Moving to Goa


#1 Jun 19th, 2012, 17:40
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  • jayd is offline
#1
Hi All,

This is my first post!

I am in the process of considering moving to India in about a year and a half with my partner. I am a British born Indian and am in the process of getting my OCI, which should cover the whole Visa side of things.

I found this forum and have really got through a lot of the pages and have found so much useful information. Some good, some bad, but all useful nonetheless!

So just two quick fire questions for everyone....

The first is living in India. I have a cousin who regualr visits from Mumbai and he has obviously advised renting a place on a monthly basis. Is this pretty easy to go about and doing?

And secondly for me to able to stay for a long duration I would ideally have to be working too. I have read some horror stories of starting a business to some more pleasant ones. I am still working out what it is I want to do and wondered if anyone could offer any advice on the difficulties of running say a guesthouse? And how much investment I should be looking to bring with me if I were to think about such an avenue?

I greatly appreciate anyone's advice.

Thanks!!!
#2 Jun 19th, 2012, 20:56
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  • torontomm is offline
#2
Renting a place on a monthly basis is generally not a big problem. You will of course need to get to the area of interest to you and look around and see a few places and compare prices etc. and then settle on a place that appeals to you. Note that December and January are prime tourism time and you will have to pay more during that busy tourist season.

On the difficulties of running a guesthouse, the complaint I hear most from the owners is that due to heavy government taxes on commercial properties the owners are not making a good profit to justify their investment.

About how much investment for buying a guesthouse?
Of course will depend on the location and size of the land but 1 crore rupees or a little more than 100,000 pounds would be the least for a small guesthouse now and property values are going up every year in Goa.

My opinion on the guesthouse business is that the chances of success are good if the owners are staying in the guesthouse and are there to look after their guests and work to improve the place.
#3 Jun 19th, 2012, 22:51
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#3
Wow thanks Tom.

As I am at the preliminary stage of thinking about what it is I need to do, I guess I am open to anything more that would be a little more profitable.

I have been to Goa twice before and have no area my heart is settled on as of yet so perhaps will spend the first month moving about the few hand picked recommended ones or areas that seem more 'foreign' friendly.

If I was to say start up a guest house I would defintely be living in it (to both improve the stay for the tourist and keep costs down for myself).Im not looking to making money out of this to be rich, but just enough to get by. I have tired from this office life of 9-5 and having travelled for a year have come back feeling like this time I want to go out somewhere and live & work in a warmer climate for myself. Being of Indian origin I felt most comfortable with India. I am obviously open to other ideas whilst out there (in terms of work) and so feel like I should do more research into the options available to me.

When I was in Thailand I know tours for one made the most money out there, so could even look into this. I suspect it wont be as easy as just going there and starting something up by what I have read on this forum to date.

Perhaps I can bring forward my date or push it back outside of the busiest two months of the year.. Thanks for that tip too.
#4 Jun 19th, 2012, 22:53
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#4
It's none of my business, but if you've never run your own business before, I wouldn't be keen on trying to get handy at it abroad from scratch.

Self-employment aka running a business smaller or larger in Europe (I hear it isn't essentially different in e.g. the USA. Figures really, I suppose it would be so anywhere in the world) fails more often than not since people fail to realize the capital and long breath involved, the personal investment quite aside. Now I guess that all things considered and with some due provisions in place and being in your home country and where you know your way around, the odds are a little more in your favor over here than they might be in say India.

(Then in Goa specifically, word has it and understandably perhaps locals, or non-locals operating there, aren't that keen on outsiders putting up competition, etc.)
Last edited by machadinha; Jun 19th, 2012 at 23:09.. Reason: edited
#5 Jun 19th, 2012, 23:05
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  • machadinha is offline
#5
ps To add,

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayd View Post I am in the process of considering moving to India in about a year and a half with my partner.
Do please realize that unless this partnership refers to a good ol' heterosexual marriage, or unless they have rights in India themselves, your status will confer no rights on said partner, whatsoever.

On Indian visa & immigration issues, kindly carefully study also

http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in/,
http://www.mha.nic.in/, notably currently its http://mha.nic.in/ForeigDiv/ForeigHome.html,
and for those of Indian backgrounds over the past few generations, http://moia.gov.in/.
Last edited by machadinha; Jun 19th, 2012 at 23:11.. Reason: edited
#6 Jun 19th, 2012, 23:12
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#6
machadinha,

I appreciate it sounds like I am going head first into the unknown.

I guess I shouldn't be to hasty and that's why I thinking about what to do now before I just jump into something without careful thought and consideration.

I have for my part been involved with starting up a company in the UK and my better half working in finance for many a year give me the confidence that she could handle all the numbers etc.

I think perhaps what I need to do is to go for a month and scout what may be possible and whats not by talking to people who live there.
#7 Jun 19th, 2012, 23:16
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post ps To add,



Do please realize that unless this partnership refers to a good ol' heterosexual marriage, or unless they have rights in India themselves, your status will confer no rights on said partner, whatsoever.

On Indian visa & immigration issues, kindly carefully study also

http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in/,
http://www.mha.nic.in/, notably currently its http://mha.nic.in/ForeigDiv/ForeigHome.html,
and for those of Indian backgrounds over the past few generations, http://moia.gov.in/.
Ahh yes so it is indeed a heterosexual marriage.

Again want to say thanks as these are the kind of questions I was hoping would be thrown at me so I have all angles covered.
#8 Jun 21st, 2012, 08:36
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  • GoanCanuck is offline
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayd View Post I am still working out what it is I want to do and wondered if anyone could offer any advice on the difficulties of running say a guesthouse? And how much investment I should be looking to bring with me if I were to think about such an avenue?
Running a guesthouse is not something incredibly difficult to do. Having said that I will add that you are a little bit late to the party. Until 2005 starting a guesthouse anywhere in Goa was possible even with a modest initial investment.

For a guesthouse to be popular with tourists it has to be within a 1 km radius from the nearest beach.

There is one thing you need to know before you start exploring possible locations and that is that the price of land in the North Goa coastal belt is substantially higher as compared to the South Goa coastal belt.

Now you may be thinking that it would be better to look only in South Goa since it is cheaper but the fact of the matter is that North Goa attracts far more tourists as compared to South Goa and consequently the guesthouses in North Goa make much more money.

Most guesthouse owners in Goa supplement their income by renting out scooters, motorcycles and cars to tourists. Scooter rentals start from Rs 150-200/day, motorcycles are Rs 250-500/day and cars are Rs 800-Rs 2500/day depending on what model of car is being rented.

Another thing you have to take into consideration is that income during the period from May-September is almost zero. A typical guesthouse in Goa gets about 70% of its revenue in the period from 15 December-20 January.

The biggest problem for a new guesthouse owner is in letting tourists know there are rooms available. What most guesthouse owners do is that they team up with a few local taxi drivers who ferry in the customers. The taxi drivers have to be compensated accordingly.

You also need to decide whether you are going to be marketing your guesthouse to European tourists or to Indian tourists. The facilities and prices have to be adjusted accordingly.
#9 Jun 22nd, 2012, 20:17
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#9
@Goancanuck

Wow hank you for your positive response. I feel I have to agree with joining the party a little late!

You have really put forward some good question.

I imagine I will market what I do to the European market and will definitely stick to looking around the north having read what you have said as well reading up on other pages about how much more business there is in the north.

On the topic of 'missing the boat', I have most recently flirted with the idea of even looking into Kerala, but I have never been and have no knowledge of the area so will have to do my research.

I may even need to consider changing my plans to get and setup for peak season.

I would say my concerns currently lay with annoying the locals with my presence, costs and chances on success rate. Hopefully being of indian origin should help my cause.
#10 Jun 23rd, 2012, 07:32
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  • GoanCanuck is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayd View Post
I imagine I will market what I do to the European market and will definitely stick to looking around the north having read what you have said as well reading up on other pages about how much more business there is in the north.

.

Catering to the European market is alright but you have to keep in mind that business from that area is confined to barely 4-5 months a year. Rest of the time you will have no choice but to deal with Indian tourists.

In the last 7 years or so there has been a decline in the number of Europeans but a huge increase in the number of Indian tourists.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jayd View Post I would say my concerns currently lay with annoying the locals with my presence, costs and chances on success rate. Hopefully being of indian origin should help my cause.
You don't have to really worry about that. Compared to other states it is far easier for an outsider(from another part of India) to set up business in Goa. You mentioned Kerala. Forget about that unless your ancestors are from that state.

You need to visit Goa first and do some research before making any decision. Visiting for a few days will not do. At least 2 months.
#11 Jun 23rd, 2012, 07:41
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#11
Since you are of Indian descent may I ask which part of India? The reason why I ask is because there are quite a few Punjabi, Sindhi and Gujarati businessmen who have done well in Goa. Many of these businessmen are British/Indian.

Another thing I did not mention is that the only European tourists whose numbers have gone up in the last few years are the East Europeans who now constitute the largest segment of the European client base.

You can not afford to ignore them. Contrary to what you may have heard, this segment is very profitable to cater to. So much so that even the most prestigious 5 star hotels in Goa are targeting this client base. The margins are very good for this sector and the numbers are increasing every season.
#12 Jun 25th, 2012, 13:34
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#12
would i be right in thinking that learning to speak Russian could be the difference between success and faliure?
finding a way to market to the Russians also.
#13 Jul 4th, 2012, 13:40
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#13
I'd also advice caution as also a recce of 1-2 months before going firm on the decision of doing any business. You must move between North and South Goa to get a good sense of what sells among your identified audience. For instance, I find that a lot of mid to high-budget Europeans regularly travel to Goa for birdwatching. If you've any interest in birding then you may be able to design your place and choose its location with that focus. Or, it could just be a certain kind of food with packages designed for covering Kerala or North India...
I'm a Delhite and have lived in India all my 4 decades--an impulse decision helped buy a little apartment in North Goa a few years ago, and I find the culture, food, weather, pace so remarkably different even for an Indian that living there even for some weeks can be both good and bad. Can be both exciting and frustrating, and mostly the latter if you're trying too hard to make things happen
#14 Jul 4th, 2012, 17:16
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#14
one of the questions i am freqently asked is,"is there anyplace we can learn to cook Indian food in Goa?".so maybe a guest house with cookery tuition could be some food for thought
#15 Jul 21st, 2012, 03:12
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon07 View Post one of the questions i am freqently asked is,"is there anyplace we can learn to cook Indian food in Goa?"
Define Indian food. There's a vast variety.


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