'Bengaluru has its own signature culture'

'Bengaluru has its own signature culture'

Expat zone

'Bengaluru has its own signature culture'

It was the adventurous nature of Jimmy Yeoh that brought him to the city. Being the President and CEO of Nonplus Ultra Home Automation Pvt Ltd, the expatriate observes that his journey has proved to be a learning experience.

The Malaysian started his Bengaluru experience four-and-a-half years back, when he moved here from Shanghai, and it has been a fun challenge for him since then.

Jimmy, who grew up in Malaysia, did his engineering from Australia. “I set up my first startup there, after which I got a job back home. After a series of jobs, I moved to Shanghai, which is one of my favourite cities. It is a great place for opportunities,” he says.

Jimmy initially came to Bengaluru to manage a team for a startup that was discussed during his stay in Shanghai. “I came for a few months but I stayed on. I moved on from that startup later due to some reasons.

By that time, I was living with a bunch of friends who were looking to start something together and that’s how my present company happened,” he details.

Hailing from Penang, Malaysia, which is listed as one of the top destinations  for street-food in the world, Jimmy says he is a born foodie.

“I fly there and enjoy a few weeks of bliss with food and family whenever possible. My whole family is connected to food. Since the place is an island, I grew up consuming a lot of seafood which was prepared in varied ways,” he says. Jimmy says his interest in food is also due to his parents — his mother  is from Thailand and his father is from Malaysia. “My mother is a passionate cook and I learnt a great deal of culinary art from her,” he says.
About his hometown, Jimmy adds that Penang is becoming increasingly popular as a heritage destination. “A lot of the places which reveal stories of the place’s history are still intact,” he adds.
About his workplace, Jimmy feels happy about his role and the benefits he reaps here. “Venturing into a new culture can be challenging. The balancing act  has to be
in a positive manner,” says Jimmy.

He says that he has learnt a lot here. “I’m glad that I can easily adapt to different things. The way how the locals are tolerant of people from across the country is phenomenal. This is something other societies should learn from Bengaluru,” he adds.
Moving to Bengaluru has been an educative process, Jimmy vouches. “I never thought about coming to India. But once the city was suggested to me, it just took me 30 minutes to decide. I thought to myself, ‘what does one really need to do when in a foreign country, apart from absorbing the freshness’. India was already a growing economy. I was glad to make the place my next destination, a place where my dreams could come true,,” he says.

Ask Jimmy if he knew about the city earlier and he says, “There is no excuse for anyone who has been in the software industry to not know Bengaluru. The city is defined by its young population, high literacy rate and a global reputation as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’.”

He adds, “Now, the city has its own set of entrepreneurs and business formulae, by which it has built its own separate status. Bengaluru has a very supportive ecosystem. Think of a certain group of people you want to be with and there are meetups for the same. The city has its own signature culture.”

The most striking part of Bengaluru is the size, he says. “The city is at least 10 times bigger than Penang. A lot of things are thus different here. The diversity of people one gets to meet defines the place. The frequency of new things being created in the city is also wonderful,” says Jimmy.

 He adds that his hometown is more relaxed and laidback. “Though home is a lot of comfort, I love adventure. I am like a nomad and I love doing different things. I wanted to try everything before settling down.”

Jimmy loves the weather and the vibrancy of the city. “Bengaluru is one place which reminded me of Australia. In Australia, when one is out with friends, the group could consist of varied nationalities. I’ve experienced this here too,” he says.

Jimmy adds, “I learnt to enjoy the happy mess here. People manoeuvre around whatever the situation may be. Also, I learnt that regardless of what layer of society one belongs to, be it the ‘autorickshawallah’ on the road or the young achievers, there is a certain optimism in the air about the growth of the country.”
When Jimmy has some time to spare, he loves watching movies at malls, visiting pubs and restaurants like ‘The Fatty Bao’ and hanging out at UB City.

“The city has a lot to offer in terms of food. There are cuisines from across the country and the world here.” His weekends include inviting friends over and cooking for them. “I love to cook but due to work limitations I haven’t been able to indulge in it a lot.  I love to make a nice dinner for them and enjoy a couple of beers with them,” he says.

Jimmy says that moving to Bengaluru helped him to slow down and ‘smell the roses’. “I’ve learnt to appreciate the small things of life here,” he sums up.

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