The grass is always greener on the other side. What if you could get a piece of green grass from several pastures to hedge against a rainy day?
That seems to be the thought process across the spectrum of business owners, new-age entrepreneurs, corporate executives and skilled professionals, especially after the pandemic awoke them to the risks of putting all their eggs in one basket.
The start-up community who are keen to live in multiple countries like Portugal or Malta or business and talent-based visas offered by the UAE or Australia and Singapore are the latest entrant to this trend. The experts say that they lean more towards the latter because they don't want their capital locked in investment programmes.
According to Henley Partners' ranking, Singapore and UAE are the top choices for entrepreneurs at the moment.
One edtech start-up founder, who moved to Dubai in 2016 to expand operations, says he is noticing more entrepreneurs leaving these routes today than before, even though he did not go by this route. He says that in India, valuation rules, approvals and the trouble you can get into if something is wrongly interpreted as a threat are all threats. He believes that water-tight documentation between the investor and the founder is enough to keep such distractions at bay in Singapore or Dubai. Their low-tax regimes for an individual are an added advantage.
The founders of the Indian cripto-currency exchange WazirX, Nischal Shetty and Siddharth Menon moved to Dubai earlier this year after regulatory uncertainties in India around the virtual currency. Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal moved to the Middle East two years ago, according to the founder of the start-up. In an interview with Bloomberg this March, the entrepreneur had complained about the crazy brain drain currently playing out in India. BT's attempts to contact him for comment were unsuccessful.
Countries such as Canada and the UK are wooing them with easy start-up visas, due to the power of entrepreneurs to create jobs. So many people in India are looking at the UK and Canada start-up visas, which need an innovative idea that can be turned into a business, according to Clint Khan, Director of Y-Axis Middle East DMCC, an immigration and visa consultant services company. Many regulations can be cumbersome, especially if one wants to scale up or diversify, experts point out. India boasts of achievements like the ease of doing business. It's true that offshore jurisdictions can prove to be easier for a legacy business owner or an entrepreneur.