Hyderabad - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Most people have at least a housekeeper and a driver, although some people also drive themselves at least occasionally. It's very easy to get help here and it doesn't cost more than a few hundred dollars a month for full-time or nearly full-time. Some people also have nannies and gardeners. - Apr 2024

Household help is abundant. Household help that speaks good English is a little harder to find and you will pay a premium, but keep in mind that anyone you hire will also serve as a cultural interpreter for you, which can really be worth it. Traditional Indian households often employ many servants: one to cook, one to clean the kitchen, one for sweeping the house, another to clean the bathrooms, a driver, but expatriates seem to concentrate on housekeepers who do all household chores including cooking, drivers, and nannies. It is important to be very clear about what is expected and double check that you’re on the same page as the person you are hiring. Although it might seem like contracts aren’t so common, having one with work hours, vacation times and other expectations and benefits clearly laid out will at least give you an outline of the considerations you should have. We found our staff to be honest and pleasant, and they saved our bacon a number of times. You may face vacation requests or requests for advances with very short notice. Full time drivers between 20,000 and 30,000 INR, housekeepers typically less. Part-time help also possible. Our opinion: a driver and a housekeeper were essential to our time here. Our driver handled small errands, knew where to find handy-workers and most importantly, got us through the ridiculous Indian traffic. We shared our driver with a colleague in the same housing complex, which generally worked well, but obviously added to the daily coordination. Self-driving is possible, but if you get in any kind of small accident (entirely likely), remember you’ll have to negotiate on your own with the other party plus the small army of bystanders. Housekeeper was great since the large apartment was hard to keep clean. India is dusty, vegetables all need washing, delivery and repair people need managing and many other tasks. - Jan 2023

Drivers, nannies, cleaners, cooks, and gardeners are all very available and affordable. We had a driver and a nanny/cook/cleaner. We were very happy with both relationships and we compensated well to avoid negotiations being a sore point. If you have kids and work you likely need both. Even without kids I would strongly recommend a driver. The local know-how they bring is indispensable. Also, traffic and parking in Hyderabad are heinous. Taking that stress away makes everything so much easier. - Dec 2020

Most expats have some form of household help, either part time or full time. Personally, I employed a housekeeper part time to clean and cook three days a week. Many employ drivers, but I found it unnecessary. If you employ somebody full time, you'll need to write up and sign a contract with them providing a certain number of holidays - if you're at the Consulate, the Management Section can help you with that. Generally, household help is affordable. I paid my housekeeper 250 INR/hour, which came out to about $200/month. - Jul 2020

Household help runs in many forms - from nannies, cooks, and cleaners to household "managers" and all of the above. We hired a cleaner for two days a week (~6 hrs) and we paid approximately 8000 rupees/mo. She was willing to cook and we were very satisfied with her service. Many people also use their hired driver to perform lots of other types of functions, including anything to do with the car, but also picking up groceries or dry cleaning and running other errands. We didn't have a car/driver. - Jul 2019

Full time help is around 20,000 - 25,000 rupees (or US$300-350/month) for a nanny, housekeeper, or driver. Those that pay less are really doing a disservice and should remember they are paying for someone's livelihood (this seems to be an issue). People must also note that Hyderabad is becoming an increasingly expensive city; the day to day costs are increasing (rent, food, medical care, clothing) every year and this should be taken into consideration as they discuss a salary with their staff. Of course, one should also continue to pay your staff when you travel, even if long-term. - Jan 2019

Cost of housekeepers varies. Just expect that you'll pay more as a foreigner, but you should also be firm so as not to be taken advantage of. Housekeepers range from $125-175/month for F/T and less for part-time.

A driver is a must here. Most of us have them 10 hours/day, 6 days/week and pay average of $250-300/month. - Nov 2017

Everyone hires a driver, as traffic, road and driving conditions are illogical and dangerous. The traffic rules that are normal to us Westerners do not apply here. People also hire a full time or part time housekeeper/nanny. Costs are US$250 - $300 for each plus overtime pay. Quality is often not great; it takes a while to find the right person. - Sep 2016

Very, very inexpensive. I have a driver and a housekeeper (daily and 3 times/week) for about US$250/month. I didn't think I'd get a housekeeper at first, but it's really, really nice and easily affordable. - Mar 2015

Everyone has a driver and a housekeeper/nanny. Costs are reasonable, between US$200 - $250 per month. - Jan 2015

Variable quality but very cheap. US$200 to $300 a month for maids, cooks, drivers, etc. - Nov 2014

Highly available and fairly cheap. About $200-300 month for a good fulltime maid/cook. Same cost for drivers. Quality varies widely. - Jul 2014

Drivers, maids, and nannies are readily available, but it can be difficult to find reliable, skilled people. Westerners tend to pay more than Indians for domestic help, expecting them to speak English and be punctual. A maid who can cook Western food will be paid a bit higher. We pay our driver $200/month and our maid $150/month. This is average among the officers. - Mar 2012

Reasonable. A few hundred dollars a month can provide for a driver and a housekeeper. Nannies are also widely available. Expats tend to pay more than Indians for their domestic help and someone who can speak English and cook Western food will garner a slightly higher wage. - Feb 2012

Widely available and worth every rupee. Maids/cooks/nannies are $100-$150 per month, drivers are $200-$250. - Jan 2011

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