Sunday, August 13, 2017

Changing timezones

Yes, so it happened. As the title suggests, I moved out of Pune (after 7 years and 5 months), to an entirely new continent. Africa -> Kenya -> Nairobi.

Its been exactly two months since I landed here, and of course as expected it was a little outside the comfort zone of what I was used from Bombay, Pune and weekend trips to Hyderabad to recharge.
But what I have slowly started realizing is that only outside the comfort zone, lies one's true potential. You push yourself to achieve straightforward objectives, but with a completely different set of value, cultures, abilities and working styles. Also a leader of almost 120 direct and indirect reports, its about having everyone on board with your vision for the business.

So amidst a plethora of challenges - ranging from mindset to technical organization, I have settled in quite well I have to admit. The warmth and openness of the Kenyans has been the number one factor for me to ease into my role here. Everyone from my peers to the workforce on the shopfloor has been very welcoming and eager to adapt to the hands-on startup jugaad mindset that I bring to the game.

Another big strength that providence continues to bless me with are some great mentors, my latest boss, who I realise has coached two of the managers that I was fortunate to work with back in India. So I look forward to advance in terms of business acumen & mixing Indian frugality with low cost quality solutions.

On the personal front, things have been tough I have to admit. 50 days in a hotel room can drive anyone up the wall. In hindsight, atleast the food and laundry was taken care of  ! But as they say, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

Found a nice apartment in the Westlands area with a view to die for (I can see Karura forest at the distance). Its walkable from two malls with cinemas (which I know will be patronized a lot in the future), and from the SSD temple complex fully loaded with a place to play football, a walking track & an Indian restaurant.

The city itself, is one of contrasts, some places like Karen, Westlands, Lavington etc are on par with neighbourhoods in the West with amazing green cover and all urban facilities. Parklands almost seems like a suburb of Ahmedabad. But there are some places like the slums and outer suburbs that can do with focussed development. The traffic is a nightmare, but for someone coming from Bombay/Bangalore etc, it shouldn't be much to digest.

Safety is about knowing what to do and when to do it. So far I have not had any negative experiences, (I walk around Westlands a lot), so not much to share there.

I will be meeting the Mrs & the kid after 9 whole weeks. The little man has now become 8 months old and is turning out to be quite a fun fellow. I hope he starts picking up on Swahili along with English & Tamil in his time here. Apart from that, many trips involving Wildlife and the Savannah will happen. Binge Netflix is also happening after acquiring a Safaricom High speed wifi connection. Vikings, Fauda (Israeli series), Iron Fist and a multitude of movies like Piku, Dear Zindagi, Raman Raghav 2,0 have been consumed already.

Meanwhile, after multiple lower back issues back home, I'm starting to put in 15-30 mins on the treadmill everyday. So slowly building my stamina, I hope be back to doing 10Ks in the future. So watch this space for more. Also for more day to day fun scenes of Nairobi, find me on Instagram.


Unknown said...

Very well narrated Aditya�� I am very confident about your abilities to take on this very exciting journey..Good Luck��

Kanchan Sonalkar said... to know new side of you....