Which country would you move to?
Apr 18, 2022
Indian entrepreneurs, who are looking to launch innovative start-ups, have always been attracted to immigrating. Despite the Covid pandemic not being able to change that, it has certainly changed the destinations on the list.
The concept of domicile diversification by Indian entrepreneurs is gaining significant traction and greater acceptance during the pandemic.
“A growing number of Indian entrepreneurs is focused on future-proofing themselves and their businesses by choosing the most conducive start-up ecosystem that offers them resilience in this volatile macro-economic environment, post-pandemic,” says Nirbhay Handa, managing director and head, global south Asia, Henley & Partners, a citizenship and residency planning firm.
Start-up founders are looking to hold multiple residencies either through structured residence by investment programmes offered in countries such as Malta and Portugal or going through the business set-up route in countries such as the United Arab Emirates or talent-based visas offered by countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore, Handa explains.
“Studies show that immigrants tend to be more entrepreneurial than native-born individuals. To encourage start-ups led by international talent, the destination needs to be both innovation-friendly and immigrant-friendly. While some countries score high on innovation, their immigrant policies may not be as favourable and vice versa,” says Shilpa Menon, senior director-India, LCR Capital Partners, a private investment and advisory services firm that supports families interested in global opportunities.
“Non-bureaucratic processes, easy access to capital for entrepreneurs and good infrastructure are some of the points that make such countries attractive to start-ups.”
A country might be preferred over another depending on the nature of the industry that the Indian investor is involved in.
“Someone may prefer the UK for healthcare and pharmaceutical-based enterprises, while others may prefer Singapore for fintech or AI, machine-learning-based enterprises, or UAE or Malta for blockchain-based enterprises,” Handa says.
Here are the most popular destinations:
Singapore continues to remain a top destination for entrepreneurs to set up businesses due to its effective start-up ecosystem of accredited investors, government support and a rule of law that creates a level playing field promoting meritocracy.
Lauded globally for its Covid resilience, the country has managed to keep the economy open in comparison to most other financial hubs worldwide in the last two years.
Malta is establishing itself as a hub for upcoming industries including fintech, blockchain and gaming. Malta offers nomad residence permits that are suited for location independent entrepreneurs and it also has an investment-based permanent residency programme.
UK offers a global talent visa and the UK innovator visa to start-up entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses from the UK.
Australia offers exemplary tech entrepreneurs and C-suite executives a direct path to permanent residence through its global talent independent visa.
Indians are seeking Grenadian citizenship as a gateway to the US E-2 visa. Grenada has a much stronger passport than India and the E-2 visa allows entrepreneurs to start up a business in the US.