Expat Interview: Neeraj Gulati

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Name: Neeraj Gulati
Home Country: India
Marital status: Married, with no Children
Industry/Job: Executive Director

What brought you to Malaysia?
The move to Malaysia happened in early 2010, and was a rather impulsive decision, mainly for a better career opportunity. Malaysia has not only been a great place to work, but also to live – making the last four years a wonderful journey.

What do you like and dislike about living here?
Malaysia offers the best of both the worlds – East and West. The infrastructure here is absolutely world-class and the people are very welcoming. If I have to really single one thing that I like the most, it has to be the people who are very accepting, respectful and genuine towards everyone. What I don’t like would be the lack of public transport, but that’s being fixed with the MRT project.

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
Malaysia really offers a lot, especially for someone like me who loves sports. My typical weekend revolves around badminton, tennis, and socialising with friends. Between my wife Hetal and me, we have made many friends. One weekend ritual we never miss is a walk in one of the many peaceful parks in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, where we own a home.

What is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia or in the region? Why?
Within Malaysia, I love Pulau Redang for its pristine beaches. I have to confess that after Redang’s white sandy beach and blue waters, it’s difficult to be satisfied with any other beach destination! Within the region, Bali is a wonderful holiday destination as it has everything to offer, from quiet beaches to a bustling nightlife.

What do you miss most about your home country?
Bollywood is something I really miss actually. Hindi movies and the tons of controversies around the Bollywood stars make up coffee table conversations and is part of the binding fabric of Indian society, so we do miss that aspect of life.

What advice do you have for newly arrived expats?
When you come to a new country, it means you have stepped out of your comfort zone in a big way, so it can be easy to fall into the trap of negativity. I would recommend always having an open mind and encourage expats to try to look at the positives. The brighter side of expat life is that it exposes one to finer cultural differences, and helps develop more respect and tolerance for individuals, enriching everyday experiences.

Is Malaysia a good place in which to work and do business? Why?
It’s a wonderful place to work and has a lot to offer, both in terms of learning and growth. The people make a place and Malaysians are very ambitious and talented. The country is on a growth trajectory with a vision of breaking into the league of developed nations by 2020, which opens up a host of new opportunities to be a part of.

How long do you plan to stay in Malaysia?
I never really planned to be here but now I’ve really fallen in love with this place and would love to spend more time here. In the long run, Malaysia has the potential to become a regional hub for Southeast Asia.


Source: The Expat Magazine April 2014

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