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Videshi Women – An interview with Lizzie Chapman, DBS Digital Bank

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lizziechapmanWhere are you from?

London

Oh and learn to shout at taxi drivers in Hindi. Key skill.

How long have you been in India?

Nearly 3.5 years

What brought you to India?

Love! For the city of Mumbai and a geeky passion for digital finance. I am fascinated by how technology can change retail banking.

What do you love most about being here?

Everything! Seriously, I love the adventurous can-do culture of Mumbai. I feel like anything can happen and the sky is the limit. It’s one of the most ambitious and optimistic places I have ever been.

I also really love being by the sea, running on marine drive, the wonderful food and of course the blissful weather (I am not good in the cold!)

Are there any great moments that particularly stand out for you?

Too many to list! Running in the Mumbai marathon for the first time (have since done three times) was pretty special.  I have many happy memories of dancing on my roof in monsoon rain and eating mangoes by the dozen in the season.

Seriously, I love the adventurous can-do culture of Mumbai. I feel like anything can happen and the sky is the limit. It’s one of the most ambitious and optimistic places I have ever been.

What have been your greatest integration challenges?

Hmmm. I think getting used to the fact that things will often take a bit longer than seems reasonable! I can be a little impatient. For example it took over nine months to open my first bank account!

Otherwise I really cannot think of an easier place to ‘integrate’ into. I have always felt so welcome and accepted.

Have there been any individuals or organisations who particularly helped with your move and integration?

Lots of really good friends (through various networks). One thing that really helped was joining a running club and generally befriending the marathon runners of the city – lovely bunch. I also joined Breach Candy Club and that’s been fantastic.

Have you joined any networking groups?

Not really official ones. I do sometimes go to the Cigar Club and of course WeAreTheCity events!

Do you have any practical tips for ex-pats moving to India about how to integrate or deal with cultural differences?

I would just say to come with an open mind and an open heart. It’s important not to expect things to happen in the way they did in your home city. Appreciate that for all the chaos there are so many wonderful things about living in India.

Oh and learn to shout at taxi drivers in Hindi. Key skill.

What does the future hold for you?

I really have no idea! Hopefully lots more monsoons and mangoes and runs along marine drive.

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