Thursday, February 25, 2010

Getting KG admission for a kid in school - the math behind it

Getting admission for a kid in a good school in India, is very difficult. I underestimated the efforts involved to get an admission for kid in school.

Standing in long queues to get application form, filling application form religiously, submitting application on-time, preparing the kid rigorously for interactive sessions, and doing in-person interviews well - isn't just enough for getting admission into a good school, in India. I learned this lesson very late and my next few posts are going to be on this topic. Hopefully, others who Return to India (R2I) can learn from my mistakes.

Also Read:

Questions asked during KG interview in Schools
R2I school admissions - FAQ
List of CBSE schools in Chennai

Every school taught me something new. At the end, I think I figured out the math behind the KG admission process (or at least, I'm pretty close to the actual). Here is the approximate split-up of seat allotments to kids during KG admissions (PreKG or LKG, depending upon the entry level in that school)
  • Kids who have an elder sibling already studying in that school (50% of the seats, given)
In a school that has upto 12th grade, almost 50% of the PreKG (or LKG) seats get filled with the sibling of the children who already study there.

Let us take for example a school that has PreKG - 12th grade & one class/section per grade. The school would have 15 classes/sections in total (PreKG, LKG, UKG, and 1st - 12th grade). Let us assume that there are 50 kids studying in each class. So, in total ~750 kids would study in that school (15 grades * 50 kids per class). When the admissions start for Pre-KG, they would have ~50 open/available seats.

Let us assume that 1/5th of the school children have a younger sibling of 2.5 - 3 years age (i.e., ~150 students would have a younger sibling of 2.5 - 3 years age). To me, this is a very conservative assumption. If 1/3rd of them want to admit their younger sibling in the same school ~50 would look for a PreKG seat (i.e., 150 * 1/3) . 

So, theoretically speaking, majority of the Pre-KG seats would be alloted to younger sibling of children who are already studying in that school. I'm sure each school would have a quota of seats alloted to sibling of children who are already studying in that school. Even if the quota is 50%, 25 out of 50 seats would be allotted to the sibling of children who are already studying in that school.
  • Kids of teachers/staff working in the school (5% of the seats, given)

  • Kids who go with recommendations from teachers/staff working in that school  (10% of the seats, given)

  • Kids who go with recommendations from the school's board members/trustee (10% of the seats, given)

  • Kids who go with recommendations from key politicians / education & government officials (10% of the seats, given)

  • Kids whose parents are ready to offer a lot of donation to get a seat in the school (5% of the seats, given)

  • Kids who perform extremely well in the interviews / interactive sessions (10% of the seats, given)
** The distribution of the % of seats may vary across each of these categories, depending upon the school in which you are seeking admission. The above numbers are based on my hunch. So, it may not be an accurate representation.

Typically, these schools issue 1000s of application forms for ~Rs.200 each. At a minimum they'll earn Rs. 2 Lakhs by just issuing application forms. So, they don't hesitate to issue application forms. They'll even call everyone for interviews. They'll spend a few minutes with you and your kid. Finally, they would tell you "We'll call you and inform" or they'll publish the results and your kid's name wouldn't be there in the list. If you are really honest and trying to get admission without any influence - most likely you wouldn't get a seat for your kid.

Also read:

R2I Planning Guide - one stop shop
R2I school admissions - FAQ
List of CBSE schools in Chennai 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Filing Tax Returns in US after R2I - Some tips

It is that time of the year when we start to think about filing Tax returns in US. From what I have seen, people procrastinate filing tax returns until the last minute and finally, they do it in a hurry. If you have R2I'ed, you should start working on the Tax returns filing process much in advance. This would give you enough time to gather all the relevant documents and file tax returns.

What are the documents that you would need to file your tax returns? You need the proof of income from various sources such as work, investments, 401k closure, rental properties etc., You need to have proof for some of the deductions that you may claim such as US home loan interest, donations, investment losses, education/training expenses etc.,

When returning from USA, you should have given the change of address to all the concerned parties, so that they can mail you the income tax statement. Otherwise, you may have to chase each of them to send you soft copies by email. Hopefully, you gave the address of a friend who lives in his/her own house. That way, you don't have to worry about change of address when your friend shifts his/her house. Inform/remind your friend that he/she may receive your income tax statements from different sources. This will help them to keep an eye on it.

I just did my last US tax return. Thanks to The process was very simple and easy. If you have been using Turbotax in the previous years, don't forget to update your residency status for part year residency. You'll get some state income tax credit for that. If you had closed your 401k account during your R2I, you have to pay 10% penalty for your early 401k withdrawal, during the time of filing tax returns. Don't forget to save a copy of the tax returns documents to your PC and if possible, take some printouts of your tax returns for future reference.

When filing your tax returns, give your US bank account number and routing number for direct credit of the tax returns. Later on, you can transfer the money to your Indian bank account. If you are within the RNOR period (i.e., 2 years since your R2I), you don't have to declare this as foreign income when filing your tax returns in India.

I understand that filing tax returns is a time consuming process and you need to gather lots of details/documents. But, being an early bird helps to avoid the last minute anxieties.

Also read:

Filing Tax Returns in India - Made Easy
R2I Planning Guide - One Stop Shop
R2I - 401(k) closure FAQs

Sunday, February 14, 2010

R2I Planning Guide

This post consolidates rich information on various R2I topics such as R2I checklist, R2I reasons, 401K, Social Security, R2I Jobs/salaries, R2I schools and settling costs in India.

The objective of this post is to make it easier for you to find specific information on different R2I topics. Eventually, this post will evolve to become an "All you have to know about R2I" guide.

R2I checklist

R2I - 25 things to do / checklist
R2I Address Change - Checklist


Should I participate in 401k? The answer is YES !
R2I - 401(k) closure FAQs
R2I - What to do with the 401(k) account?

Social Security

R2I - How can I get my Social Security benefits/money
How to apply for credit freeze during R2I?

R2I Reasons

100 reasons to Return to India (R2I)
10 reasons to return back to India

R2I Jobs

R2I Job Search - FAQ

How to search for R2I jobs?
Work environment in India - Then & Now
R2I - List of MNCs in Chennai

R2I Schools

R2I school admissions - FAQ
List of CBSE schools in Chennai 
Getting KG admission for a kid in school - the math behind it 
Questions asked during KG interview in Schools

R2I Salaries
10 tips for R2I salary negotiation
Cost to Company (CTC) - Peeling the Onion

R2I Legal Stuff

Green Card vs US Citizenship

R2I Essentials (including cost of living, things to buy, etc.,)

10 things to know if you are thinking of Returning
How much money do you need to R2I?
US to India Money Transfer Strategies

R2I - List of things to pack/bring from US

IP Phone - Magic Jack vs Vonage vs Skype
Goods in US market - lots of options & cheaper prices
Nilkamal's @home - Not designed for me

Post R2I

Things to take care of, after your R2I
Extending stay of PIO card holder

Monday, February 8, 2010

R2I Job Search - FAQ

One of the big-ticket items in R2I checklist is finding a job in India. Getting a job before your R2I is extremely important, especially when you don't have the luxury to take a short break or if you are the bread winner of the family.

This blog post is aimed at addressing the questions that you may have in finding your R2I job. I've developed it in FAQ format for easier reading (& for easier writing too ;-))

Is it really possible for me to find a job in India, when staying in US?


How many days before the R2I, should I look for a job in India?

You should start the R2I job search process at least 3 months before your R2I. A rough timeline is given below:

    - Preparing/polishing resume (1 week)
    - Shortlisting the companies and identifying the right contacts to circulate the resume (1 week)
    - Circulating the resume & the resume reaching hiring managers (1 or 2 weeks)
    - Scheduling/Conducting job interviews (2 - 3 weeks)
    - Announcing results and salary negotiation (1 week)

How do I start to look for a job in India, from US?

Read  How to search for R2I jobs?

Should I have to go to India for the interviews?

Most likely, NO (especially, if you are going through known contacts). 

However, if you happen to be in India (on a business/personal trip), a few months before your planned R2I - see if you can attend some interviews. It will make the whole process simpler and easier.

If the company you are interviewing for has a US division (or if it is headquartered in US), you'll be asked to fly/meet the people in US. Indian service companies do have lots of onsite co-ordinators in US. You can meet them, if you happen to be interviewing at Indian service companies. (Note: These things will happen in addition to the phone interviews you may have with folks in India)

Will people recruit me just by doing phone interviews?

Yes (especially, if you are going through known contacts). People give some credibility to your US work experience. For example, if you are with Cisco Systems for 4 years or so, people understand that Cisco might have done the due deligence before selecting you for the job. If the Indian firm is hiring for the same/similar work, they'll trust your skillls. Also, the person who referred you to the company/job (i.e., your reference) will have some weightage. 

What are some tips for resume preparation for R2I jobs?

When writing a resume, you need to take several things into consideration including whether you are sending your resume to the folks in US or to the folks in India. The type/format of the resume greatly varies based on your seniority, work experience, and the job/position to which you are applying for. You may even end-up having resumes in 2 or 3 different formats, for the different roles that you are applying for. In India, your technical knowledge/exposure goes a very long way. Most of the folks in India who are above 4 or 5 years of experience, jump into management roles. Hence, it is very hard to find technology experts. Having been in US for quite sometime, you'll definitely have a lead over such folks. Your resume should highlight your technology exposure AND leadership skills (even though you are looking for just managerial jobs in India).

How do I find the right contact/reference for R2I jobs?

LinkedIn will help you to find the right contact in companies for which you want to apply. You may not be directly connected to someone within the company. Get your direct contact to refer you to your higher level contacts until you reach the person who works for "that" company. (Also read: How to search for R2I jobs)

(I'll continue to update this list - as and when I get new questions)

Also read:

R2I - List of MNCs in Chennai
Work environment in India - Then & Now 
10 tips for R2I salary negotiation
Chennai Freshers Jobs

Sunday, February 7, 2010

How to search and find R2I jobs?

Are you planning to R2I and looking for a job in India? Have you tried posting your resume to all the job boards and haven't gotten a response, yet? Are you worried that you may have to return to India without a job?

R2I job searches typically take a longer time and hence it is recommended to start your job search at least 3 months before your R2I.
Here are some tips for you to do your R2I job hunt.

(Also read: R2I Job Search - FAQ)
  • If your employer has an offshore division, check with your employer if they can do an internal transfer. Internal transfers typically get you an attractive pay package.
  • Post your resume in Job boards such as Monsters/Hotjobs/Dice. Normally, R2I jobs are not 'advertised'. So, if you are looking for R2I jobs in job boards, you wouldn't be finding them. But, it is highly recommended to post your resume in all the job boards - just in case, if someone is looking for an R2I person in the job boards.
  • Talk to your friends whose employer has an 'offshore' division. Several IT companies such as Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft, eBay and Alcatel have offshore divisions. Your friends may be able to help you identify units in India that are aggressively hiring. If somebody is trying to 'aggressively' fill positions in India, they'll definitely be willing to hire you from US. (Also read: R2I - List of MNCs in Chennai)
  • Talk to your friends who work for Indian firms (such as HCL, Wipro, and Infosys). There are some Indian firms that look for 'technology experts' with good US experience - mostly when they are trying to form/build a new team for a US client. Such companies will be more willing to hire a person from US, directly.
  • Look for startups in US that have an Indian arm. Start-ups typically go out of the way to hire/retain talent. So, if there is a relevance/match of your skills with what they expect, you'll be hired. 
  • Circulate your resume to all your friends & acquaintances (i.e., alumni and buddy mailing lists).
  • Drop a note in R2IClubForums and find out if any company has open R2I jobs.
  • Make use of the social network. Update your Facebook/LinkedIn/Orkut/Twitter/Skype status and let your contacts know that you are planning to R2I and you are looking for a job. Someone may pop-up and say, "Hey! We are looking for an R2I person. Will you be interested?".
    At the end, do not leave any door unopened. Remember, "If you don't ask, the answer is always NO".

    Also read:

    Work environment in India - Then & Now 
    10 tips for R2I salary negotiation 

    Advertisement: Visit to find jobs in chennai

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    Cost to Company (CTC) - Peeling the Onion

    If you are planning your R2I and looking for a job in India, you need to have a good understanding of Cost-to-Company (CTC). CTC is the total money that company gives you - in some form or the other. If you expect your monthly salary to be (CTC/12 - appropriate tax deductions) you are going to be wrong ! The reality is - your monthly pay check will be way less than that.

    Now, what is included in CTC? How do you calculate CTC? Is CTC formula common across all the organizations? You'll find answers to these questions and many more in this blog post.

    The following are some of the things that are typically included in your CTC.
    •     Basic Pay
    •     House Rent Allowance (HRA)
    •     Dearness Allowance (DA)
    •     Conveyance allowance
    •     Medical allowance
    •     Leave Travel Allowance or Concession (LTA / LTC)
    •     Telephone / Mobile Phone Allowance
    •     Incentives or bonuses
    •     Special Allowance
    •     Company’s contribution to Provident Fund (PF)
    •     Reimbursements (Medical Bills, Phone bills, magazine subscriptions)
    •     Life Insurance
    •     Health insurance
    There are various tax exemptions that the government provides for many of these items. For example, you are eligible for tax exemptions for the HRA (if you are renting a home or if you have got a home loan to pay off.  All you need to do is just produce bills/proof.

    The concept of CTC is very prevalent in India. However, the components of CTC vary from one company to the other. There is no common formula to calculate CTC. It is typically the SUM of all the promises that your company makes to you in-terms of payments/benefits.

    It is perfectly fine to ask the HR person "How much would be my monthly take home salary". The HR person may give you a honest/straight-forward answer or a wishy-washy response. If he/she gives you a 'wishy-washy response', you can probe further to understand your REAL monthly take home salary.

    Whenever your employer says that your CTC is "so much" - ask for a split-up. The split-up should give you an idea of how much you would get in your monthly pay check. Don't feel shy to peel the onion. When it comes to understanding your CTC, you'll cry if you don't peel the onion at the right time.

    Also read:

    10 tips for R2I salary negotiation
    How much money is needed to R2I

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    100 reasons to Return to India (R2I)

    Are you thinking of Returning to India (R2I)? You are finding it difficult to make an R2I decision? Your logical mind couldn't come up with enough reasons to R2I? You are not sure about how much India has changed since you left to US? Thoughts about your kids' future & the quality of life in India is stopping you from making an R2I decision? Don't worry ! I bet, you'll find answers to most of your questions/concerns in this blog post.

    The objective of this blog post is not to motivate/force you to return back to India. But, if you have been contemplating about R2I for a while & couldn't make up your mind because of the lack of enough data points/reasons - this blog post is exactly for YOU. If you want to know the reasons for returning to India (R2I) - you can find them here. If you are wondering whether you should stay in US or move to India, this is the post for YOU.

    Also read:
    Returning back to India - 25 things to do
    R2I - List of things to pack/bring from US 
    10 things to consider before you decide to R2I

    Quality of Life

    1) There are lots of good options for entertainment - theme parks, movie theatres, shopping complexes & multiplexes. The multiplexes have options for movies, entertainment, shopping, dining, etc., You can kill the whole day in some of these multiplexes.

    2) There is a REAL social life. Life is not very mechanical here. You get to meet friends/relatives quite often in weddings, engagements or other parties.

    3) You don't have to 'plan your visit' to your friend's or relative's place. You can just show up without fixing appointments.

    4) Your favorite Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, Honda/Toyota, & Ford are now available in India and they're very common. If you drive a  Ford Icon or a Honda City, people don't stare at you anymore.

    5) Even groceries/vegetables are delivered at your home for no extra cost. Almost everything is sold or delivered to you at your door steps. You can call the nearby grocery shop and ask them to bring stuff to your home.

    6) You can book train/flight or bus tickets over the web (, You don't have to call your travel agent, anymore. You can even look for real estate, rental properties online !

    7) Many mundane tasks such as paying bills, government transactions etc., are available online. (I love IRCTC.CO.IN)

    8) Though the price of goods/commodities in India are highly inflated, things are still very affordable in India when compared to US.

    9) India has a very good public transport system. Man, I love it. Yes, the buses and trains are crowded. But, if you have to go somewhere they're AVAILABLE for you. There are lots of options including trains, buses, cabs, autos, & (my favorite) share autos.

    10) Auto rickshaws are available throughout the city. The auto owners/cab owners have become high tech. They all own a mobile phone. You can just give them a call and they'll be at your door in a few minutes.

    11) There are number of public parks that are maintained well. All such parks have play structures for kids. Of course, you cannot compare with what you can get in US. At the same time, you are not settling for less in India. (Also read: Mahabalipuram, Muttukadu & Crocodile Park visit)

    12) All "hi-tech" gadgets such as iPods, iPhones, Wii, laptops/netbooks etc., are available in India.

    13) You can do financial transactions such as banking/stock-trading/fund-transfers etc., online. You don't have to call your broker or visit a bank to do 'common' transactions.

    14) There are ATMs available everywhere. There is no charge involved for using other bank's ATMs (You can do up to 5 transactions per month in other bank's ATMs).

    15) People don't care about what you wear, anymore. Girls wearing skirts, T-shirts, sleeveless or tight dresses is so common, now a days.

    16) You don't have to look for down towns to buy things for your family. There is all kinds of stores/shops available close to the community where you live.

    17) You don't have to worry about paying huge costs for medical services. Medical insurance is getting popular in India. Most of the employers take care of your medical bills through medical insurance.

    18) There are toastmasters clubs available in different parts of India. If you have been part of them in US, you can continue your membership in India.

    19) Mobile phones are available everywhere. People in India are highly accessible at all the times. You can walk into a roadside shop to buy a pre-paid card and you have to just pay for what you USE. Signal coverage is awesome & cost of a call is very cheap.

    20) There are fitness centers (gyms) in all the residential communities. Also, there are fitness centers/tennis courts/swimming pools, that are open for memberships, in almost every area. Builders today are focusing more on the extra amenities available in the residential communities.

    21) You don't have to call/disturb your friend during the middle of his/her work to drop or pick you up from some place (especially, when you are giving your vehicle for service). You can use the inexpensive public transportation options.

    22) It would be hard to lead a 'luxurious' life in US. However, if you earn sufficient money in US, you can definitely lead a  'luxurious' life in India. The cost of living has definitely gone up. But, you'll feel the benefit of 1 USD = INR 45. (Also read: How much money do you need to R2I?)

    23) Home-makers/House wife will not be "bored" at home, in India. They can soon find friends in the neighborhood/communities. Women in India have greater flexibility these days to go out and be on their own. Women also enjoy a lot more freedom and they are treated on-par with men. 


    24) Kids don't have to be in day care. They can spend time with their grand parents, at home.

    25) Education in India is affordable (compare it to the $1000+ you pay in US every month for schools).

    26) There are lots of good schools (including international schools) in India providing high quality education.

    27) Schools in India are not just focusing only on 'academics' these days. For example, my daughter attending pre-KG in a local nursery school, gets to do lots of coloring, art work, physical exercises, and they're teaching stuff like Sanskrit verses/GK etc., Imagine what would a 5th grade or 10th grade student would get to do.

    28) It is very easy for kids to get spoiled in U.S, when they reach their adult hood. They get involved in dangerous habits such as smoking, drugs, early sex etc.,

    29) Indian environment is highly competitive and that can bring the best out of your kid. The whole world acknowledges the fact that Indian kids are 'smart'. The credit goes to our culture, value system, education, competitive society etc.,

    30) In India, kids get to learn more about religious values (by visiting temples often, participating in festivals/functions, hearing about ancient 'good over evil' stories & moral stories from schools/elders, etc.,). This definitely helps in shaping up their character.

    31) There are stores that sell items for new born & toys for kids. Almost all the toys that you buy in US for kids are available in India.

    32) Kids will develop a high immunity system, if brought-up in India.

    33) Kids brought up in India will know the importance of 'taking care of parents, when the parents get old'. You don't have to spend your "last few years" alone or in senior citizens care center (i.e., old age homes).
    When you show utmost importance/care to your parents, you'll kids will learn from your gesture.

    34) When your kids grow in US, they'll will pick up American accent. The grand parents/relatives in India may not be able to understand them. Also, the kids may not like to talk to grand parents.

    35) In US, kids get addicted to all the electronic gadgets & gizmos. This is not good for your kid's health/mind.

    36) If you return back to India during your kid's early childhood days (preferably, before he/she goes to school), it is easy for him/her to get accustomed to the things in India, . If your kids are very young, it makes more sense for you to return back now.

    37) You don't want your kid to get married to a non-Indian (say, Chinese or American), when they grow up.

    Personal Reasons

    38) Your parents in India are already very old.

    39) Your parent(s) in India, are sick and need your assistance. (Also read: Chikungunya - Deadly !)

    40) You have a single parent and you need to take care of him/her

    41) Your parents have been pestering you to come back to India for a while now.

    42) Your spouse has a good education/degree, but cannot work in US because he/she doesn't have an IT background. Your spouse continues to be a home maker and is always bored at home. Your spouse wants to come back to India and settle down.

    43) It is tough to find a bride from India, if you are a bachelor working in US. The craze about 'US based bridegrooms' is gone.

    Convenience / Good Support System

    44) You can hire someone to do your household work at a reasonable price.

    45) You don't have to drive your car. You can employ someone as driver. It is not even imaginable in US.

    46) Elders (Grand parents) are there to take care of the kids (giving them bath, dressing them up, feeding them, telling them interesting stories, putting them to sleep etc.,)

    47) Gone are those days, where you have to go to banks to open an account or apply for a credit/debit card. All such services are provided at your door steps. You've to just make a phone call. They'll even fill the forms for you.

    48) Service reps knock your door to sell Telephone/Internet/TV connections. You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing your Telephone/Internet/TV service providers. The prices are very competitive.

    49) Doctors/Hospitals are available at 'walkable' distance from your home. For Rs.100, you get treatment for general illness such as cough, cold, stomach upset etc.,

    50) Plumbers, Electricians, Movers, Construction workers etc., are abundant. You can get any construction/repair work done in no time. (People who own a house in US, can understand the importance of this)

    51) You don't have to take your car for a car wash, every month. You can get people who'll do car wash at your home on a daily/weekly basis.

    52) Every service provider (TV, Internet, Phone, etc.,) has a decent customer support system/infrastructure in place. You can call and talk to a customer service representative 24 x 7. There are also facilities to file complaints & escalate them online, if required.

    53) There are people/services available to take care of all your needs. Have you heard about service/help desks such as Service Square

    Tangibles & some cool benefits

    54) People don't look down on you because you returned back from US. People appreciate the fact that you care for your parents/family/society/country/people.

    55) People come to you for advise on important things (such as which Engineering courses to take, how to prepare for job interviews, how is the present IT climate etc.,). They value your experience.

    56) If you've already got your US Citizenship, it is well & good. This is the right time to return back to India. You don't have to worry about yearly trips to US, to retain your residency.

    57) If you are a visa holder & if your visa is about to expire, this is the excellent time to return back to India. You won't have the option of going back to US (unless you wait for another year and get a new L1/H1B).

    58) If you are a GC holder, I pity you. You'll be caught in a dilemma whether to return back or not. However, think about the reason which prompted you to go to US. Most likely, you would've gone to US to earn money. If you had met that objective, it is time for you to return back. Also, if you return back as a "liaison" for a US company, you will have an option to make frequent trips to US. You can meet the criteria for '6 months stay' in US, every year.

    59) If most of your assets/investments are in India, you should return back to manage/enjoy those assets/investments.

    60) It is easy for you to get caught into the "n+1"th year syndrome. You'll keep postponing your decision for several years until you reach a point where you or your family can't return back to India. So, if you are contemplating about returning back, you should do it NOW.

    61) In India, When you or your spouse/kid is sick, there will be enough people (family members/relatives/neighbors) to take care of/support you. In US, you've to fully rely on your friends for help/support.

    62) If your goal is to earn "unlimited" amount of money, there is no end to the need for more money. Think of your life style a few years ago. With the money that you have today, you can definitely lead a better life in India. Many of us go to US to earn money. So, if you have made good sum of money, it is a good time to return back. (Also read: How much money do you need to R2I?)

    63) There are lots of festivals/functions throughout the year.  Pongal/Sankaranthi, Diwali, Ramzan, Christmas etc., are celebrated in a special way. You get the joy of a real celebration of festivals only in India.

    64) You would've visited a number of places in US. But, you might not have seen all the different tourist places in India. Moving to India would give you enough time to visit different places in India. You can get to learn more about India's rich culture & heritage, by traveling across different states.

    65) In India, you can extend the life of several items that you use on a day to day basis. For example, you don't have to throw away shoes/clothes, because the stitches have come-off. People at road side shops will do the repair for you. There are shops that will do repair of electronic/electrical items at a very reasonable price.

    66) Yes, Indian roads are congested. But, if you are used to long commutes in US, it wouldn't be a big issue. In US, you've to really start from home at 7 (or before) if you want to beat the traffic. In India, you can start by 8 to beat the traffic. Hey! you get an hour of extra sleep. In the worst case, you can even go to work by 10.30 or 11.00 am. People don't expect you to be at work, so early.

    67) In India, you don't have to carry a lip guard with you all the time. You don't have to wear shoes all the time (Wearing slippers are so common). You don't have to wear thick dresses, all the times. It is always "summer" in India.

    68) You don't need maps or GPS when you are traveling on the Indian roads. You can pull over your car to a petrol bunk or a road-side shop to get driving directions.


    69) There are number of budding start-ups & MNCs in India. You'll have more options now, in addition to the standard service companies (TCS, Infosys & Wipro). (Also read: R2I - List of MNCs in Chennai  Cost to Company (CTC) - Peeling the Onion)

    70) In the past, only maintenance work is done out of India. Today, there is lots of product development activities being offshored to India. If you are passionate about hard core product development, you can now do it from India.

    71) The pay in India is really good. Of course, the pay scale cannot match what you can earn in US. However, it is more than enough to lead a luxurious life in India. (Also read: 10 Tips for Return to India (R2I) Salary Negotiation)

    72) In US, you cannot lead a comfortable family life with a single pay check, after some point. Both the husband & wife have to work to run the family. Otherwise, you won't be able to save much.

    73) Indian work environment is getting more westernized. Though there are some managers who still breath down your neck, it is NOT so common, these days. (Even in US, if you are reporting to Asian managers, they micro manage you. Most of the managers in US are Asians, anyway. So, why care about micro management when you are in India!?)

    74) If you are returning from US to India, you can really get a very good designation.

    75) You don't get the feeling of 'loneliness' at work. Shared cubicles make it very easy to interact with other folks.

    76) You don't have to walk to the cafeteria to get a drink/coffee/snack. In many offices, it is served at your cubicle.

    77) You can easily impress everyone at work by your ability to communicate well (Thanks to the exposure that US gave you).

    78) Having been in US for sometime, you'll have the "full product development" exposure. This will significantly increase your value & dependency at the work place.

    79) You can easily take a break in India and kick-start your own venture. You'll have an opportunity to test your entrepreneurial skills (Note: Leading a life in US, without monthly pay checks is tough. If you have earned decent money in US, you can easily lead a life without pay checks, in India). If you want to take an early retirement to do the things that you are passionate about, you should consider R2I.

    80) You can freely switch jobs from one company to the other. You don't have to be worried about your legal status or visa transfers.

    81) The concept of 'being a consultant' to an IT company is getting popular these days. If you like, some companies offer short-term work opportunities too. There are a few companies that allow you to work just for 4 hours per day.

    82) Many companies have infrastructure to let employees work from home (which was unimaginable, a decade ago)

    83) If you are on a work permit visa & you lost your job & you couldn't find one for a long time now & your family is dependent on your pay check - You cannot legally stay in US & you should return back to India.

    (Also read: Work environment in India - Then & Now)


    84) India is growing at a tremendous pace. You can get high returns from both stock market & real estate, for your investments. Long term capital gains from stocks aren't taxed in India. If you keep your stocks for more than a year, you don't have to pay any tax. (Also read, Stock Trading Lessons)

    85) There is lots of options when it comes to medical treatment. Homeopathy/Ayurvedic treatments are quite popular in India. You can get treatment for 'severe/serious issues, at a very affordable cost. In fact, many westerners are coming to India for 'affordable treatment', these days.

    86) Making yearly trips to India from US, becomes unaffordable & not economically feasible, when the family size grows.


    87) Your favorite KFCs, Subways, & McDonalds restaurants are now available in several places in India. You won't miss them, here.

    88) There are lots of good RESTAURANTS. There is a wide range of dining options - starting from the road side trucks to revolving restaurants. Having been in US for quite sometime, it feels so good to taste authentic Indian food.

    89) You get a wide range of fruits & vegetables in India. Moreover, they're very fresh and tasty. They're not imported & not genetically modified. If you are a vegan, you can even get milk substitutes such as 'calcium enriched Soymilk'. In fact, soymilk in India comes in a variety of flavors.

    90) Non-vegetarians will have lots of choice, too. Sea food is sold very fresh at your door steps. You can get fresh meat/chicken from a nearby shop (You don't have to eat frozen meat, anymore!!). Also, you can get a lot of spices for cooking your non-vegetarian dishes. In US, it is hard to find lots of spices that are commonly available in India.

    91) When you go to a grocery shop, you don't have to know/remember the 'English' name for a Indian grocery item. By the way, all the grocery chains sell unadulterated & neatly packed groceries. You can go around the shop with a cart and pick the items that you want. You'll have the same shopping experience that you had in US. Of course, the stores in India are smaller.

    Reasons close to heart

    92) You get to live with your parents/family. My (& my wife's) parents are very happy that we are back. They feel more confident these days & I could see happiness on their face. They worked very hard & spent years in making our life successful. We can never pay them back in entirety. But, being with them during their old age is a small contribution that we can make. Let me share with you an incident. After my return, I had once visited the parents of my friend (My friend is in US). I could literally see tear on their eyes, when they said "I'm not sure if my son/daughter (masking the gender, intentionally) would return back. The more years pass by, it is getting more uncertain. But, you made a very good decision to return back! I'm happy for you and your parents". I couldn't control my tears as well. I didn't know how to console them. You can understand how much impact the R2I decision creates, on the parents.

    93) Our government/society played a significant role in shaping us & our life. We are what we are because of our society and the contribution of our schools, colleges, teachers, and friends. Isn't it time for us to return that favor back?

    94) We are so lucky to have got the opportunity to travel across borders... to explore the unknowns and earn a lot of wealth/fame. Shouldn't we provide the same opportunity to others also? Shouldn't we train the folks in India to be competent?

    95) You've seen how things are in U.S. You have now got an opportunity to improve things in India.

    96) Go back in time and recollect why you went to U.S, in the first place? Were your goals achieved? If so, you should consider returning back to India. There is never a perfect/ideal time to return back. So, don't procrastinate. Tomorrow never comes.

    97) Constant feeling of getting to the roots in India. Feeling guilty about postponing your R2I decision?

    98) Are you always feeling "alienated", in US? You couldn't completely get accustomed to the culture/people etc., in US? Neither able to lead an 'American' life nor able to lead an 'Indian' life. It is not just you, your kids may also have the same problem when they grow up.

    99) You feel that your life in US has become so "mechanical" or "monotonous". You desperately want a change in your life. You want a break in your career.

    100) India needs educated & smart people like you. We have complained about the infrastructure, people, politics and policies in India for several years. What are we doing to fix those issues? We are the 'cream' of India. Shouldn't we put your competency to best use in India?


    This is accurate to the best of my knowledge, at the time of writing. I haven't made any efforts to cross check some of my conclusions/assumptions.

    I'll put my best effort in keeping this uptodate. However, please double check the latest policies/procedures before making your decision to R2I. I'm not legally responsible for your decision to R2I and the outcomes of it.

    If this blog post gave you enough ammunition to your R2I decision, then I've met my objective.

    Wishing you all the best with your R2I !!

    Also read:

    Returning back to India - 25 things to do
    R2I - List of things to pack/bring from US 
    10 things to consider before you decide to R2I

    COVID-19 Vaccination Experience in Chennai

    Booking a vaccination slot in India through the CoWIN portal was similar to booking a H1B Visa appointment in US Consulate (not sure if that...