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Old 04-07-2009, 09:49 AM
 
17 posts, read 66,100 times
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I am from NYC, and I am looking at the option of taking a 2yr expat assignment for a European Investment Bank in either of these two cities.

I have never worked overseas before, and have never been to either city.

If anyone has any experience with these cities, or taking an expat assignment in general , any thoughts would be appreciated.

Also if anyone has any idea what the tax implications are in the US?

Thank You in advance
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:57 AM
 
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I've never lived in either, but have visited both on business. That doesn't do more than scratch the surface, but the following notes might give you a start.

Manila: the longstanding US influence makes it easier to adapt to. English is widespread in the business district and the local accent is comprehensible. There are areas, e.g. Makati, where you could almost believe you were back in the US. Traffic is heavy and chaotic by US standards, but reasonable by Asian ones.

Mumbai: the poverty is a lot more grinding and visible here, and the infrastructure is godawful. It's hard getting around: roads and traffic are both terrible by anyone's standard (you'll need a driver, but they're inexpensive). Expat-oriented accommodation, whether short-term or long-term, is *very* expensive. "English" is widespread, but often limited.

Indian business culture takes a bit of getting used to (note I'm in IT rather than finance, so YMMV). Managers work long hours, 6 days a week, and expect their vendors and partners to do the same: you'll get business calls late into the evening on any day, with immediate response expected. There are a lot of long, slow meetings with 25 guys in a room, only 3 of whom are important.

BUT, Mumbai has this weird energy. It's India's equivalent of NYC, and there's the same idea that you can find or do anything there, for a price. Adapting to it as an expat would be hard work, but probably more rewarding than Manila, e.g. I would have to think that a Mumbai assignment would be more of a career boost.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:25 AM
 
Location: the D
347 posts, read 1,199,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourist View Post

Mumbai: the poverty is a lot more grinding and visible here, and the infrastructure is godawful. It's hard getting around: roads and traffic are both terrible by anyone's standard (you'll need a driver, but they're inexpensive). Expat-oriented accommodation, whether short-term or long-term, is *very* expensive. "English" is widespread, but often limited.
No idea about Manila but I have lived in Mumbai for more than a year on assignment.
I disagree with most of the above.

There is poverty but the overall infrastructure is quite good.
Yes, roads are crowded, but I had a driver to drive me around.
The office buildings are truly world class, some of them even better some that I have been to anywhere else in the world.

Quote:
Indian business culture takes a bit of getting used to (note I'm in IT rather than finance, so YMMV). Managers work long hours, 6 days a week, and expect their vendors and partners to do the same: you'll get business calls late into the evening on any day, with immediate response expected. There are a lot of long, slow meetings with 25 guys in a room, only 3 of whom are important.
Again disagree.
This seems to be your personal opinion based on how your company operates.

Quote:
BUT, Mumbai has this weird energy. It's India's equivalent of NYC, and there's the same idea that you can find or do anything there, for a price. Adapting to it as an expat would be hard work, but probably more rewarding than Manila, e.g. I would have to think that a Mumbai assignment would be more of a career boost.
Agree with most of the above.



I am in IT as well.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:40 PM
 
26 posts, read 103,617 times
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Originally Posted by DDevil View Post
There is poverty but the overall infrastructure is quite good.
Compared to where??? Mumbai roads and traffic are *famously* bad, far worse than other major Indian cities (Delhi, Hyderabad, even Bangalore), let alone the rest of Asia. The sewer system gets overwhelmed by heavy rains. The int'l airport is primitive for a city of Mumbai's size, particularly in comparison with the showpieces in the rest of Asia.

There are some nice buildings, but nothing that can't be matched elsewhere.

What makes Mumbai work is the quality of the people it attracts from within India (or more recently, PIOs returning home), looking to make or expand their fortunes. Take the best and brightest from a country of >1B people, and concentrate them in a 7x24-style city, and you have a business dynamo.

(And off-hours, the nightclub candy is spectacular.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDevil View Post
Again disagree.
This seems to be your personal opinion based on how your company operates.
It's anecdotal evidence to be sure, but it's based on how our Indian clients operate. It was quite a culture shock for our own company, initially.
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:48 PM
 
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I'd chose Manila, and Makati specifically. Its the financial centre of Manila. Several residential guarded villages where you can live as well as plentiful high rise choices. The many expats that I have met love living there as in many cases, they have a better quality of life than back home. From Manila you can easily jump on flights to Hong Kong, Bangkok, etc. And you can check out the beautiful beaches of the Philippines (e.g., Boracay or Palawan). I also went to this city up in the mountains (Baguio) which was cool and full of pine trees and it made a nice break from the city. Business practices in Manila will be more familiar to Americans. Filipinos are very warm and welcoming to foreigners.

Last edited by Cornerguy1; 04-08-2009 at 08:29 PM.. Reason: links to other forums not permitted
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:55 PM
 
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thank you for all the responses. After doing some more research i think i am leaning toward Manilla. It seems like english is widely spoken, and from what i have found it seems like there are a lot of expats.

the housing in manila seems pretty nice, and the prices are very reasonable. And you can't argue with the golf and tropical beaches.

anyone have specific experience living in manilla?

Thanks
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:11 PM
 
Location: new england
202 posts, read 968,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA-relocation View Post
thank you for all the responses. After doing some more research i think i am leaning toward Manilla. It seems like english is widely spoken, and from what i have found it seems like there are a lot of expats.

the housing in manila seems pretty nice, and the prices are very reasonable. And you can't argue with the golf and tropical beaches.

anyone have specific experience living in manilla?

Thanks
Don't take it the wrong way but it's spelled Manila, anyway they are welcoming to foreigners.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenofsix View Post
Don't take it the wrong way but it's spelled Manila, anyway they are welcoming to foreigners.

you're right, i apologize
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:16 PM
 
9,334 posts, read 19,470,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA-relocation View Post
thank you for all the responses. After doing some more research i think i am leaning toward Manilla. It seems like english is widely spoken, and from what i have found it seems like there are a lot of expats.

the housing in manila seems pretty nice, and the prices are very reasonable. And you can't argue with the golf and tropical beaches.

anyone have specific experience living in manilla?

Thanks
Its been quite a while but yes. I did go for a quick trip last year to visit friends.

what do you need to know? i also have friends living there so i can ask them for you -- they are expats living in makati.. i assume your office will be in makati?

what web site did you find for real estate in manila?
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:27 AM
 
17 posts, read 66,100 times
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For the housing, i just looked at some real estate web sites i found on google. i also looked at alot of serviced apts which seem more like corporate housing.

Some of the serviced apartments were The Ascott, BSA suites, Perla mansion.

I was just looking to see if anyone else had ived there as an expat, and what there expereince was like
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