A Passion for India

Visiting Gaya in Bihar (image courtesy: Rural Spark ©)

During my master’s at the TU Delft I became friends with a handful students from India. I was impressed how they managed at some point to feel at home. It’s not easy when you’re used to a warm climate, getting used to the Dutch directness and also missing your relatives who are very far away. An open mind, flexibility and new contacts are an important part of adjusting to a new and unfamiliar place.

I am very curious-minded and wanted to experience this so-called culture shock as well. As a typical Dutch guy I am used to tight time schedules, structure and directness, but how does that work out in a completely different culture? And what can I learn from this, and what else is there to learn for me? Submerging myself for a long period in a new country, would give me that experience and the opportunity to learn more about myself.

With this in mind, I decided to go to India to live and work there for at least 1 year. Starting in February 2016, I had reached my goal within three months: a job offer at Rural Spark, a startup based in India, focused on smart renewable energy networks.

(video courtesy: Rural Spark ©)

I was surprised I succeeded so quickly. Looking back at the process, what really helped was to translate my goal into a passionate story. People were inspired by it and got very excited to help me out. My Indian friends and existing network brought me into contact with people who shared/related to my goal. These new people introduced me in their turn to other people, Indians, Indian organisations and companies. Nuffic Neso India also played an important role in my pursuit. I think I never drank so many cups of coffee with so many inspiring, fun and special individuals who all have their own story about India. In addition to being fun, networking really speeds up the process of reaching life goals because people want to help others out.

A difficult point for me was to become very concrete in terms of what kind of work I wanted to do. People that helped me along the way needed some specific input to help me further. I looked for moments where I felt in the moment and where things flowed, and then I looked for a job that would give me the opportunity to continue in this way.

Meeting the colourful women of Bihar in the Block Bankey Bazar (image courtesy: Rural Spark ©)

So far it has been a great journey towards the goal. I’ve met wonderful people, heard inspiring stories, and learned a lot about India along the way. Now it is time to really experience working and living in India.

Phir Milenge!

Rob