Talking to Biz Innings, Biddut Kalita, Founder and CEO of MRK Intercontinental says he has witnessed the real joy of living and doing business in Europe’s hidden gem Slovenia and wanted the world entrepreneurs as well to experience the gratifying lifestyle and ease of doing business in this lovely country as it is welcoming businessmen and matter experts with a red carpet.
At a Glance
Most people prefer to live and do businesses in the country they are born in, but if you look out of the window and explore the possibilities, there might be a far better environment where your business investments can be shifted to much better locations. Biddut Kalita is a Marketing and Media professional, he loves to travel the world, he so far explored 40+ countries in this process, out of all, he is awestruck with Slovenia’s quality of life, education, healthcare, ease of doing business, governance and business opportunities. Biddut heartfully wish the rest of the world to experience this joy, hence started MRK intercontinental to help people explore Slovenia as a place to work and live an anxiety-free life.
1. Why and how did you start this venture?
India is home to nearly half a million millionaires. That apart, it has a growing aspirational upper-middle-class population with high disposable income. Because investment-related visa and citizenship programs allow applicants to live, work, and study in a particular country, Indians are showing a great interest in such programs.
India is only second to China in terms of the number of people migrating through investments. When there are opportunities that Indians see of an affordable way to migrate to another country, they are evaluating it. Up until early last year, India’s Investment Migration market was limited to the US’s EB 5 Investment Program. Now with exposure to more countries and the recent turmoil in the US has made European Countries more attractive.
Having travelled to more than 40 countries I have seen a good part of the world, mostly Europe and North America. Each country has its charm. Over the years I grew interested in learning more about these countries. Slovenia was of particular interest to me because of its uniqueness in topography and its sustainable outlook. That is when I started speaking to organisations in Slovenia to discuss collaboration and that’s how MRK Intercontinental was born.
2 . What do people seek while they look for residency or citizenship through investment?
Quality of life, children’s education, quality health care is what most of the immigrants seek. For some, it is about having a Plan B when they want to retain their Indian citizenship as well be a resident and eventually a citizen of another country when the need arises, more like an insurance policy. Some individuals invest in migration programs for the future of their children; they might be living in India; however, their children/spouse might be in a different country. In some cases, parents of children pursuing higher education abroad, purchase residency so that their children can continue to be where they are rather than coming back due to visa restrictions.
3. Why Slovenia?
Slovenia is a hidden gem in Europe. The advantages that Slovenia offers can be a long list. Slovenia is the number one country in the world for children to grow up. With more than 60% of its area covered in green, it is one of the most sustainable and clean countries in the world. Slovenia occupies a favourable geographical position in the EU, has a smooth-running economy and a high level of social security, and has been ranked one of the best places to do business in the world. There is a wide range of basis for obtaining a residence permit in Slovenia. The procedure for obtaining it is simpler than in other countries of the European Union.
4. What is the kind of investment required for a Slovenian residency?
Slovenia’s investment requirement is one of the lowest amongst countries running similar programs. On a cost-benefit analysis, Slovenia is way ahead in almost all socio-economic parameters. The business investment requirement is upward of €50,000. Having said that, money is not the sole criteria for a grant of residency. The European Union Blue Card is another way to seek residency without any investment for highly qualified individuals.
5. What are the evaluation criteria for such applications?
Like many other countries seeking investments by granting residency, the focus is on the person and the value he or she brings. People with a track record of successful entrepreneurship, interesting business ideas, highly qualified, stands a better chance. In the case of the European Union Blue Card, the qualification and experience of the person mostly determine the grant of residency.
6. How do you build trust in people with the proposition?
Our Slovenian partner, Sibiz Business Services Ltd is an AAA-rated organization (highest creditworthiness), operating for more than a decade in the European market. Apart from India, the residency programs are also sold to citizens of other countries like Russia, South Africa, China, Turkey, Jordan, and others.
All applications and interviews happen at the Slovenian Embassy in New Delhi making the whole process transparent. Monetary transaction for the residency program happens through the client’s bank account that he/she needs to open in Slovenia. All investments are made directly by the client from their Slovenian bank account without any intermediary.
7. What is people’s reaction to what you are offering?
The investment migration market is still at a nascent stage in India. People are still getting to know these programs. While people are excited about the opportunity, the decision-making takes time as a lot of factors play a role. The prospect of state-sponsored high-quality education and health care and access to the European Union countries are attracting a lot of client inquiries. The country’s response to the pandemic, both in the socio and economic terms, has given more food to the thought of emigration.
8. After immigrating to Slovenia, what are the entitlements of the immigrants?
A resident permit entitles the residents and their family members to
- Live in Slovenia and to move freely on the territory of the Schengen Agreement without visas
- Run a legal business in the EU or work as a contractor party
- Receive free and high-quality medical care
- Receive a free education in primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions
9. What is your advice to people who are evaluating different Residency/Citizenship programs?
Research on different counties offering such programs. Look at the time, money, and process involved. Look at the transparency of all terms and conditions. Insist on the Embassy of the destination country in India being involved in the process. Look at what your priorities are. If children’s education and safety, quality of life, accessibility to other countries, both for business and leisure, are your priorities, Slovenia is the country.