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100 Billion and Beyond : From Silicon Valley to Bollywood. Quantifying the Economic Impact of NRIs on India

There are over 29 million Indians settled abroad, comprising the world’s largest overseas diaspora. Every year 2.5 million Indians migrate overseas, with countries like the USA, UAE, Canada and Malaysia being the prime destinations. But recently Europe is emerging, having more than 2.8 million Indians. Due to low population and shortage of skilled workers in countries such as New Zealand, Germany, Italy, and other EU countries, Indians have been actively migrating to these countries. 


NRIs amount to only 1% of India’s population, but they contribute 3.4% to India’s GDP, without even living in the country. India has seen a significant increase in remittances since 1991 and is still growing at a steady pace. Remittances increased significantly from 2016 ($62.75 billion) and 2017 ($68.97 billion). According to World Bank estimates, India remitted $79 billion in 2018, more than any other country. Remittances accounted for 2.9% of India’s GDP and contributed around 22% to 23% of the nation’s foreign exchange reserves. 


Beyond financial contributions exceeding $107.5 billion annually, NRIs also contribute to  India’s growth through their entrepreneurial ventures, knowledge transfer, and social impact. Acting as global ambassadors, they strengthen economic diversification, innovation, and global connections, taking the nation forward.




With the rise in Indians moving overseas, there is an increase in platforms talking about abroad lifestyle, businesses, jobs, immigration, investments and healthcare. Many creators are putting out content around this on social media, and one such platform that stands out is Staying Indian.


Staying Indian is emerging as a platform of connection, collaboration, and support for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs). Founded by Gaurav Lakhwani, an industry-leading IT professional and startup mentor, this community goes beyond mere social interaction, actively bridging the gap between diverse NRI backgrounds, building partnerships, and equipping them with the knowledge and resources to navigate the European business landscape. Gaurav being a part of the Indian diaspora himself, having lived in 22 countries over a span of 10 years, understands various cultures and preferences of different communities. While he is continuing his career as an IT professional, he is also contributing to his roots and society through this platform.


Staying Indian also hosts insightful podcasts  featuring successful NRIs across diverse domains like business, entrepreneurship, technology, and politics. Some outstanding guests on podcast so far were,


Rohit Kumar, an NRI import-export expert, gave insights into the potential of Indian products in the US markets and how the expat community can contribute to global trade. 


Reema Mahajan, the founder of UAE’s largest Indian expat women community, described her journey and motivation behind building such a huge community in one of the podcasts. 


Kaivalya Apte, an Indian techie working in Berlin, Germany, where he gave insights into the tech job market in Europe and the impact of AI on jobs. 


Dr Nupur Kohli, the first Indian origin Netherlands MP candidate highlighted the role of Indian expats in electing their representatives, safeguarding their rights and using all the opportunities provided to them. 


Similarly, there are many other podcasts having a variety of different guests talking about different topics, ranging from NRI investment planning, Immigration and lifestyle, to NRI mental health and cross-cultural experiences. These podcasts serve as invaluable resources, offering exclusive access to the journeys and experiences of successful Indians who have carved their niche in the European landscape.


Staying Indian provides a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and collaborative problem-solving. Whether it’s understanding the process of setting up operations, marketing strategies, or streamlining supply chain management within the EU market, this NRI community offers comprehensive support in all aspects. Aspiring entrepreneurs, in particular, benefit from crucial assistance in securing funding and forging partnerships with accelerators and incubators.


 “We Indians are everywhere,” says Gaurav Lakhwani, emphasising the importance of networking among NRIs. “Living in so many countries has allowed me to build a global network that we can leverage to create a strong community.” Inspired by his own investment experiences in India, Gaurav recognized the challenges faced by NRIs in finding the right investment opportunities and founders in securing funding. Staying Indian became his answer, a platform that goes beyond geographical boundaries to build a thriving global network of NRIs and PIOs. Envisioned as a hub for shared experiences, collaborative problem-solving, and forging connections to propel Indian businesses forward in the European market, Staying Indian leverages the power of interaction through podcasts to foster dialogue, knowledge exchange, and collaboration.


NRIs residing in Europe, contemplating a move, or planning to launch a business venture in the region, can connect with the Staying Indian community through their website and social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook (@stayingindian). Their podcasts are available on YouTube (@stayingindian) and all major podcast streaming platforms like Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple podcast and Amazon. 


More than just a community, Staying Indian is a supportive network in the myriad of European opportunities. Join them to build meaningful connections that will help you understand and grow in the European business area.


Embrace the spirit of being “We-Desi” and join the fastest-growing NRI community in Europe.

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Asian International University (AIU) in Manipur is certainly a reputable institution that focuses on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship among its students.