Expats working in Delhi once primarily consisted of relocated executives and upper management professionals brought in to oversee large companies. While this is still common, a much broader range of expats is now flocking to Delhi.
As the capital city, New Delhi’s economy is incredibly diverse. Whether job seekers are looking for entry-level or graduate posts, freelancing gigs or office-based work, they are likely to find something. Large employers include communication, media, sales and marketing in both the government and big multinational companies.
Job market in Delhi
IT and telecommunications are the major employers in Delhi. As Delhi becomes a more affluent city, local consumer appetites grow and the city's retail industry flourishes. A large proportion of expats hired to work in these industries will be of senior management level, though graduate and entry-level jobs are also available. Contracts are usually fairly short term as the intention is for expats to train local staff to eventually take over those jobs.
As the capital of India, Delhi is home to numerous foreign embassies, and diplomats make up a sizeable portion of the expat population in the city. There are also various international organisations and regional UN offices based in the city.
Finance and import/export companies may be more inclined to set up shop in Mumbai, while the real IT heavyweights are often diverted to Bengaluru. Nevertheless, Delhi plays host to both industries and many more, including manufacturing, media, tourism and general professional-level jobs such as engineering and designing.
Expanding the job search to areas surrounding New Delhi effectively broadens one's options, and jobs in real estate, marketing and the automotive industry can be found in cities such as Noida and Gurgaon.
Finding a job in Delhi
As many foreigners who relocate to Delhi do so through an intra-company transfer, one of the best ways of finding a job in Delhi is through one's current employer. Networking is also important when it comes to the job hunt in Delhi, and having personal contacts who can make useful business connections will no doubt help.
For those without any connections in Delhi, job opportunities can be explored using online job portals, such as Placement India, Monster India and Adzuna. Online resources provide a good overview of the job market and are usually available in English. Companies may also advertise positions on their websites so it is also worth checking individual company sites as well.
Recruitment agencies and relocation companies may also be able to assist expats in their search for employment. However, do ensure that the recruitment agency is reputable as recruiters have been known to charge large sums without any results. It's best to go with recommendations from colleagues within the industry and avoid making any payments upfront.
While there are diverse job opportunities and ways to find work in Delhi, what's critical is having appropriate skills and experience in the field. Qualifications and experience bulk up a CV and will be more attractive to recruiting and hiring companies.
Work culture in Delhi
Expats who are moving to Delhi to take up a job should make the effort to have at least a basic understanding of Indian culture, especially concerning workplace behaviour.
While company structures are changing as a result of the increasing presence of multinationals, there are still many companies that maintain traditional hierarchical structures. Expats hired to work in top management positions may be expected to give clear instructions to their subordinates rather than expecting people to use their initiative.
►See Doing Business in India for more tips on etiquette and culture in the workplace
"The economic climate was (and is) similar to what I expected from the capital of an emerging economy with an up-and-coming young population. Competition is fierce, but foreign experts in their fields are highly valued..." Read more tips on work culture from an expat's perspective in our interview with Daniel Kiteski.
Are you an expat living in Delhi?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Delhi. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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