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Country’s pollution, cleanliness problem haunts expats

business Updated: Jan 18, 2016 01:52 IST
Himani Chandna

Vehicles move slowly at a traffic intersection after the end of a two-week experiment to reduce the number of cars to fight pollution in in New Delhi.(AP)

Nick Williams, director at Tesco has spent four years in India. While he appreciates the dynamics of Indian market, he snaps country’s pollution problem along with poor infrastructure and general cleanliness.

For Kazuo Ninomiya, managing director at Nikon India it has just been a little over six months in India but he too has noticed hurdles such as traffic and pollution. But considering the potential of the market, he may overlook the hurdles. “When I compare the thrill of discovering India as a market and the potential it offers for the business, the bitter-sweet hurdles like the pollution and traffic are something that can be overlooked....,” Ninomiya put forth his perspective humbly.

Williams and Ninomiya are not alone who have noticed country’s pollution and cleanliness problem. Consequently, India stands among the worst countries for expat destinations across globe, according to the global annual survey, Expat Insider 2015, which inquires into the living situation and happiness of expatriates, headhunters insist that country’s pollution and hygiene problem are among major reasons for India’s poor ranking.

Meanwhile, recruiters hunting expats are increasingly facing tough questions while hunting expats for local positions. “The aspects of pollution, traffic, crowds can be overwhelming for many expats. Adjusting in India is difficult, especially for westerners,” said Damini Tandan, director at Corner Office advisors, an executive search firm.

Pallavi Kathuria, leader, technology practice at Egon Zehnder, leadership advisory firm, said, “While there is a lot of interest from expats in India, pollution and general civic amenities is a concern. Also, concerns are around kids schooling, medical facilities, spouse’s job etc.”

However, India is one of the most exciting markets across globe and gaining work experience here adds value on executive’s resume. “Though expats cite some anxiety over the security situation with respect to family as well as education of their children, but most expats prefer to work in challenging environment than to work in few European countries where no growth is happening,” said Mayank Chandra, managing partner, UK based executive search firm, Antal International.