Gurgaon, Pune or Bangalore

#1 Oct 5th, 2015, 22:31
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  • where2go is offline
#1
Hi,
I am an ABCD (American born confused desi) in local parlance who spent only a few childhood years in india. A lot has changed (and a lot hasn't) since then.
I am trying to pursue a startup locally and can choose any of the three cities above. I am married to a foreigner (caucasian) and have 2 kids. We are conservative, doing ok money wise and can hence spend to build a small cocoon like most locals do. I had the following questions.
1- In terms of housing options bangalore seemed to be a bit limited in terms of gated communities. is that correct or is there specific area in bangalore south i should be looking at. I am looking for something in 80k -2 lacs/month range.

2- Schools - Is TISB worth the hassle as i heard that the teachers are very strict and its traditional desi style of schooling. Have heard good stuff about pathways gurgaon and wonder if bangalore has decent schools for expat kids. i guess with the traffic situation the school will essentially decide where we live, if we choose bangalore

3- Lawlessness - Gurgaon appeared to be very crazily crime prone but is that a average statistic or affects people across the spectrum. I mean most middle class guys in a car with driver should be free from the exposure? Women travelling with chauffer, how bad is it for them?
Are cops a hassle or at least they try to help in gurgaon?

4- Number of foreigners - I hear of foreigners in both places but it seemed like mostly it was far east asians in Gurgaon. I am ok but for my wife, is there an active US/European community in these cities and where are the numbers higher. (not the goa/hippy kind but decent normal folks).

5- Domestic help/drivers - Is availability and ease same in both places or gurgaon has more turnover issues?


Appreciate the help. Thanks.
IK
#2 Oct 5th, 2015, 23:16
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  • vaibhav_arora is offline
#2
Pune is the best on all your parameters. I have friends who have returned after spending a decade or more in US or UK and they had very similar criteria as yours.
#3 Oct 6th, 2015, 01:57
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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by where2go View Post Hi,
I am an ABCD (American born confused desi) in local parlance who spent only a few childhood years in india. A lot has changed (and a lot hasn't) since then.
I am trying to pursue a startup locally and can choose any of the three cities above. I am married to a foreigner (caucasian) and have 2 kids. We are conservative, doing ok money wise and can hence spend to build a small cocoon like most locals do. I had the following questions.
1- In terms of housing options bangalore seemed to be a bit limited in terms of gated communities. is that correct or is there specific area in bangalore south i should be looking at. I am looking for something in 80k -2 lacs/month range.

2- Schools - Is TISB worth the hassle as i heard that the teachers are very strict and its traditional desi style of schooling. Have heard good stuff about pathways gurgaon and wonder if bangalore has decent schools for expat kids. i guess with the traffic situation the school will essentially decide where we live, if we choose bangalore

3- Lawlessness - Gurgaon appeared to be very crazily crime prone but is that a average statistic or affects people across the spectrum. I mean most middle class guys in a car with driver should be free from the exposure? Women travelling with chauffer, how bad is it for them?
Are cops a hassle or at least they try to help in gurgaon?

4- Number of foreigners - I hear of foreigners in both places but it seemed like mostly it was far east asians in Gurgaon. I am ok but for my wife, is there an active US/European community in these cities and where are the numbers higher. (not the goa/hippy kind but decent normal folks).

5- Domestic help/drivers - Is availability and ease same in both places or gurgaon has more turnover issues?


Appreciate the help. Thanks.
IK
I'll try and answer your questions with respect to Bangalore and Gurgaon. (I'm a Delhiite and have spent some time in Bangalore.)

1. For 80K you can get a very spacious place in a very nice area in Bangalore. An especially nice area where many expats as well as well-off locals live is Indranagar. Also the backstreets of MG road and Brigade road such as Crescent road are quite nice. In terms of closed-in gated communities, your options in Bangalore will be fewer than in Gurgaon. However, I'd still say you shouldn't rule out Bangalore as an option on account of this shortcoming alone. Parts of Bangalore are very livable and green, studded with parks, cafes and such like. An apartment can easily be set up to meet your personal requirements, especially given your budget.

2. Neev is a well known school in Bangalore. What sort of education system would you like your kids to be put through? In Gurgaon the local schools will offer the CBSE board, while in Karnataka I think it is mostly the ISC or ICSE boards-- these are Indian education boards. You can find IB (International Baccalaureate) schools in both places as well. While these IB schools are gaining popularity with upper class urbanites (not to mention expats), I guess you should be aware that the kids are taught world history and geography etc (as I have been reliably informed),which means that they will not learn Indian languages (no knowledge of Hindi- if in Delhi, or Kannada if in Karnataka), nor will they learn Indian history and such like. It is all very international-orientated, which I guess suits the needs of somebody who might later move back to the US at some point? (Just saying.). In Delhi, the British school and the American school are also option. Similar ones exist in Bangalore.

3. Living in a gated community apartment complex in Gurgaon, you will be protected against any form of lawlessness. However, on the whole, the nicer parts of Bangalore, as well as of Delhi, are way nicer than Gurgaon as a place to live. There are parks and various other venues to pass the time- art galleries, cultural festivals etc. In Gurgaon you'd more or less restricted to your gated community and to the nearby malls and a handful of other hangout spots. (Delhi is not at all far though. In fact Gurgaon comes under the National Capital Region).

4. Many expats in Delhi, many in Bangalore. The types may vary. Bangalore has a lot of IT professionals, entrepreneurs, start-up guys, venture capitalists, while Delhi is a powerhouse of international researchers, UN and world bank employees, academics, lawyers, NGO workers and such like.

5. You should not have a problem finding domestic help anywhere.
#4 Oct 6th, 2015, 02:15
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by where2go View Post Hi,
I am an ABCD (American born confused desi) in local parlance who spent only a few childhood years in india. A lot has changed (and a lot hasn't) since then.
I am trying to pursue a startup locally and can choose any of the three cities above. I am married to a foreigner (caucasian) and have 2 kids. We are conservative, doing ok money wise and can hence spend to build a small cocoon like most locals do. I had the following questions.
Tell me where you live in NY ? That sort of determines how comfortable you may or may not be in either of these cities. Pune is parochially small, and rather socially conservative. With Gurgaon, you have New Delhi right across the border and will fill in the gaps that you might perceive to exist in GGN. Real Estate in GGN/ND is higher than the other two.

In Gurgaon, you can go from one insular pod (home) to another insular pod (office)
#5 Oct 6th, 2015, 09:00
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Shiver, insular..
#6 Oct 6th, 2015, 10:00
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Tribeca.
#7 Oct 6th, 2015, 10:02
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Another thing was traffic. Is bangalore traffic as bad a its made out to be?
#8 Oct 6th, 2015, 10:19
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#8
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Originally Posted by where2go View Post Another thing was traffic. Is bangalore traffic as bad a its made out to be?
Yes. Terrible.
#9 Oct 6th, 2015, 11:00
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#9
Pune is neither small, nor socially conservative. It's changed so dramatically over the last decade that it feels like another city altogether. Its only downside is lack of direct international connectivity to the states. It is much greener than the other two, and a few other major cities not mentioned on this thread. You'd need to stick to the central locations of koregaon park or if you're in IT (startup, you say) then Aundh is a good bet too.

If you're coming to Gurgaon with a wife and kids and with a limited idea of India, surely you'd like to do more than just hop from work to home and back. For non tech start up though, Gurgaon's the best place in India to be, for now.

Bangalore's better than GGN (I lived there 5 years), but the traffic, as rightly pointed out is so bad it takes forever. Life can be molded around that constraint though. You could consider mallaya aditi, Ryan, Canadian and Indus schools as alternatives to TISB. From your work standpoint (hiring people when you scale up), Bangalore would be the best. I have friends from my b school who're running start ups now and they either have had to move to bangalore or have a foot there in some way.
#10 Oct 6th, 2015, 11:33
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#10
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Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post Pune is neither small, nor socially conservative.
Of the three places under discussion, considering a representative sample of similar professionals; Pune would have a larger percentage who would self identify themselves as son-of-the-soil (you do know the marathi version), who also identify along indicators that lead to social conservative rating, followed by Bangaw**re, where there is a identifiable % of population, who would be termed by jhola-carrying-vodka-drinking-arnab-fanboys as social conservatives and the last would be GGN**- It's easier to find Cowboy fans in GGN than a native gurgaonite with deep roots in the cowsheds-of-gurgaon !

Quote:
Originally Posted by where2go View Post Tribeca.
Look at South Delhi instead of the other three - you can still get to tech-hubs of GGN But your burnrate for dosh will be faster !




[** There is no gurgaonite/gurgaonwala because them farmers, or villagers who could claim matribhoomi-attachment to GGN, long ago sold to Escorts, then Sanjay's goons; and scattered away. Whoever was left, sold it to DLF, Ansels et al ]
#11 Oct 6th, 2015, 13:40
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#11

Pune tops

Having stayed in all three. I settled in Pune, although Pune's character has changed over the last decade, it is still the best among these three cities. Bangalore has deteriorated tremendously & except for richie rich gated communities & malls, very little life exists outside. The traffic is terrible. Gurgaon is the worst of the three with hooliganism at its peak. The nouveau rich villager youngster gang is the worst. Road rage is a daily occurrence.
Pune has the best weather with excellent international schools & a very tolerant local population. The traffic is quite bad in peak hours. We have a large expat community centred around Koregaon park & you can easily get excellent accommodation there for your budget.
regards
Cavalier

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