It is mind-boggling how many people can end up in service of one individual here in Mumbai (and I am sure in other cities). Sure, when I was growing up, we had a lot of help. But, in those days, especially in smaller towns, household help, for example, was normally generational and live-in. In other words, the person who cooked for us was probably a family member of whoever cooked for my grandparents.
Today, it is amazing how one individual living in Mumbai can outsource virtually everything in his or her life! People here quickly become accustomed to outsourcing all their chores and activities. These include many that we would in all likelihood be performing ourselves in the West or those which are not readily accessible, convenient or affordable over there.
Here is a sampling of the outsourcing realities in Mumbai, including representative costs (plus or minus 25%, depending on which area in Mumbai you live in):
- House Cleaning 7 days a week; dusting, sweeping and mopping all floors, cleaning bathrooms, dishwashing, laundry – $45 per month
- Cooking 7 days a week (freshly made lunch & dinner) – $60 per month
- Groceries (including vegies and all food or household needs) shopped and delivered for you, as needed – no extra cost
- Food from virtually any restaurant – delivered to your home at no extra cost
- All car driving needs (full-time driver, available 7 days a week) – $225 per month
- Personal Training at neighborhood gym – One hour, 6 days a week for $45 per month
- Yoga Training at home with qualified instructor – One hour, 3 days a week for $70 per month
- Massage in spa or at home – One hour, $10 – $100 depending on spa/massage therapist
- Manicure and Pedicure at home – $10
- Laundry picked up and delivered at home – e.g. ironing bed linen for one bed is $1; washing & ironing is $3.
As you can imagine, it has not taken me very long at all to “adjust” and outsource parts of my life. Given the short time that I have been here, I wonder how many other interesting outsourcing opportunities lie waiting to be discovered…