Did you know that India’s migrant population is the largest in the world? According to a UN survey on international migrant trends, about 16 million Indians were living outside the country in 2015, according to news published by Independent in 2016. Indians leave their home country with the ambition of a world class education, dream job and a better lifestyle.
However, in recent years, India has been witnessing a trend of reverse brain drain, where a large number of overseas Indians are trying to make their way back home, just like me.
Protectionist regimes, job redundancies and geopolitics are some of the major reasons driving this trend. India is now a leading provider of job opportunities in IT, technology, healthcare and pharma, among others, and various research and development options, which are attracting NRIs to acquire senior level positions in their home country, says an article in The Economic Times on October 23, 2017.
You can also refer to my article on returning to India to know more about what is driving NRIs to move back to India. However, once a person has spent a significant amount of time in US, relocating to India can appear no less than a cultural shock to them. Here are 10 tips that can make the transition smoother.
10 Things to Do on Returning to India
- Aadhar Card:
Aadhar card, the SSN of India, is probably the first thing you’ll need to obtain when you come to India. The card can be easily applied for at various centres located throughout the country. You can also enlist the help of agents who usually charge ₹100-₹350 per person for this.
- PAN Card:
Another thing that serves as identity proof is the PAN or Permanent Account Number. This is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric identity allotted to taxpayers in the country by the Income Tax Department, under the supervision of the Central Board of Direct Taxes.
- NRI Bank Closure:
When you are planning to return to India, you must inform your bank about the change in your residential status, to re-designate your NRO Account/Deposit as a resident rupee account, Indian savings account or fixed deposit. If you have FCNR and NRE deposits, they can be closed immediately or can be allowed to run up to maturity.
- Get Habitual of Technology in India:
Once called the land of snake charmers, India is constantly evolving, taking advantage of technological advancements to provide amenities to its citizens. The country would appear extremely different from what it was when you left it a few years ago.
- Adjust to the Work Environment:
Even if you have transferred from a US-based multinational company to its Indian branch, you should know that the company would have different work cultures in different countries. People in India are still trying to excel in motivation and discipline. Do bear with them.
- Understand India’s Hygiene:
USA is unbeatable when it comes to health and hygiene. This is something that is still being attempted in India. Also, given the climate, there is more dust here. So, be prepared for that.
- Protect Yourself against Pollution:
Unfortunately, India also lags behind the US in terms of ensuring pollution-free air. Due to rising traffic and industrialization, pollution is a major issue in the country. Use face masks, if necessary.
In the US, where you used to have a hard time finding a single human being, you’ll never fall short of them in India. In the second most populous country in the world, prepare yourself to be jostled by the crowds wherever you go.
- Have Multiple Sources of Income:
The cost of living has surprisingly increased in India in the past few years, It is best for both spouses to earn a living to ensure a good standard of living in India.
- Have a Contact List:
Since you were away from your home country for so many years, you might not be in touch with too many of your old friends or family members. Once you return, do make the effort to re-establish contact with people, meet new ones and build up a contact list that can stand you in good stead, if and when needed.
Having said all that, I would also emphasize that coming home to family is an unbeatable experience. There might be pros and cons of moving back to India but being back home is worth it all.
Got questions? Please ask in comments.