Ashu Gaur – Expat in several countries
ExpatFinder has had the chance to talk to Mr. Ashu Gaur, 36, an Indian branding, marketing and business consultant, who travels frequently to serve its clients internationally. He has been providing advisory services to start-ups and multinationals on matters such as business expansion or diversification.
As his clients expect him to understand the business environment, Mr. Gaur often has to interact with the locals and explore new places in various host countries. Loving how he can combine work with leisure, he has come to embrace all travel experiences that come his way, be it pleasant or otherwise. While it may not always be easy, he has learned to build connections and find helping hands to guide him along. Read on in the full interview below.
Q: Where are you from?
A: Born and based in India.
Q: What made you move out of your home country?
A: In the Global Business Environment and by marking the accessibility on the Internet, Phone Calls, have never felt a constraint in handling business activities anywhere across a country so am a frequent traveller but am always attached to my home town and country and travel out just for the business purpose.
Q: Which are the places you often travel to?
A: As per my business nature, being a Marketing and Branding Consultant, work profile requires a lot of travel and market research so at times while executing the project, we need to extensively travel to the target client location and understand the business environment over there. Apart from leisure travel, wherein we travel to just the Tourist destinations; or Corporate Travel, where goal of travel is to meet the client and is limited to their office locations, in this kind of business nature, we need to travel every nook and corner of city to explore the potential of market and understand the people better. So, it covers almost every part of city related to client's target market and group.
It helps me to explore the location and is not just limited to its geographic significance, but also extends to emotional attachment with the people over there, and it is what I love about my work profile most.
Q: What is your advice on entering into new, unfamiliar environments for expats or frequent traveller like yourself?
A: While entering into an unfamiliar environment, one must ensure that they have right kind of reference introduction, may it be your friend, network connection or relatives. That always eases and provides a backup support in case of any emergency situation. In case there is no such option available, personally, I always prefer to book my options online and then connect with the related ground staff like a watchman, waiters, room service people, help desk executives to explore possible options. Not this actually connects me with the real face of the city, but also am not restricted to my travel agent for almost everything. Once we lock everything with a single service provider, we could see only one face of the coin which they present to us.
Once you land to an unfamiliar environment, check out for Railway Stations, Public Transport (Timings and Limitations), Emergency Hospital Accessibility and an option to get in touch with nearest Police People, in the case of an emergency need. While travelling in India, at times I come across places where you can't travel during nights or are totally unsafe, so prepare your commuting calendar and timeline so that you are not struck anywhere in an isolated place. Anyone you meet in such unfamiliar environments, keep a copy of their Contact Nos and Selfies/Photographs with them synced to any Google Drive account or online service, which is actually shared with someone you can trust. Always keep your GPS and internet open verifying the things and keep SOS connections, Local Police Nos and Medical Emergency Numbers handy with you.
Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?
A: No, as work and connectivity with my family keep myself occupied and never face any sort of homesickness
Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in your host countries? How did you manage to find a social circle there?
A: Not really. Being active on Social Networks and staying connected via the networking websites and portals is not just a platform to connect but also helps in meeting like-minded people in the host countries.
Q: Would you say that healthcare in India is reliable? Any preferred clinics or advice for expats?
A: One can find world class Healthcare facilities in India in metros but when it comes to tier 2 or tier 3 cities across India, quality healthcare is still a challenge, especially the language factor while trying to interact with medical practitioners, as in most small cities or rural areas, the constraint is language.
Q: Did you secure a health insurance in your home or host country? What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion?
A: Cash Less Health Policy with Pre-hospitalization is to be the prime key essential while choosing the Health insurance in India. Many companies offer a plan for expats which cover for day-to-day medical expenses as well as planned surgery, emergency treatment, maternity cover, outpatient care and dental plans, depending on the level of cover they choose.