Luxury can be defined in many ways but the best way to look at luxury is by looking at how comfortable it has made your life. And when it comes to comfort, nothing beats getting domestic help and better still is getting an army of domestic help for all your needs.
Yes, in India the biggest luxury the people enjoy is the ability to get help for pretty much everything. You need someone to do your dishes, your laundry, cleaning the house, the country has it covered with an army of people waiting for an opportunity to help.
Right from full time house maids to security guards to drivers to just helpers for running errands, there isn’t anything you can’t get help with. And best of all, you don’t need to be a billionaire to be able to afford all that.
An average Indian middle class home usually has a part time house help (many even have full time house help), a cook and a nanny (if you have kids, that is). Others with slightly more money even employ a security guard and a driver.
Most house helps are available for under Rs 10,000 or about $150 a month for full time work. Yes, for the cost of a monthly gas bill, you can get a full time house help. The prices however vary depending on what city you’re living in.
For example, in the city of Ahmedabad, an average full time house help will charge you less than $100 or about Rs 7,000 a month.
Drivers and nannies get paid a bit more. For example, according to a survey, house helps in Kolkata on average are paid about Rs 5,000 a month (~$70) for full day support. A nanny makes about Rs 6,000 (~$85) a month in the city while a cook makes slightly more at Rs 6,500 (~$90). You can even hire a watchman for Rs 9,000 (~$130) and a driver for Rs 10,500 (~$160).
To be fair, Kolkata has the lowest salaries for house helps among all other Indian metropolitan cities. Places like Mumbai and New Delhi will cost you a lot more.
That said, the variation still lies in the 20-40 percent range.
Getting a reliable house help is the real challenge that many face. For this, you your house staff to be verified by a third party, ideally the local police, in order to prevent getting into a messy situation later.
But even for that, there’s help available. India has hundreds of agencies that help you in hiring house help, drivers, cooks, watchmen, and drivers. They’ll do a background check for you, they’ll get you a replacement if someone quits. Better still, you’ll be able to get all of this in a posh Mumbai or New Delhi residence by paying less than $400 per house help per month. If this isn’t luxury then what is!