The Relocation Diary
Moving another city for a job offer entails a lot of planning. Find out what all goes into making it smooth affair
By Anagh Pal
The time when people used to spend their entire working life in the same city has long passed. Top performers routinely get uprooted from one city to be planted in another, which then calls for not just moving with the family but adjusting in a new home and environment. Finances top the list of concerns. Take for instance 32-year-old Siddhartha Patil, who moved with his wife and son from Gurgaon to Bengaluru in May 2014. “I shifted cities because of a new job offer in one of the big- gest and fastest growing industries, which I could not let pass,” he says.
His wife, 31-year-old Rupika, and six-year-old son Kairav, had to also leave behind their comfortable lives in Gurgaon. Rupika had to leave her job with one of Gurgaon’s leading schools, while Kairav had to move schools and make friends all over again. What the Patils realised with this exercise was that they were not just moving to a new city, it was a whole new journey with its emotional complexities. Although this was something new to them, what changed the scenario this time around was the future of their son’s education. The couple had shifted from Bengaluru to Gurgaon in 2009, but then Kairav was an infant.
One of the main concerns, when shifting cities, for the Patils was to secure admission in a good school for Kairav. “The plan was not to disrupt his education in Delhi till we managed admission in a good school in Bengaluru,” stresses Siddhartha. Being fairly familiar with Bengaluru, they started off by drawing up a list of schools based on reputation, feedback and all that they could lay their hands on—be it rankings or feedback from friends in the city. It helped that Rupika had experience working with schools to know which ones to apply to.
Siddhartha applied for a seat in several schools, but the initial results were not favourable. “I found it hard to secure a seat in the older and established schools in the city. Due to limited seats Kairav was put on a wait list,” he recounts. Understandably, like everything else that is on a wait list, it meant that the couple was unsure of moving to the city. But, after regular follow-ups and visits to around dozen schools they had applied to, they heard from a couple of good schools and agreed on Indus International.
The primary reason for the Patils to move to Bengaluru was to help Siddhartha move up the professional hierarchy. It was also not a bad idea to move to a city where they had lived in the past. Once Kairav’s school was settled upon, Rupika started to look out for a job, which finally happened to be in the same school where Kairav got admitted.
They next focused on finding a place to stay based on their criteria. “We did the groundwork on locations, rental and deposits online. Realty portal commonfloor.com was very useful. We spoke to our friends in Bengaluru, who could give us first-hand information. Lot of owners place ads online so it’s a good way of saving on brokerage,” says Siddhartha. The Patils zeroed in on an apartment in Sarjapur as they wanted security, power backup and consistent water supply. These were also the factors mentioned by their friends living in Bengaluru, some of whom were living in independent houses and spelt out the problems they faced. The final choice of an apartment was influenced by the distance from school and work. They chose an apartment that was on the school bus route with ample playing space for Kairav and had access to general amenities. The journey from Siddhartha’s office too was about an hour, which was manageable.
Not a happy experience
The overall relocation experience, however, was not good. For starters, their movers and packers delayed the arrival of their car and belongings. “The car was delayed by five days and brought in a filthy condition with multiple scratches and abrasions,” recounts Siddhartha. That it was driven for 150 km when it was not to have moved from the cargo truck was alarming. “I think they had to drive in order to save on paying Octroi and state taxes, but it was uncalled for,” he says.
The Patils had used the services of Aggarwal Movers and Packers, only to realise much later that it was not the original company, but one that was using the same name. The agony started the moment the car was delivered. Siddhartha was harassed for full payment of dues on delivery of the car even though the goods and furniture had not been delivered. Also, the local branch executives of the movers were rude and evasive whenever they attempted to follow up on the delivery dates.
The goods truck took about two weeks to reach Bengaluru instead of the promised seven-day time. Although the expenses were borne by Siddhartha’s company, the whole process had its own set of issues. “The lesson we learnt was that one should always check the authenticity before using a service!” says Siddhartha.
For the Patils, the cost of living expenses (education, fuel, entertainment, dining out, kitchen expenses) are similar when compared to Gurgaon. “Since we were staying in our own home in Gurgaon, the major ongoing expenses that have been added are the rent and daycare expenses. Before relocating, we had done a quick online survey to gauge rentals in Bengaluru. We also checked with some of our friends on rentals, society charges, security deposits, etc. We did not expect much change in most of the other expense categories,” says Siddhartha.
A city has lot to do with its people and Siddhartha and Rupika have been lucky on that front. “We already had friends in the city, but we have also made new ones. This is the easy part since Bengaluru is a friendly city.” says Siddhartha. Kairav has also made a number of new friends. “Though he did miss his home and old friends initially, he quickly adapted to the newfound circle of friends in Bengaluru He likes going to school, so much that he sometimes insists on going on a weekend!” says Rupika.
Moral of the story: relocation is tricky, but planning in advance will ensure that things go smoothly.
One of the most common issues left for a later date when moving cities is the financial trail. Any financial trail, be it in the form of savings or investments, should be updated to reflect your new address to avoid problems in future. Make your financial life smooth by following these steps:
1 Inform your primary bank about the move to receive any and all correspondence on time
2 Ensure your investments through a depository participant or/and mutual funds are informed of the change in address for future communication
3 Inform your insurer of the move to accordingly change the contact details on your policy (life, health, car, etc.)
4 If you own a house, inform your neighbours or the building management about your move so they can get in touch with you if needed