In 2010, the chairman of India’s Reliance Industries, one of the country’s most valuable companies, completed construction of his 27 story, 570-foot-tall residence in Mumbai. Three elevators, six levels of parking space, and three helipads count among the home’s numerous features.
Several hundred staff members are employed to care for the $1 billion edifice.
And at the same time, thousands of homeless people sleep on the nearby streets.
India is full of stark contrasts and many superlatives.
It is an emerging market, the way that China was 15 years ago. Many of China’s low-end manufacturing jobs have now gone to India. So have some of the higher-end types of production, too – it’s still cheaper for Volkswagen, for example, to hire Indian workers than to hire Chinese robots.
Over the past decade or so, approximately 100 million people in India have joined the middle class. That’s a phenomenal number, but it’s still only about 10% of the population.
India is on its way to becoming a major economic powerhouse. If the country’s enviable economic growth continues, it should overtake Japan’s economy by 2030, and that of America by 2055.
However, for now, you may want to forget about owning an active business there. The bureaucracy is mind boggling, and their taxes are high.
Overall, there might be some very compelling investment opportunities in India. But, for the most part, the country tends to be a very closed, insular place , with the best opportunities typically offered to Indian citizens first.
Digital nomads, in contrast, tend to like India, thanks to its exotic flair and incredibly cheap cost of living.
It's a great place to be if you're looking for an incredibly rich – and cheaply priced – experience. If you’re searching for adventure on a shoestring budget, India might well be the place for you.
There’s a sizable expat community in the beach towns of Goa province, for example, where someone with a laptop and an internet business could thrive.