BANGALORE: The techies always behave differently. A sparkling positive attitude. Their hallmark.
At a time when a large number of Westerners are packing their bags fearing an impending war in the Indian subcontinent, the members of the expat community here who are primarily engaged in the technology creation activities, remain unfazed with no sign of panic.
The foreign tech workers have of course shown concern and are monitoring the developments closely. But no hasty departures on the cards.
Says Rals Sussick, general manager of Siemens Communications, who has been living in Bangalore over the last two years: ``We are a bit concerned about the situation, but not yet panicking, just watching the scene here. Though there was a suggestion from the German Foreign Secretary's office to send our families back to Germany as a precautionary measure, we at Siemens Communications preferred to wait and watch.''
In fact, some of the members of the expats community at Siemens Communications India informally met at Club Cabana on the outskirts of Bangalore to discuss the issue on Sunday. However, they unanimously decided to stay on here unless the situation worsens further.
Bruce Wehlau, a British national and CEO of Axcend India, a Canadian technology company, says: ``Based on my understanding of the situation, nuclear exchange will not take place at all. There may be problems across LoC, which is nothing new. Considering the interest of the international community in this issue, we expect de-escalation of the situation. I am not concerned from the safety point of view.'' Bruce has been living in Bangalore for over a year with his wife Nancy.
The spokesperson of Huawei Technologies maintains that the current situation in the country did not pose a threat to their operations. ``Business is normal at Huawei,''he added.
AMC India, the subsidiary of a German cookware systems company managing director Andreas Scherrer admits that there is definitely some concern on the tension along the border. However, he had desisted from packing and leaving the country immediately. ``I just met-up with some 20 expat friends and none of them showed any urgency of leaving India.''
Says Vivek Kulkarni, Karnataka IT Secretary: ``Traditionally, there has been a feeling that South India is relatively safe. And its because of this reason that companies are carrying on normally. There are no such apprehensions among the MNCs here.''
Comments B. V. Naidu, director of STPI Bangalore: ``The foreign workers here are not at all worried and there is no fear psychosis. In fact, I met a Bangalore-based Japanese team in the morning, they seemed to be quite okay. Broadly speaking, the IT industry here will not be affected considering the fact that most of the MNC outfits are headed by the expat Indians.''
Published in Indian daily TimesOfIndia dated 04 June, 2002