There are millions of NRI’s all across the globe working, studying and settled. It is clear that many wish to preserve ties with their homeland and consequently buy properties for their retirement and holiday homes. But there can be problems amongst the way-Corruption, time delays, illegitimate companies that swindle our money and family feuds, are just some of the things that may create a sour taste for investing abroad.

Many years ago when I was still at School my Father decided to buy some plots back in “the homeland”. He thought it would be a great investment for his and my mother’s retirement. It was in a really prestigious area and he asked a family member to make the purchase on his behalf as we lived thousands of miles away. By putting the property in trusted hands, it would give him the peace of mind knowing that someone responsible would take care of the plots, ensure that all legalities were taken care of and above all, there would be someone there to make sure it was safe.

However much to everyone’s surprise a few years later when we visited the area we discovered that the plots had been sold and had never been placed in my father’s name even though he transferred over £100,000 to purchase them.

Being so far away and sadly dealing with a system which does not work well in the interest of NRI’s, we lost our plots, purely on the basis that we could not do anything being so far away. Secondly, a legal process would be time consuming and difficult to resolve. Not only would this be time consuming but highly costly.

This is my personal experience and I know of many people who have lost plots, houses and significant cash sums as they trusted others to take care of their interests abroad. Having experienced such a horrible time, I can totally understand why people are reluctant to invest abroad.

On today’s show I was joined by Mr Sarosh Zaiwalla, the senior partner at Zaiwalla & Co and the first Asian to set up an Indian law firm in the city of London. The firm has acted for several high profile figures in recent years including Saddam Hussain, The Dalai Lama, The Gandhi’s as well as the Chinese and UAE government. Tony Blair in fact had his work experience at Zaiwalla & Co in maritime law and had been sacked by Mr Zaiwalla for being un-prepared in a case.

It was a pleasure to speak to him, Mr Zaiwalla openly said that he would like more people to invest in India and abroad, as it is the right time (socially and politically) with the new government in place. However it was imperative to be careful as there were and sadly will be a lot of fraudulent people all across the globe who are ready to take advantage of people who do not live in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh due to distance and time.

Therefore if you want to invest abroad please remember the following point:

1)      Do your homework on the property/land and person in a partnership

2)      There are laws to protect your interest so be sure to know where you stand

3)      If you are interested in manufacturing a product look at India/Pakistan/Bangladesh-Why not create jobs in your home country and help others through your investment?