So I've been debating over the past couple of years whether it is worthwhile to come back to India to work for a few years since a lot seems to be happening over there. I've lived in England all my life, and with the recession and doom and gloom I thought it was the perfect excuse and opportunity to escape to India until the recession in the west was over.
There seems to be only two ways to do well in India: come with high quality work experience and/or a top degree (preferably a PGP from India). Since I only graduated a couple of years ago, my work experience won't get me a high quality job, so I thought of doing an MBA in India, having successfully gained admission and the opportunity to go to top 10 b-school in India. All seems rosy, but then I thought is it really worth it? I read an article of NY Times of a few Indians from the US and UK who repatriated to India but they were all disappointed through either high expectations or just getting frustrated with the inefficient systems that seem to be embedded in various different parts of life. Whilst India is enjoying high economic growth, and with this brings well paid corporate jobs and the usual western amenities, is the quality of life really all that great?
From personal experience and with family in India, everyone seems to be struggling in one form or another - life is just too tough. It's either too expensive to buy a flat (it seems far too expensive to own a house in a major city), electronics/cars cost the same if not more than the west so it takes years to pay the EMI on them despite earning a so called "good salary" by indian standards, kids have to go through grueling entrance exams and so forth. To top this off, the biggest draw to me in India was the opportunity to socialise with my fellow people, but it seems that at b-school everyone is too busy studying, and when you start working you're working so damn hard that you hardly have time for a social life.
What hope does India have for the future? With the increasing population, the infrastructure will always be lacking. For example the Delhi Metro sounds great in theory but with the number of people using it, it looks like a nightmare to go on it during rush hour. With increasing incomes and limited space, house prices will keep rising. How does one afford an apartment in a place like Gurgaon where prices start at 1-1.5 crore+? Even if you're both IIM-A grads you will still struggle to buy an apartment.
Thinking this through I thought the best thing to do is to stick it out in the UK (luckily I'm employed at the moment) and to perhaps go to India on a secondment later down the line.