Mumbai - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Very affordable, compared to Western standards. Western diplomats tend to pay 2-3 times more than what a local would pay, and it's still very affordable. We paid our live-in housekeeper 45k INR/month and a part-time housekeeper (4 days/week, 15hrs/week) 15k/month. Locals were surprised to hear that we paid that much. But, if you want help who speaks English, is reliable, has cooked for Westerners before, you're going to have to pay a bit more. - Jul 2023

Lots of household help available. Most have housekeepers and/or cooks, those who have cars usually hire a driver, and some have nannies (live-in is possible, but will cost more). Cost is on the rise, so best to check with other expats after arrival. I think the normal range for expats right now is INR 25,000-35,000 for full-time (not more than 50 hours per week) per month. Most household help will regularly ask for raises or want additional types of benefits (like tea with milk/sugar, transportation costs, etc). Make sure you talk about all of that before hiring someone. - May 2023

Fulltime housekeeper 5 days /8 hours a day $200-250 - Feb 2023

i paid 11000 inr /month for part-time (4hrs/day) 6 days a week. Since I was single and didn't make much of a mess, the housekeeper usually had an easy day. - Aug 2021

I don't have household help, but heard it is fairly cheap, most of my colleagues pay around US$200-$300 a month. - Nov 2020

Most families employ at least one person, if not three or four. Common roles are housekeeper, cook, nanny, and driver. Employees work either five or six days a week (40-50 hours) and salaries are around US$300-400. - Aug 2019

We have a housekeeper/cook, a nanny, and a driver. They are all terrific, and speak English well. We pay each around US$300/mo for 40 hours/week. - Mar 2019

Easily available. - Jan 2019

Can be cheap if shopped around but most household help being passed on from previous officers charge way above the market, full-time help at 40 hours per week can be $400. - May 2018

Very cheap. I paid my housekeeper above market rate, and she earned $160/month for four hours a day, five days a week.. - Jun 2017

Cheap. About US$60-100 per month for part time, and US$175 for full time. Drivers average US$225 a month base pay, which is for 60 hours a week, Mon-Sat. - Aug 2015

Widely available, very inexpensive. Very. We have a housekeeper/cook for 25-30 hours per week and we pay around US$200/month. Our driver works six days a week and we pay him around US$300-$400 depending on how much overtime we need in a month. He also does a lot of our shopping and errands. Totally worth it, and those are good incomes for them according to local standards. Many other people also have nannies. Oh, and we have a gardener who takes care of all our balcony plants. We know it sounds silly, but it's worth US$30 a month to have him come 3x a week and do all the watering and replanting and general care. - Nov 2014

Very available and cheap. Prices range from US$150 to $300 a month for full time (10 hours/day, 6 days/week), depending on experience, language, etc. - Mar 2014

Plentiful and inexpensive. Quality is iffy. - Feb 2014

Extremely easy. Can cost as little as 80 bucks a month for part-time. - Aug 2013

I have a full-time maid for $130/month. She is very sweet. She would cook if I wanted her to, but I prefer to cook myself. She goes out and buys fruit, washes and cuts it, and keeps it in the fridge for me, does all the laundry, waters the plants, etc. I love her! Her idea of "clean" isn't always the same as mine, and she often hides things away in odd places, but I tend to let these things go because I don't really feel like I NEED a maid anyway, so I'm just happy to have a wonderful helper around the house. Be aware that in India, having a maid isn't just having someone to clean your house. You're viewed as sort of a caretaker, so don't be surprised if you are asked to lend money, offer advice, etc. Class differences are a huge deal in India. There are tacit rules and norms, and Indians have a 6th sense when it comes to determining another's or their own place in the heirarchy in any given context. Indians are very authority driven, so you have to be very demanding and assertive. You have to literally order people around to get anything done EVEN if it's their job. You can't go by "everyone knows their job and does it well"--forget it! You will have to tell your housekeeper and driver exactly what to do and how to do it and remind them regularly. I came here with a very relaxed attitude, totally uncomfortable with ordering people around, and I paid the price: my driver was always late or didn't answer his phone, my housekeeper started coming later and leaving earlier and leaving layers of dust everywhere, etc. Get used to be being called "Sir" or "Madam" and having to play the part. - May 2013

Good-quality nannies and drivers cost about $200 - 220 per month. - Feb 2013

Domestic help is widely available, affordable, and of fairly high quality. We have both a driver and a housekeeper, and we're pretty happy with both. In some ways they make life much easier for us here than our life in D.C. - Dec 2010

Available and cheap. - Nov 2008

Easily available, cheap, but employers are often dissatisfied with the reliability, skill level, work ethic, and cleanliness of staff. - Aug 2008

US$175 per month for Driver, US$175 per month for maid/cook. - Jul 2008


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