The mobility industry has come a long way in India. A decade ago it was difficult to find suitable expat housing in Tier-1 cities, while today great housing options can be found even in Tier-2 cities. Many housing communities boast villas and condominiums replete with amenities like swimming pools, gymnasiums and golf courses.
The infrastructure development in India during this period has been huge and this has led to better roads, improved public transport, healthcare and big strides in technology. Now even remote villages have a good Internet connection. All of this combined has made it easier for expats to adjust to living in India.
It is hard to believe that at one time multinational companies offered their expat employees a “hardship allowance” to move to India! In present times, that would be quite unthinkable. In fact, most millennials today believe that having a stint working in India is beneficial to their career progression.
The education system too has gone through a sea change. Previously there were just a handful of international schools that were based in Teir-1 cities and had long waiting lists. Today, there are a wide range of schools across India offering International Baccalaureate and IGCSE qualifications.
Customers’ needs are changing
Assignments to India have changed too. Traditional long-term assignments where assistance was provided throughout have been replaced by lighter-touch short-term assignments. One reason for this could be the fact that Indian immigration laws make it difficult for spouses to secure employment visas unless they are independently able to meet the minimum wage requirement.
Another interesting development is Indian companies looking for relocation support with domestic moves. This was quite unheard of a few years ago, when relocation support was only provided to expatriates. Today many companies want to offer their Indian employees education assistance, unaccompanied home search and household goods services when they relocate. Increasingly, this is being outsourced rather than being dealt with in-house by HR due to stricter laws on compliance, data integrity and privacy consent. Also, using an external provider is easier to budget for and reduces exceptions.
Catering for a demographic shift
With more and more millennials joining the workforce in India, there are sure to be even more exciting and challenging times for the mobility industry as we stay abreast of catering to this new generation. Technology is definitely going to be at the forefront of these changes.
A few years ago just having a website would have put you ahead of the competition, but today we have already moved to mobile apps, virtual orientations and ePacking.
As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, India has been through a great deal of development in the past decade and there are undoubtedly plenty of transformations in store. For mobility experts, it’s important to keep ahead of the curve, anticipating change and making sure relocating employees have everything they need to thrive in their new location.
About the author – Priya Kuttaiah
Priya has been associated with the mobility industry for over 15 years and has been witness to the changing requirements of companies moving their talent to India.
She has worked closely with many large multi-national corporations in implementing their relocation policies and in offering advice and guidance to them in defining what may be a particular requirment in India.
She has trained many aspiring entrants in this field, sharing her vast knowledge and experience. She continues to be a mentor to emerging managers at Crown.
Priya loves to read and keep abreast of new technology. She is an avid gardener and loves to travel