Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Journey of Our Life

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference - Robert Frost.
We don’t know whether it is a road less traveled or frequently traveled. But it was a decision long pending and we took it now. We are not worried about the outcome instead we would like to take the path and leave the outcome to time.

These days most of my friends ask me this question – “why did you decide to go back to India now?” or “why can’t you wait for another few more years and go back?” Here is what I typically answer to those questions. These are not in any particular order but this was the major thought process that went through our mind before we decided to make that decision of going back.
My Area of Work
“You know in India we don’t even do anything close to this in water treatment plants”. This was what an interviewer replied to me when I explained to him what I am doing right now in US. I replied back to him “This is exactly for this reason I want to come back to India”.
Water and Wastewater industry in India lags behind US by at least 10 to 20 years. Forget the fact that majority of Indian population does not have access to clean drinking water, the existing water treatment plants itself uses very old technologies to treat water. I felt I could contribute more to the society working in India in the area of water/waste water treatment and this thought process was one of the most driving forces in making a decision to go back to India.
Right Time to Go Back With a Kid
We never wanted to settle in US and always wanted to go back to India. This thought was always in my mind during my student days as well as when I was working. I have observed a lot of Indians who are few years elder to me who talk passionately about going back to India but never take any concrete steps to do so. One of the main things those people tell you “We really want to go back but I don’t think our kids want to settle in India”. Most of them have kids around 5 to 10 years old and I can understand – a kid born and brought up in US will find it really tough to adjust to the life style in India. My daughter is just 6 months old and if she grows up here for another few years she “may’ not want to go back.
Whenever the discussion about going back to India comes up with my friends this whole concept of savings comes into picture. “How much savings do we need before we go back?” Every one will come up with their own numbers and most of those numbers are so large that realistically it will take at least 20 odd years to save that much. The way I see that – if you can go back to India at a relatively young age (around 35 years old) with a very good job in hand, then it is fine to have just enough savings for initial settling in India. You have most productive years of your life in front of you and can easily earn and save for your family. Coming years will prove if my theory is right or wrong!
America is called “land of opportunities”. The world order has changed dramatically in the last two decades. With the advent of communication revolution it could be right to say that the whole world is “land of opportunities”. Now from my office in India I can easily work/collaborate with a professor or a company in US. A few years back such collaboration was almost impossible. These days irrespective of the place of stay, you can do stuff you want to do anywhere in the world. When you have that luxury why do you have to live in a place far off from your motherland?
The reasons I had to go back were quite straight forward. But it took months of discussion and hours of planning before we finally decided to go back. It was indeed one of the toughest decisions I have made. However, I leave time to be the judge.
Photo Courtesy Click Here

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Blogger Lakshminarayan Viju Ravichandran (Viju) said...

Really nice! You kinda spoke out a lot of points that I would have to give to defend such a decision later on in my life :)

All the very best, and this decision of your is definitely one to look up to. Will need your inputs sometime in the not-so-distant future :)

April 29, 2010 8:30 AM  
Blogger scorpiogenius said...

Wishing you all the very best again Brijesh! :) to you and your family.

Hope your expertise will be made use of in the fullest possible extent by the authorities in India.

April 29, 2010 8:41 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing this, Brijesh.
I am happy you can do something for India.. and you're right, I think going back to India now is the most exciting time. There is an economic and cultural revolution going on right now.. (well, I believe it has been going on for some time, but depending on which part of India, it's in a different stage now).

Regarding the point about 'kids not wanting to go to India' I am not really sure this is the 'real reason.' People have to assess are they blaming this on their kids or is it really that they, themselves do not want to go back. And why is this? Sometimes the very reasons one may miss India (or their native country) is the same reasons they want to live outside. (Love the family for instance, but don't want to live with them, or wanted to be shielded from gossip, want more privacy abroad, etc. etc). I think kids adapt much more easier than adults.

BTW where in India will you be? I think I missed that!

April 29, 2010 1:11 PM  
Anonymous shyam said...

Looks like you made the right decision at the right time, unlike some of your elder friends. All the best. Can't wait to see what are your plans about "my area of work".

April 29, 2010 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Brijesh,

Water treatment plant, Water recycling is catching up in india too , mainly under the "Green" fad. But there are few companies seriously pursuing it. They have a very strong business model as well. For e.g: See Wipro ( Recent news is that they started commercially building water treatment plants for pharma sector and energy sector. They seem to have a strong team in this business portfolio.

Another area is the rain water harvesting. You know in Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore went through a real estate boom and there are many apartments built during this boom period. The issue is most of these apartments are on the rock base and cannot extract water efficiently through bore wells. I can say most of the apartments in Chennai and Bangalore are dependent on the tanker water. What I'm trying to say is there are plenty of opportunities here - Rain water harvesting, Water treatment plant, Water bottling plants etc.

I think career perspective your decision is good and less risky. But you are going to get hit on the life style side. You need to struggle a lot if you do not have a good support system (parents staying with you or dependable servants).

April 29, 2010 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought I'll share this as well ..

April 29, 2010 3:53 PM  
Blogger Karthikeyan said...

While most desis find reasons not to go back why they can't go back, you looked for reasons to go back. Bravo!!!

Best wishes and good luck for life ahead in India...

April 29, 2010 9:59 PM  
Blogger Karthikeyan said...

Should have been -

"While most desis find reasons not to go back OR why they can't go back, you looked for reasons to go back. Bravo!!!"

April 30, 2010 1:59 AM  
Blogger Babin said...

Very reasonable conclusion! Good Luck in your new journey!

April 30, 2010 3:17 AM  
Blogger Vidhya said...

Good luck with your Venture Mr. Brijesh. I came to your site thru FB(Jennifer Kumar's group). WE recently moved to India from US (couple of months back) and I have twin daughters who are going to be 6 years old next month and we didn't find any difficulty here with kids. They are just fine with their new school and surroundings. I personally feel that its because of the parents, kids hesitate to come to India. They create a bad impression (like so dusty, India is not clean, mosquitoes, water problem etc) about India in their minds from the beginning itself. We decided to come back when we were told by the GYN in US that we are going to have twin daughters :) Well thats not the only reason, but that is also a major reason.

April 30, 2010 3:47 AM  
Anonymous Praveen said...

Great decision! Indians always blame the living conditions in India... it never occured to their mind that no country in this world is created with all the facilities but the determination of their people made it. They put their knowledge and education in to practice. We always want to settle in countries where thay have all the facilities but we dont want to create the same in our if its somebody else's job to do so

May 01, 2010 4:03 PM  
Anonymous amreekandesi said...

Good luck, Brijesh.

As someone who moved back to India last year, i can talk from my experiences.

There may be some acclimatisation required the initial months, but on the positive side the mango season is in full bloom. That's something you cant get in the US!

India is good, but not really the India shining that it is sometimes made out to be. Just go in with realistic expectations. And like they say, if you can last one year, then you are good to go.

May 16, 2010 11:16 AM  
Blogger Ajith said...

read this before in my phone so didnt reply. very clear reasonng....All the best....You have been a factor for me to come to US,but hopefully it wont be twice in a row !!!!!!

August 08, 2010 3:03 PM  

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