History repeats itself they say, but in this case a father’s decision to relocate family and work abroad stems from personal experience, and one he hopes will widen his children’s lens on life, besides answering his own professional ambitions.
My family moved around the UK & Ireland when I was young due to my father’s work. Then in early 1992 my parents moved to the Middle East, ending up staying for 20 years. Growing up, my father was my primary role model and through his decision to move abroad, little did he know he would inspire me down the line to traverse the world with my family too.
In 2011, I met my now wife in London. She is a Sikh, originally from India, and was in the UK studying for her International MBA at the time. She is also an expat who has moved around the world with her family. We married some years later and at the onset of COVID she was pregnant, expecting our second child. We bunkered into our London flat, unsure as everyone else about what to expect. My daughter was born in May 2020, but sadly two weeks later my father passed away, never getting to see, hold, or even be photographed with his granddaughter. He had early onset Alzheimer’s, and I never really got to ask him how he had felt about his move abroad, separating his family to do so, or to seek his advice when it came to my own family.
Why I Moved To India?
One of the benefits of today’s globalized economy is enhanced mobility. You no longer always grow up, study, work, date/marry, bring up kids, and retire in one geography. I had begun to get a sense that I needed something new professionally after the birth of our daughter. My wife and I had already discussed living abroad before marriage, and now that my father had gone, the idea seemed to resonate strongly as part of his legacy to be shared with my children. I had been exposed to India on a personal and professional level for the best part of a decade, and I now had an OCI* that let me work here. So, after a fantastic period in London together, my wife agreed it was time to come back to her home country, and we left for me to pursue an opportunity at Wells Fargo, early this year.
Why India? While many people go West to gain international experience, I wanted to move East. I wanted to build first-hand experience of India in a work environment, as having worked with several global financial services companies that have an India presence, some things stood out to me. For example, the India-based workforces always scored higher on employee engagement surveys than other regions. Indians have a strong “can-do’ attitude, aligned to high technical capabilities from excellent educational foundations, yet also aligned to warm hospitable values. Additionally, India is now the fifth biggest world economy.
Suggested Reading: How Influencer Andrew Tate Is Selling Extreme Masculinity To Young Men
But this is not just a journey about extending my professional experiences. It was also about exposing our children to their shared homeland, spending quality time with extended family, and for my wife, this was also a chance to scale up her children’s lifestyle business—all equally important in our family dynamic. Has it all been plain sailing? Not always. On the bad days, the upheaval of the move weighs a little on the conscience. Yet on the good days, which is most thankfully, I know we made the right choice. That as diversity and inclusion becomes the norm around the world, as biases are broken down, and through exposure to other people’s ways of doing things, we can all grow a bit more connected, tolerant, and understanding. My children’s lens on life has widened, their diet expanded, their friendships diversified, and who knows, their international view may lead them to borders new in the future.
*Overseas Citizenship of India
Declan Cahill is a Vice President and Lead Strategy Consultant at Wells Fargo India & Philippines. After 20 years in global financial services companies in the UK, he moved to India in January 2022 and is currently working in the COO office for Wells Fargo in India & Philippines. The view expressed are the author's own.