In conversation with Johan Andersson, an expat enjoying his life in Namma Bengaluru!
For Johan, visiting India was business 6 years ago, he didn’t have the slightest idea that he would meet the love of his life in this beautiful country. Currently, he is residing in Bengaluru with his wife and adorable daughter.
A resident of Sweden, Johan shifted to India in order to establish his business in India. However, at the beginning of 2013 his trips to India were becoming frequent and for a longer duration and since then he didn’t go back.
“I enjoy the friendly atmosphere and greet the smiling faces that I meet every day. I also appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit in the society and the relaxed lifestyle. Besides work, there is not much stress and must-dos. What I love the most is the food here!”, Johan expresses.
Talking about the challenges, he highlighted the environmental pollution and the traffic. “It is of course not as bad as Delhi yet, but still not as clean and fresh I appreciate”, he emphasized. This is what he missed about his home country- nature, fresh air and seasons.
It’s good to know that in Bangalore, the silicon valley of India, one doesn’t need to have his car, Cab hailing services like Ola and Uber ease the lives of many. One can also opt for Car pooling. “Unfortunately, public transportation is not that good. Even though Metro has found its existence in town, but the coverage has still miles to go, and the capacity is limited. One needs to follow a long queue to get on the train”, he informed.
Johan feels that except few things like Lactose-free milk, the cost of living in Bangalore as compared to Stockholm is less in general. He is quite satisfied with the healthcare system in Bengaluru, India. He had good experiences and met excellent doctors that treated him on various medical problems, both medical and ayurvedic doctors. He didn’t like the idea of prescribing antibiotics for all kind of small issues. “Sakra World hospital is one of the good hospitals in Bangalore”, he recommended.
India is a mix of communities. One can see the whole range exists (even in Bengaluru) from Slum to luxury villas. “In an independent house, I guess water and power might be an issue occasionally. As expats, there are communities that are good and have both apartments and villas. I would ask my fellow expats to choose a place that is close to work and schools. There are many good communities”, Johan suggested.
As expats, foreigners have to undergo a lot of adjustments while settling down. They even tend to experience culture shock. “The biggest difference that I feel is there are so many diverse people. I remember the first time when I reached KempeGowda airport,Bengaluru, it was packed with people, everywhere. Now when I reach Sweden airport instead, I get a shock to see where all the people are!”, he smiled.
He also added that biggest adjustment is otherwise to not expect things to go exactly in a particular way, and live each day a little bit like an adventure. A little more flexible less stressed mindset. There are several challenges of course. Culture challenges for instance, even if one is working for an MNC – the way he manages communication and expectations. In projects, for instance, Johan believes that how he perceive things based on their cultural context makes a difference. It’s therefore good to understand the meaning of “Chalta Hai”. He laughed.
In spite of all the odds, Johan loves being in India. “I meet both Expats and Indians through certain communities and network. I think in general it is pretty easy. One can join the excellent expat group five oceans.club”, he informed.
The Indian locals are very tolerant of foreigners. Sometimes more tolerant than to other Indians with a different background, unfortunately. “Be prepared and read about the culture before visiting India. One can also follow Culture rings that will provide information on India’s culture and a variety of their services, he signed off.
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