Moving to Kochi and running a business

#1 May 25th, 2016, 05:04
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#1
Hi there,

I'm new to this forum and just looking for some friendly advice or even just chat.

I'm a Londoner and looking to leave the rat race behind. I love Kerala and Kochi and giving serious thought to moving there and starting up my own business.

Are there any expats here with experience of running their own businesses and how they started up?

Also interested in finding out what expat community there is in Kochi. I want to make friends with local Indian people too but it's always good to have a mix.

Anyone interested in chatting would be greatly appreciated!

I'm hoping to visit Kochi again in the relatively near future and hopefully stay for maybe a month if I can manage it, just so that I can try and get a real feel for living as a local.

Many thanks for your time and advice
#2 May 25th, 2016, 09:42
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#2
From the information you have given us, you will have a tough time as you will have visa problems etc.

Boatmaster, another member, has just finished setting up a business in Kerala.
Lord, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill because they pissed me off.
#3 May 25th, 2016, 15:23
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#3
Why would I have visa problems? I've checked with the visa centre and they've confirmed I'll need a business visa. The biggest problems I can see are Indian red tape and the time it takes, and micromanaging everything, which I'm used to as I work with a lot of offshorers and also been to India half a dozen times, so I'm aware of the culture and work environment.

I'll see if Boatmaster is happy to speak to me about his experience, many thanks for replying to me
#4 May 25th, 2016, 16:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaV View Post Why would I have visa problems? I've checked with the visa centre and they've confirmed I'll need a business visa. The biggest problems I can see are Indian red tape and the time it takes, and micromanaging everything, which I'm used to as I work with a lot of offshorers and also been to India half a dozen times, so I'm aware of the culture and work environment.

I'll see if Boatmaster is happy to speak to me about his experience, many thanks for replying to me
Not sure what type of business you are planning, but as I have said may times before, India works on a dual and sometimes a triple book system.

Make sure you have a good CA.

I realise that this is mainly dream stage, but

Korah & Korah, Varma & Varma, JOSE POTTOKARAN - are all good CA's.

I am not on commission from them.

The first and last are very friendly and I found are more approachable.

With all due respect, you will find most people will try and make a quick buck off you to get things done. The India you have experienced so far will not be the same when you try and start something.

Anyway best of luck.
#5 May 25th, 2016, 16:17
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaV View Post I'm a Londoner and looking to leave the rat race behind. I love Kerala and Kochi and giving serious thought to moving there and starting up my own business.
Leave the rat race behind and... welcome to the rat race! Why do you think there isn't one here?

Kerala is the last place I would think of starting a business: everything about employment will be hard or even painful. Mr LORD can advise you far better than I can on Kerala when scratched beneath its beautiful god's-own surface.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#6 May 25th, 2016, 16:31
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#6
As Nick said - why would running a business in Kerala be any less stressful than running one in London?
#7 May 26th, 2016, 09:06
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaV View Post I'm a Londoner and looking to leave the rat race behind. I love Kerala and Kochi and giving serious thought to moving there and starting up my own business.
What kind of business do you currently run in London ? What kind of business do you plan to run in Kerala ?

You do keep track of local politics in Kerala, Right ? They had a new government, which ousted the old government.
#8 May 26th, 2016, 16:50
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#8
I am aware that as a foreigner I'll be taken advantage of, it happens enough as a visitor, I expect it to be worse when attempting to run a business, and living in a different culture presents its own unique difficulties, but also rewards, personally and professionally. I accept all of this.

I wouldn't suggest there wasn't a rat race in India, I just want to leave the London rat race behind and start a new life in a place I love, doing something more worthwhile that I'm good at.

I am intensely doing my research to make sure it is truly what I want, and was just hoping for some friendly advice from this forum.


Thank you for your suggestions and comments.
#9 May 26th, 2016, 16:56
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Its not just a question of being a foreigner - BTW do you know Malayalam? - running a business in India for an Indian is no easier than running a business in London for a Londoner.
India is a very competitive society.
#10 May 26th, 2016, 17:39
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#10
I feel bad about being so discouraging. There are many expats doing business here. It does depend a lot on luck.

I have learnt the hard way, don't trust anyone completely, and always double check what people tell you.

As far as I know Boatmaster will probably have the latest details as he has just done it.

With regard to keep diffirent sets of books, foreigners have to be more careful as they will be dealt with more harshly than locals.

Most importantly after making your first truckload full of cash don't forget to buy us all a pint.
#11 May 26th, 2016, 20:40
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#11
Thank you Johnlord for your replies, I realise it's a difficult environment to work in and I expect the negative as well as the positive. I appreciate your words of advice whether they are encouraging or discouraging, it's constructive and it's all very useful for me to get different views.

I've come to realise that life is for following and living the dream, and I'd regret it if I didn't try. While it might be a difficult and challenging process it doesn't mean I won't ultimately be successful. I also have project management skills so I'm sure that will help ;-)

Cheers :-)
#12 May 26th, 2016, 20:41
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#12
PS I won't forget the pint ;-)
#13 May 27th, 2016, 16:06
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#13
I am from The Netherlands and I started up a business in Kerala fifteen years ago. I founded another company five years ago.
I am based in Trivandrum and maybe because I have been based in Technopark I have not experienced many issues while starting and running (IT) businesses.
So if you like the climate, the people and the adventure, and you have the room for yourself to make mistakes, why not?
#14 May 28th, 2016, 00:15
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by martijninindia View Post i am from the netherlands and i started up a business in kerala fifteen years ago.

Why not?
pio/oci ?
#15 May 28th, 2016, 22:22
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#15
Hi MartijninIndia, thanks for your post, that sounds very positive. What kind of business do you run?

I'm not planning on running an IT business, but perhaps IT would be a fall back for me as I've worked in IT for years. My experience could be useful perhaps even only temporary or part time. We'll see.

You've been in India a long time, what kind of visa are you on?
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