Small vs Big City :: India vs USA

Very Interesting and thoughtful comment from Shekar (one of frequent comment writer)

I don’t know about United States but lets compare the BIG CITY and SMALL CITY concept in INDIA:


Born and brought up in XXXXX. Completed my BE here. In XXXXX I was initially (in 2008 i.e.) offered a salary of 9,000 INR (We Environmental Enggs dont get paid much). I could live like a king with that pay here. But, the exposure and competition would be limited.

Companies don’t OPERATE from these smaller cities. Decisions are not taken here. You want to play it big, you want to get noticed you have to be in the face of people who are running the horses.

So I choose MUMBAI. The CITY. The pay was not that great. Started off at just 11,500 INR.

Life was frustrating. Hard to make ends meet in this city with that pay, keeping in mind that corporate jobs do eat up a chunk of your money because of the upkeed required. But exposure was magnificent.

Bigger projects, you get to meet great people (the things you learn from personal people experience is incredible), you are their were decisions are made, you are the face and not just an email account.

No doubt takes a lot time and effort but it pays off with time. By the end of my two years my salary was 250% of what I was making initially. Built great contacts.

I personally believe that in the initial stages of our careers we have to choose the big cities (not applicable to all professions but most) because that is where the companies set up their head quarters, that is where the chaos happens. No doubt its frustrating at first but if you can crack the ice their then theirs no turning back.

I mean you get to work more and your efforts are seen and the more you work the more you get paid (atleast thats what I hear happens in US).

Ok, another example, we all know that Marc “FaceBook” Zuckerberg also was asked to move to CALIFORNIA to get into the action. I do believe that pertaining to where you want to head in your career choose your city. The money will come, provided that your good and love to put yourself outside your comfort zones.

P.S: I still love my home town. Your views and experiences please.

Big City in USA vs Talent

Shekar – you have posted wonderful insight about exposure, talent, career and salary.  What you have said is 100% true for  majority of Indian Companies.

If you look at how India is evolving as developing country, growth is Major Cities are phenomenal.You made the right decision by relocating to Mumbai.

One of the benefits and beauty of life in USA is that you can reach greater heights from where you are. Location and influence factor can be ignored to certain extent.

While listening to a Venture Capitalist interview, I came to know how VC’s see the entrepreneur in Silicon Valley vs Washington DC.

  • Silicon Valley – If you have failed with a start-up before, they view that as positive trait. You will not make the same mistake again.
  • Washington DC – If you have failed, then they view as failure.

If you want to start a business in India, there are so many formalities and procedures you have to complete to just register the company. During that process, you may end up bribing someone or use power and influence to get things done faster.

Thats not the case in USA. You spend $150 to $200, go online and submit all your details, and there you have a company.

You can hire an Business Attorney and get your company registered.

Walk to the bank with your company documents, you will have an current  account (business account) in few minutes. If you want to get things done, you can get it done with your effort. You don’t have to bribe anyone or use influence to get things done.

Silicon Valley is the great place to start business and that’s where so many tech start-ups are launched.

Many VC’s and investors are in Silicon Valley and its easy to get funding when you start a company there.

Higher Salary

But, for instance, if you want higher salary or move up in your profession, you don’t have to move to companys HQ’s.

You might be working for a company in Dallas, Texas. If your talent is recognized, then you can get promoted within the company. You don’t have to move to company’s HQ’s, if its located in Boston.

There are so many things we can compare about companies in USA vs India, like work environment, benefits, salary, office politics, job growth,..etc. Maybe when fans like you post such though provoking comments, we can discuss those topics in detail.

Students when come to USA for Masters, they just have JUST 2 important things to do

  • Try to get some form of income )Aid, Part time, intern) and complete M.S.
  • Get a good paying job after MS

If they get aid, they try to get a job that would sponsor H1B Visa.  These days  getting job comes first, then H1B Visa, then comes the salary.

Once you have a job, then you can plan your lifestyle accordingly.

To sum it up, lifestyle  in US is not as complex as in India. You success depends on your effort and not  really depended on location of the company.

One perfect Example

One guy who did his Masters (very talented), but couldn’t find a full time job. He joined a consulting company and got a project in one of Cell Phone service provider.

There was a major design flaw in the project that had deadline approaching in couple of days. Manager was planning to scrap the project. He offered to fix the design flaw before deadline. He spent entire night at office and made changes to design. Guess what, he was offered full time job next day.

Its very hard to explain simplicity of life in USA unless you experience it personally. Some of you will find life to be complex during first few months in USA, but once you settle down things will be much easier.

40 Things Your Mom never told about complex life in USA

Plus, its depends on what you want on life to move to major city. If you are happy to be a low level engineer, then you don’t have to move to major cities.

Billionaire – Warren Buffet doesn’t like to live in New York, but makes Billions investing in Stocks.



  1. Urvashi Arora on January 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Thanx a lot HSB….I was looking something like this post…Shekhar’s Post deserve gr8 comments!!!

    • Vishnu on October 17, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      Very good and genuine post by Shekar .

  2. Harsha on January 6, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    Great post HSB ! Was looking forward to something like this .
    My two cents : Even though the system is more proper at US, it can never replace the exposure gained through your presence.

  3. Samuel on January 6, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Very good posting and very useful

  4. Mahesh on January 6, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Very beautifully written

  5. Jatin on January 5, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Really good post…..I agree to HSB…..HSB is a great website. Many people from around the world use it…But HSB himself stays nearby Raleigh, NC which itself is not a “GREAT/BIG” city like NYC…right?

  6. Chintan on January 5, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Great post !Thanks HSB 🙂

  7. P on January 5, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Hello HSB,

    Thanks a lot for posting this post !!! It is inspirational to take decisions based on few posts like this one. I hope that our friends will surely post such experiences and interesting things.

    I will surely post each and every thing which i think will be useful to others !!! 🙂

  8. thNDR dAVE on January 5, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    This is one of the greatest post…… i ever read. at HSB

    It is not just a blog post.
    This post really shows how we can make a radical turning point in our life with a single decision.

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