4,500 miles from home

March 2016
News Item
Mike Laskey
16th March 2016

Ever wondered what it’d be like to work abroad? Our Digital Account Manager Sapna doesn’t have to. 

Born in India, Sapna, worked in her home city of Mumbai before moving to Sheffield last year.

We thought it would be interesting to hear about how working in India differs from the UK…

Sapna Ahuja from Diva Creative

As you might imagine, there are quite a few cultural differences you can’t help but notice when you work in both countries.

For starters, there’s less of an onus placed on punctuality in India. Being on time is still important, but it’s not something that’s followed too strictly.

Despite that, working hours are longer back home, with 10 or 11-hour days often running from 9.30am until 7.30pm or 8pm. Even late at night and on weekends it’s common for people to be working through their phones – the work-life balance is definitely better at Diva.

In my experience, companies in India aren’t as transparent and senior managers are less approachable than they are here, although my friends tell me that this is changing as businesses work in an increasingly western way.

Lunchtime food is definitely different, too. Mumbaikars (residents of Mumbai) bring in home-cooked food to share in the office every day – although my hungry colleagues tell me I’m helping to introduce that here with my own breads and chutneys!

When it comes to marketing, the sheer size and geography of India means approaches differ greatly across the country. With 29 states and seven union territories, each with their own cultures and attitudes, you have to market things differently from east to west and north to south. There are also 22 major languages, 13 scripts and over 720 dialects to think about!

At the moment, the UK is more digitally mature than India, but digital marketing is booming back home. Online shopping has really taken off and companies are increasing their multimedia budgets.

I’ve really enjoyed the change, challenge and excitement that working here in Yorkshire has given me so far, and I can’t wait to learn more about digital marketing in Britain as I get my teeth into new projects with new clients.

By Mike Laskey