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Towards a cosmopolitan future

Towards a cosmopolitan future

Author: Anosh Malekar
Publication: The Week
Date: March 7, 2004
URL: http://www.the-week.com/24mar07/currentevents_article10.htm#2

The first thing on my sports calendar is to watch a Test match in Mumbai," says Duncan Craig, general manager of Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai. The 36-year-old New Zealander, who arrived in the city three weeks ago, is not a stranger to India. "Six years ago, I worked as a food and beverages manager in Goa," he says. "I thoroughly enjoyed my stint there; perhaps a reason for landing here again."

He feels the work culture in India is a combination of "people being focused on their jobs as well as leading meaningful lives". But the work atmosphere is hierarchical. "It's a lot more cosmopolitan than what it was six years ago. People are more aware of where the rest of the world is heading to," he says.

Duncan-who hails from Wanganui north of Wellington, "a small place by Indian standards but a big one in New Zealand"-is looking forward to his wife joining him next month. He has made no plans yet, except perhaps "a visit to my favourite fish restaurant in Goa".

Duncan's colleague, executive pastry chef Guillaume Bonnety, 36, has witnessed the hospitality business grow in India, having worked here for four years.

"A lot more tourists are coming here and the Indian hospitality industry needs to keep pace with change, providing better quality services," says the Frenchman who feels Indians in the business are not sufficiently motivated or qualified. It is the reason why a number of foreigners are entering this sector to train and educate their Indian counterparts.

What amazes Guillaume is India's huge population working towards a goal. "The future looks good with the economy becoming stronger," he says. "Definitely, a lot of foreigners would want to come and work here now."

The only difficulty Guillaume faces in India is socialising because, "Indians seem to live a very family-oriented life. There are hardly any who would want to mix with foreigners. But I have a few friends". Being a nature freak, he looks forward to travel across India.

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