'Bengaluru is like a mini-world'

Expat zone

'Bengaluru is like a mini-world'

Bengaluru’s sights and sounds and its pleasant climate have delighted many, including the expatriates. Brian Fischer and wife Elissa, who are from Hubertus, Wisconsin, USA is one of them. The couple, who have three young children — Liam, Ella and Aiden, say that their stay in the City has been a comfortable one.

Brian works as the executive director of human resources for Honeywell Technology Solutions in the City. The couple point out that their life here is different from what they are used to.

“Fortunately, we have moved around a lot and are able to quickly adapt to our surroundings. I have found  that one develops more patience when one is in India and this can be a good thing. You learn to operate and think in a more fragmented structure compared to the West where there is more linearity,” says Brian.

He, like everyone in the City, says that one has to get used to the traffic here and plan his day accordingly. Elissa adds that “getting used to all the sound” was an adjustment they had to make. “Also, things are slower here compared to the US. The pace is different,” she says.

Although Brian has worked in various places across the USA, this is his first expatriate assignment. “My business unit spans three countries with almost 10,000 employees which makes for a very dynamic and diverse experience. Given my position, I am fortunate to experience a variety of micro-work cultures. I work with people from Czech Republic, China, and India; and these are different work atmospheres yet the same when measuring results. The Bengaluru work atmosphere is more social and decision- making is more collaborative than compared to Western environments,” says Brian.

Brian feels blessed to have had a chance to work here. He says, “Having the opportunity to work in such a dynamic economic environment with a global reach is hard to top.”

What are the challenges he faced while adjusting with work here? “Adapting and understanding the culture is critical. For example, communication in the US is generally very direct and overt where the meaning is on the surface. This is not necessarily true outside of the US where often the meaning is embedded in the way the message is delivered,” explains Brian.

The hardest adjustment for Elissa was to depend on the driver. “Back home, if I had to go somewhere, I just hop into a car and go. But here, I have to wait for the driver to get anything done.”

The power cuts were initially irritating too. “But recently I was shopping and when we lost power at the store, I just pulled out my phone and continued shopping with the flashlight in it. I don’t think about it anymore,” she says with a smile.

Getting groceries for home was a task in the beginning, but Elissa says that now she knows where to get what from. “Also, we now know many restaurants,” says Elissa.

Both Brian and Elissa had friends who had told them about what to expect in India. “I have quite a few friends in the US from Bengaluru, so I was equipped with what to expect including traffic and infrastructure,” says Brian. “Coming from snowy Wisconsin, I had heard about the beautiful climate that we would get to indulge in,” adds Elissa.

Elissa says that one of the things she loves about the City is meeting new people. “Bengaluru is like a melting pot. It is like a mini-world here. People from all over the world can be seen in the City.”      She adds that she has learnt lessons like not able to control a lot of things.

“I know that a schedule I have laid out for the day will not necessarily happen the way I wish it to. I have also got perspective on different things now and don’t
take things for granted anymore.”

Liam, the five-year-old who goes to Indus Early Learning Centre, says that he loves the school and all the new friends he has made. “I like riding in the school bus. It is an exciting experience as back home we didn’t have a school bus,” says Liam. He adds that he loves the City as he can play outside all the time.

Do they enjoy their stay in the City? Brian says, “We find Bengaluru quite livable with an abundance of attractions and experiences that keep our calendars packed.”

“The diversity of experiences, the smells and sounds in the early morning when the City is coming alive, the overall spirit and the Indian hospitality has really made us feel at home,” he sums up.

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