Ashwini Kumar Giri works as a R&D Principal Engineer at ABB in Västerås, where he moved five years ago, after a few years as an expat from India. Find out what made him make the decision to stay in Västerås!
Q: What got you to move here in the first place?
There was a global project that was in progress at ABB, and I was one of the few people who was selected from India to come here as an expat to work for the project. Later on, they offered me a job, and I decided that I'd like to stay here.
Q: How did you experience this move the first few months for example?
By the time I decided to move here I was already married, so it was with my wife that I came here. She had never been outside of India, so for her, it was an entirely new country and an entirely new culture, so we had a lot of new things that we experienced. The best part I would say is the kind of importance that is given to the personal life of an individual in Sweden. People are very dedicated, and they do their work, but equally, there's a lot of emphasis on the individual experience of a person. The kind of preferences that you get when it comes to your family matters and the support that you arrive at your office for any personal issue that you might be having is something unique that I've seen here. The work-life balance is fantastic in Sweden I believe.
Q: And your private life, what do you do with your free time?
Västerås is a relatively small city, but we’ve still enjoyed it a lot because we can always find a lot of things to do here. The connectivity to nearby towns like Stockholm is excellent, so you can take a train and be there in less than an hour. Usually when we visit Stockholm City, it's either some festival that is going on. For example, you have this park with beautiful cherry blossom trees called Kungsträdgården, and there are always events happening there. We were recently part of the Food Festival there, and it was pretty amazing to see how the whole city comes to life. There were hundreds of people there, and everyone's enjoying themselves.
Q: How did you describe Västerås to your wife before moving here?
When we got married, and we decided that we were going to move for a long time project here she knew that I had already been to Västerås before, so she had some general questions about the city, the life quality and if we would find more Indian people there or things that you find in India normally. I told her that you could find everything in Västerås. Within a few months she found a lot of new friends here, Swedish, Indian people, and many different nationalities, so she's been quite comfortable since.
Q: Do you have an established Indian community in Västerås as well?
Yes, we have a community it's called VISA, Västerås Indian-Swedish Association. There are about 600+ members there, and when we have these major Indian holidays or festivals like Diwali and Holi, which is a festival of colors, the community will arrange some activities during this times and also some other cultural events throughout the year. It’s a very welcoming community, and if you have any questions about Västerås or Sweden in general, the members will try to help you out.