Montevideo: Bhavana, a 24-year-old computer engineer, has like many Indians found opportunity overseas, but she came to Uruguay, far from familiar crowds and the tastes of home.
“I like Uruguay,” said the young Bangalore native, flashing a brilliant smile in the cafeteria of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd’s (TCS) modern facility at its Latin American regional base in Montevideo.
In the 11 months she has been in South America, Bhavana acknowledged she had not tasted any local-style food.
She and her compatriots have had a very tough time finding the spices they need for home cooking, she said.
Still, she says, she is happy.
Certainly her workplace is impressive: dubbed the Jamsetji Tata building in honour of the father of modern Indian industry, it is a 2,630 sq. m facility in a trade zone known as Zonamerica, just north of the capital, which was built for about $3 million (Rs12.15 crore).
The company employs about 500 people at this facility and another 250 at a downtown Montevideo office; among them there are just about 60 Indians, said regional manager Mario Tucci.
At the downtown office, another computer engineer, Charandjit Pabla, a 28-year-old Sikh from Punjab, works with a western style suit and a sky-blue turban. “Food is a real problem; there are no spices,” he confessed, though he said he “enjoyed the local dishes” that did not contain beef.
Generally speaking, Pabla said “I feel comfortable. People see my turban and ask me, ‘Where are you from?’. People like me. People are very friendly,” he said, noting “I’ve got very good friends”.
Pabla also burst out laughing as he recalled one time “I went to the (football) stadium and people watched me instead of the match”.
From Uruguay, TCS works with clients across Latin America on building new software applications and guaranteeing proper performance of existing ones. It has invested $10-12 million in the past five years, Tucci said.