Chennai

Expats hail warmth of people in TN

Ranjini Manian, CEO of Global Adjustments, moderating the session, ‘At home in Tamil Nadu – Expats Speak,’ in Chennai. -Photo: R. Ragu

Ranjini Manian, CEO of Global Adjustments, moderating the session, ‘At home in Tamil Nadu – Expats Speak,’ in Chennai. -Photo: R. Ragu  

Do the expats feel at home living in Chennai? This was the topic of discussion at GIM 2015 as top executives heading big corporations spoke about what they make of the city at the panel discussion titled ‘At home in Tamil Nadu – Expats Speak’ moderated by Ranjini Manian, CEO of Global Adjustments, a company which assists in relocation and cross-cultural destination services. A number of topics were discussed in a lively manner – from housing, work environment, availability of goods and services, safety of women, healthcare facilities and their experiences with Indians.

Making her opening remarks, Ms. Manian said that expats initially find it difficult to find their feet in Chennai, but start missing the city when they eventually leave. “The Korean community is the single largest expatriate community with over 4,000 people living in the city,” she said.

Despite such a strong Korean presence, Kyongsoo Kim, Consul-General of Consulate General of the Republic of Korea, lamented how the community finds it tough to source basic Korean food.

“The city doesn’t have an importer or distributor of Korean products. There are some Korean farmers in Ooty from whom we get Chinese cabbages. But all this is made up for by the Tamil people who are so warm-hearted,” he said.

Belonging to perhaps the second biggest expat population in Chennai, Mr. Hidehiro Ishiura, Director-General of JETRO, said that proximity to schools, entertainment options and food are the three major concerns of the Japanese community. “Now, Chennai has good super markets, which is an important factor. The number of Japanese restaurants in Chennai has increased,” he said. He also added how Tamil Nadu could be a part of India, but something about it sets it apart from the rest of the country.

Paul Kivlehan, who has been living in Chennai from 2013 after being appointed as the director of Barclays, said that he loves the whole energy of the city.

“Tamil Nadu is a paradox. Only after staying here I realised Indians loved to hear loud music. The healthcare options were also not impressive at first, but then I have managed to find great hospitals which are comparable to the ones in the U.K. But I miss bitter beer in Chennai and I have to make do with alternatives,” says the Irish national from the United Kingdom.

Bowled over by the cosmopolitanism offered by Chennai, Markus Villinger, Managing Director, Daimler Bus Division, said that he was impressed with the knowledge, skills and energy of Tamil people.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 2:53:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/expats-hail-warmth-of-people-in-tn/article7639432.ece

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