Indian cities perform poorly in Mercer 2017 Quality of Living index

Hyderabad, the highest ranked Indian city, is down five ranks from last year’s 139 in the Mercer 2017 Quality of Living Index


File photo. A view of the Charminar during Ramadan festival in Hyderabad. Hyderabad is down five ranks from last year’s 139 in the Mercer 2017 Quality of Living Index.
File photo. A view of the Charminar during Ramadan festival in Hyderabad. Hyderabad is down five ranks from last year’s 139 in the Mercer 2017 Quality of Living Index.

New Delhi: Indian cities have performed poorly on a globally recognized survey that ranks cities in terms of how it is to live and work in them.

Hyderabad, the highest ranked Indian city, is down five ranks from last year’s 139 in the Mercer 2017 Quality of Living Index. Pune and Bengaluru have both slipped by one rank to 145 and 146, respectively, in this year’s ranking.

“The survey highlights that Indian cities that have been part of the survey haven’t made much progress on the quality of living scale since last year,” according to Ruchika Pal, principal and India practice leader, Global Mobility. The only exception is Chennai, whose score has marginally improved mainly on account of public transport, including buses, and a recently expanded two-line metro system, and improved availability of expat housing.

For the second year in a row, New Delhi continues to be ranked lowest, among the surveyed cities, with scores remaining constant. Both Hyderabad and Pune cities rank higher for quality of living than the country’s more traditional business centres, Mumbai and New Delhi, which ranked 154 and 161, respectively, as per the report.

According to Navnit Singh, chairman and regional managing director of executive search firm, Korn Ferry: “Hyderabad is not at all an unattractive city for employment for talent unlike Chennai or Calcutta. Areas like Gachibowli, the new Hyderabad, with better and cheaper housing, good schools and good quality of living attract talent.”

Achal Khanna, chief executive officer, SHRM India, said: “Hyderabad is increasingly becoming a popular city for women given the safety factor. In terms of career progression and career opportunities for women at the senior level, it is yet to get a stimulus, while those at the mid-senior level have more opportunities.”

Austrian capital Vienna tops the list for the eighth consecutive year. Singapore is the top Asian city on the list, and is ranked 25.

This year, Mercer also separately ranked cities in terms of their quality of infrastructure. Singapore topped the city infrastructure ranking. New Zealand and Australia continue to rank high: Auckland (3), Sydney (10), Wellington (15), and Melbourne (16) all remain in the top 20.

Among Indian cities, Mumbai is ranked the highest at 141, followed by Kolkata (149) and Pune (151). Bengaluru is rated the lowest, among the surveyed Indian cities, ranked at 177.

Consulting firm Mercer’s annual index is aimed at helping companies decide on compensation for expat employees, but has, over the years, also become an important factor for people considering moving to another city for work.

“The success of foreign assignments is influenced by issues such as ease of travel and communication, sanitation standards, personal safety and access to public services,” said Slagin Parakatil, principal at Mercer, and responsible for its quality of living research. “Multinational companies need accurate and timely information to help calculate fair and consistent expatriate compensation—a real challenge in locations with a compromised quality of living,” he added in a statement by the firm.

Rozelle Laha contributed to this story

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