For Italian national Max Francesconi coming to India was a dream and staying here forever may just come easy
At 43, Max Francesconi, gives the impression of being a 25-year-old; agile, childlike and happy-go-lucky. Max has been in India for three years out of which he spent two years in Mumbai and shifted to Delhi a year ago. “Shifting from Mumbai to Delhi was such a relief for Mumbai is too crowded and hot. I am planning to live here for at least seven years more and extend it too,” says Max grinning. In Delhi, Max has an enviable position of a Country (India) Manager of Italy-based Art Mosaic Factory called Sicis (pronounced as sichis). His office is in Defence Colony and he lives alone in Sarvpriya Vihar.
Aiming to become a pilot and fly an Army plane, which “couldn't happen as the flying school was too far from home”, Max landed with this company to look after their architectural preferences in India – a country, he swears he was “always passionate about”. “Almost all my life,” he says, “I lived with a dream to come to India and know its complexity”.
Max has quite a flexible view of the country. If he doesn't “want to get judgmental about its traffic, crowd or temperature” he finds its food, culture, tolerance, religion, ethnicity and history “fascinating”. “I find India unique because it is not comparable to any other country. For instance France, Italy and Spain are similar and are comparable but not India, all its four sides have completely different type of people with different cultures, food and history,” says Max fondly.
But as a trader, Max had a “tough time” in India. He recalls laughing, “It is not easy to interact and work with Indian traders. In Italy for instance, the traders are more formal and give great emphasis on exterior or presentation. They are more polished. But in India, traders concentrate more on the content than exterior. They calculate very fast and count every penny! They are also very informal something that I took quite a while to go easy with! But in a way, I appreciate it because I need to learn all that by understanding their psyche; it's a very interesting study for me,” he says with a smile.
Though Max has turned vegetarian for over 16 years, “at 25, I thought I felt the need to avoid meat”, he likes going to restaurants Olive and Diva when he craves for Italian food. Food in Delhi has never been an issue for him. “I love the spices Indian foods are synonymous with. So, wherever I get good Indian food, I eat,” he adds.
The son of a retired coffee industry employee, Max has a brother based in Italy. He now even hopes to “find a good girl to get married and may be stay back in India for ever”.
Last May though, he “rushed back home” to avoid Delhi temperature. Now, he claims, “I am used to it”.RANA SIDDIQUI ZAMAN