FOREIGN DESPATCH

Kulashekar Raghavan

Hola! Hello! Ni Hao! Pranam from San Jose, USA!
I have been a part of the Mahindra family for 31 years, starting afresh at the Automotive Division in Kandivali. My journey to Bristlecone started in Houston with Mahindra Consulting. I remember being both excited and anxious, as I embraced this new opportunity. The new environment and assignment was certainly a challenge, but the familiar faces from our automotive business provided me some comfort as I settled into a foreign country and my work.

Over the years, we have come to love Italian, Greek or Mediterranean, Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Mexican food. However, chaat, idli and dosa rule the roost at home!

The family with their Peruvian hosts

My family joined me six months later at Houston before we moved to San Jose to work at Bristlecone. I started as Controller for Americas before my current role as Head of Finance, Legal and IT.

Bristlecone was the first international acquisition of the Mahindra Group and it is based in San Jose, California. We provide supply chain solutions to clients in the semiconductor, manufacturing, process and hi-tech industries. Hence, my job has given me the opportunity to work with people from different countries, including China, Russia, Mexico, Germany, Canada and Brazil, ensuring a workplace that is vibrant and diverse.

Living in the Bay Area has provided me with opportunities to travel locally and internationally.

Of all these opportunities, I particularly cherish a holiday in Peru with my family. Together, we experienced Machu Picchu, dirt roads on the way to distant cities and also spent time with some of the amazing locals. The altitude and food (being vegetarian) were a challenge, but it turned out to be a great family holiday. We stayed in an Airbnb owned by a local tribal chieftain and his family and the kids used their school-learned Spanish to connect with our hosts. I enjoyed spending time with our taxi driver who took us home to meet his family. When I told him about our humble beginnings in India, he told us he was a big fan of actor Shah Rukh Khan!

We have also travelled locally in the US. I reminisce about our trip to the Yellowstone National Park. The natural beauty of Yellowstone with its hot geysers, volcanic formations, wildlife and mountains is a surreal experience. It was a wonder to be on the road, in the safety of one’s car, to be watching bison, elks, moose and bears from close quarters.

Locally, it’s not difficult to find food from across the world. Over the years, we have come to love Italian, Greek or Mediterranean, Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Mexican food. However, chaat, idli and dosa rule the roost at home!

In any given week, our refrigerator is stocked with essentials, ensuring we get our pani puri fix whenever we need it. Whoever said home was so far away?

When we moved, my wife left her job as a Senior Manager at ICICI Bank. She now dedicates her time to the environment and global warming, and is constantly inventing new ways to make sustainable changes in our home and local community. Along with our kids, she has been instrumental in my professional transition to solar energy and electric vehicles. My daughter enjoys travelling around the world, and is currently studying to be a doctor. My son is in high school, and enjoys sports, debates and music. The warmth of the locals, professional opportunities and the experiences we have shared as a family have helped us build a home and a life here in San Jose and we look forward to future adventures in this beautiful nation.

Kulashekar with the Bristlecone Leadership Team