Wednesday, January 04, 2006

NRRIs' winter migration

Everyone knows that NRIs prefer to visit India during Nov - Feb because mild Indian winters are better than scorching Indian summers or the disease & flood ridden Indian monsoon. Recently I noticed a growing subcategory among them.
  1. They are retired. Full scale mass emigration of Indian professionals to western industrialized countries started during the 60’s. With the retirement age being 65 +/- 2 in most western industrialized countries, that first batch is now retiring in large numbers.

  2. Many are from Europe. Even though the US is home to an equally large diaspora, for some reason, US-based NRIs are conspicuous by their scarcity. My guess is that US is much more diverse in terms of winter climate than Europe (1st world Europe has universally bad weather during winter) hence US based NRIs have choices for a place under the sun right there in the US.

  3. They stay for a much longer time in India. Typically NRIs spend between 3 to 4 weeks in India. But the retired folks spend almost 3-4 months (!) Free from the shackles of free-market dictated holidays, they choose to camp for a longer period. And, a longer stay in low cost India helps them stretch out their fixed retirement income by that much.

  4. Many live by themselves. Age brings inflexibility. Their parents and elders are already dead. Trespassing on their brothers’ and sisters’ families will mean sacrificing too much of privacy, which they get accustomed to after a lifetime in the western world. Plus they have already planned for this scenario and invested in properties in nice parts of town (it has long been an open secret that those empty mansions in Salt Lake and snazzy apartments by the side of EM Bypass are owned by NRIs – native Calcuttans, excepting some Marwaris & Sindhis, just don’t have that kind of money).

  5. They demand quality medical care at a cheap cost. This is understandable and, frankly, bothers me enormously. There seems to be a shared belief that India is a top provider of “quality” healthcare. Having lost 2 grandparents to uncaring doctors, I am no stranger to the widespread medical malpractice prevalent in India today. This organization lends credence to my conviction. I hope the NRIs know what they are doing.
By now you must have guessed it correctly. No, the Title is not a typo. NRRI = Non-resident Retired Indians.


Blogger K said...

Nice point - a lot of my relatives - two of my jehtu's are already retired and have been scouting around for property investments in Calcutta and sometimes other cities as well - only for a three-four week visit. Oh well, at least they invest some money in the country.

3:30 AM  
Blogger Bengali Guy said...

k, that is true. Assuming that they use their euro/pound/dollars, its a positive forex gain for India. Later property taxes also benefit the local community. But in any transaction, allmost 50% of the price of any property is usually paid in cash - thereby generating black money which profits only the promoter, not india, nor her citizens.

6:35 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home