We ditched Maidstone for Mumbai to escape the recession in Britain and now were rubbing shoulders with Bollywood stars


We ditched Maidstone for Mumbai to escape the recession in Britain – and now we’re rubbing shoulders with Bollywood stars

Brits have traditionally emigrated to destinations including Australia, Spain and the U.S.

But India is quickly becoming a hot location.

With employment levels at an all-time low in the UK, an increasing amount of people are moving to East Asia in a bid to capatilise on the booming economy.

Brits abroad: Lindsey Gordon, with daughter Polly and husband Mick who now live in Mumbai, India

Brits abroad: Lindsey Gordon, with daughter Polly and husband Mick who now live in Mumbai, India

And it seems many have never looked back since making the move.

Lindsey and Mick Gordon, both 46, sold their property in Maidstone, Kent and moved to
Mumbai with their two children Hugh, 13, and Polly, 11, in 2008.

A sharp contrast to their life in Britain, they now live in a five-star, luxury gated compound, have a team of personal staff including a driver and personal trainer, and earn high salaries.

Lindsey even claims to rub shoulders with Bollywood stars at the school gates.

Describing the Indian way of life, Mick – who runs a market research firm and manages a staff of 500 – said: 'The attitude here is highly
optimistic because everyone sees India's time is coming.

A view of the luxury gated apartment where the Gordon family live in Mumbai

A view of the luxury gated apartment where the Gordon family live in Mumbai

The five bedroom cottage in Maidstone that the Gordons left behind

The five bedroom cottage in Maidstone that the Gordons left behind

'Here there's a belief that the
future is ours, whereas in Europe it's all about hanging on to what
we've got as things aren't going to get better. It's a fundamental
difference in attitude.'

And it was the difference in attitude which first prompted the Gordons to leave their home country.

Speaking about their decision to relocate to the side of the world, Lindsey said: 'We felt the
country was going to the dogs and thought we'd get out while we could.

'The country's bankrupt and everyone's depressed.

'India is heading into the stratosphere, it's incredible how quickly it's changing.'

Traffic jams are a fantastic mix of new
Bentleys, rickshaws, ox-carts, bicycles loaded with a thousand eggs,
cows and sometimes even an elephant…

Some estimates now suggest up to 40 per cent of the white collar foreign workforce entering India each day comes from the UK.

Ameet Nivsarkar,
vice-president of global trade and development at India's IT and
software trade body NASSCOM, expects the trend to continue for at least
the next two decades.

'It
is a basic rule that people move to places where there is opportunity
and with the Asian markets growing big, both in terms of value and
volume, it is attracting people from far and wide,' he said.

'I
would say there has been a rapid increase in the number of Britons
coming and settling in India because it is easier for them to adapt in
this country.

'Owing to the
historical and cultural connection, a lot of the things are common in
both countries and hence it's not too difficult for them to settle down
here.'

However it has taken time for the Gordons to settle into their new life.

Lindsey admits at being shocked when she first arrived in Mumbai, describing the city as a mass of
contradictions – with the super-wealthy and super-poor living side by
side.

Mr Gordon now runs a market research firm in Mumbai and manages a staff of 500

Mr Gordon now runs a market research firm in Mumbai and manages a staff of 500

'You can walk past a dog eating a dead
rat, or even a rat eating a dead dog, and on the other side of the
street you can admire manicured lawns, hot pink bougainvillea and
swaying palms.

'The filthy rich and the filthy poor
live cheek by jowl, and traffic jams are a fantastic mix of new
Bentleys, rickshaws, ox-carts, bicycles loaded with a thousand eggs,
cows and sometimes even an elephant.'

She was also shocked to discover that Mumbai had
turned into one of the most expensive cities in the world.

The family had to settle for for a four bed, open plan, ninth floor apartment, cost costing around 3,200 a month – three times
more than they get for their 18th Century, five bed cottage in
Kent.

Dressing the part: Polly Gordon wearing traditional Indian costume

Dressing the part: Polly Gordon wearing traditional Indian costume

'I
couldn't believe it when the guy from the relocation company told us
that property prices in Mumbai were second only to those in Monte
Carlo,' said Lindsey.

Their children also found it difficult to adjust. Although
he made friends in India, 13-year-old Hugh started to miss home and asked
to enrol at a boarding school, which he started in Eastbourne last September.

Holly also misses family and friends in the UK but is enjoying success as a child model for an Indian
clothing company and can now speak basic Hindi.

It was four years ago that the Gordons decided to move to India, but experts predict that an increasing amount of Brits will make the same choice.

A survey last year for exchange
brokers Currency UK found three in four Britons wanted to move abroad, with
the most popular reason being the poor state of the UK economy.

Last
week it was revealed unemployment among those aged 16 to 24 has
ballooned to its highest level on record, topping one million for the
first time.

Overall
unemployment is currently 2.62million, its highest since 1994. The
number of employees has dropped by 305,000 between July and September,
the largest fall since 1992.

Meanwhile India's economy is expected to surge ahead nearly seven percent this year.

Mick added: 'I regularly equate India with the end of the 1930s in America.

'There's an incredible diversity of wealth – the Ambanis of Mumbai today come across a little like the Carnegies of New York.

'They're incredibly rich men and incredibly powerful and they're part of an unstoppable rise.'

A spokesman for the British High Commission in Delhi said the government was committed to helping businesses wanting to expand into India: 'From the Prime Minister down, all British ministers consistently encourage British businesses and entrepreneurs to explore the huge commercial potential that exists in India and beyond.'