai also provides a huge range of options for food, with fancy restaurants and lounges. There are the usual franchise outlets like KFC, McDonalds and the pizza variants. Furthermore, you will find junks like chaats, vada pav, paani puri, bhel, sandwiches at ever corner of the city.  When it comes to beverages one cannot resist the Nimboo pani and soda pubs in Mumbai because of the humidity.

Travelling: Local trains are the most economical and common form of travel in Mumbai. But you need to get used to it since it’s usually overcrowded. The city has a good frequency of BEST bus services, but is usually over packed and time consuming due to heavy traffic. For short distances you will find auto rickshaws and taxis dodging the traffic and abusing each other at every corner. Traffic during the peak hours is a killer and can be worse during the monsoons. If you can afford it you can also avail private taxi services like Meru, cool cab ect.

Shopping and hang around: People kind of love shopping in Mumbai! Hence, you will find a variety of stores, malls and street bazaars in every suburb. If you are a shopping freak too, you got to watch out places like Zaveri Market, Crawford Market, Fashion Street, Bandra linking rd, Lamington rd, Inorbit Mall, Oberoi Mall ect….

When it comes to hang around Mumbai is very diverse. For many people who have come to Mumbai for the first time, they’re left utterly confused sometimes as to which places to check out and which places to avoid. So was I. Some places to check out are Haaji Ali Dargah, Marine drive, Cuffe Parade, Bandra bandstand, Bandra Reclamation, Worli sealink, Juhu Chowpati, Madh Island, Gorai Beach, Nariman Point and Gateway of India.

Culture: Mumbai has an assortment of people from various communities and almost 50% of the population are migrants. Since the metropolitan is observing modern trends, here people enjoy participating in all festivals irrespective of caste, creed and colour. Festivals like Diwali and Ganesh are the most vibrant ones. Marathi is recognized as the official language of the Mumbai. Apart from Marathi, there are many other languages like Hindi and English are widely spoken and understood. Cricket is the most popular sport in the city. 

Career opportunities: Huge part of the Mumbai population earns their livelihood from Real estate, Stock market and logistics. If you do a Google search you will find the information and advertisement flooded in this area. There are also lot of opportunities in the other fields like advertising, marketing and sales, Administration, Film/TV Jobs in Mumbai. Whatever, you aspire for, you will need to be patient and smart since there is a lot of competition along with the opportunities. Most importantly, you need to know where to start from. If you would like to put your first step forward to make a career in this city, I can help you with a job with a good enough pay, convenient conveyance and a friendly work environment. You can contact me by leaving a comment below with your contact details. Cheers!

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