Expats considering working in Mumbai can look forward to a city driven by growth and creativity. As the commercial capital of India, Mumbai is the seat of some important financial institutions, and many multinational corporations choose to base their Indian operations there. Home to Bollywood, Mumbai is also India's entertainment capital and a major fashion centre.
Whatever their line of work, skilled job seekers are almost certain to secure employment in Mumbai.
Job market in Mumbai
Mumbai is a major entertainment, fashion and business centre in India. Over the years, the job market has diversified and evolved. The city is an entertainment and fashion hub, it is the heart of the Bollywood film industry, and it also has a history as a textile centre.
As a commercial hub, Mumbai is home to India's largest stock exchange and generates a large portion of the country's foreign trade. Jobs in the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry abound, attracting skilled and qualified expats from all over.
Large numbers of foreign multinationals and Indian-owned companies base operations in Mumbai and take advantage of the educated, English-speaking local workforce. These companies often recruit expats to help train local Indian staff and share their knowledge and expertise with them. Naturally, such positions are usually temporary as the aim is eventually for the company to be run locally.
The service industry sector caters to the city's large population, which is becoming increasingly affluent. Mumbai's large healthcare sector not only caters for but also employs expats, while engineering and design companies often work in tandem with firms from overseas, bringing in foreign workers.
Finding a job in Mumbai
Many expats working in Mumbai are transferred by their home-country employer, particularly in the banking, financial services and insurance sector.
Not everyone is so fortunate, and those prospective expats who have to navigate the job search on their own are encouraged to research the market thoroughly before relocating. Online job portals, such as Placement India, Monster India and Adzuna, are often the best way of searching for a job, and company websites frequently have listings of the latest vacancies too. Social networks such as LinkedIn are also highly valuable resources.
Relocation companies and specialist recruitment agencies can also be a great source of information and will have plenty of tips on how to secure employment in Mumbai.
When searching for work in Mumbai, we recommend expats also research the appropriate visa they would require.
Work culture in Mumbai
Despite the influence of international firms on the local market, there are still notable differences between the work culture in Mumbai and what expats might be used to back home. Business structures in Mumbai remain hierarchical, and this may take some getting used to for those who come from places where business is carried out in a more egalitarian way.
Competition for jobs is fierce among the locals working in Mumbai, both to get and keep a job. Employees often put in long hours and overtime to show their dedication to their work, and expats may need to adjust their schedules to their company's typical working hours.
Forming solid relationships in the workplace will be central to an expat having a successful career in Mumbai. Expats should take the time to get to know their Indian colleagues and accept any invitation to join them for social occasions. Expats should also note that, when communicating, negative responses may not be expressed directly. Rather than saying 'no', a response could be 'I’ll see what I can do' or 'let me double-check this', even if they are aware they cannot realistically grant the request.
►For immigration details when working in Mumbai, see Visas for India
Are you an expat living in Mumbai?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Mumbai. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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