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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Friday, September 15, 2006

In Love With Masala Dosa and Hotel Connemara

Office Tiger was one of the first few BPO success stories from India and its co-CEO Joseph Sigelman has already won quite a few accolades. I'm wondering why Joe is staying put in Hotel Connemara for the last 7 years. Although location might have been a criteria, wouldn't he have been better off (financially and otherwise) if he had chosen a rented house in a proper residential locality?

Why Chennai? "We looked at the various cities in India. And what tilted it in favour of Chennai was my love for masala dosa! I remembered the taste of the masala dosa I tasted when I was 12!" Joe chuckled.

On a serious note, Joe added, coming from the US, he didn't want to be in a bigger city like Mumbai or Delhi. "Bangalore was like the Silicon Valley and we preferred a quieter place. And it has been a great, great experience in Chennai."

On reaching Chennai, they checked in at Hotel Connemara. The hotel receptionist asked them, "How long will you stay here?"

That was in 1999. By 2006, Joe has not checked out yet. He still lives in the same room at the same hotel. (Link to the original Rediff story)

Joe proudly claims that he doesn't drive around and relies on autorickshaws for commuting within Chennai. That's some achievement for the foreigner.


  • I can relate to that! The Connemara is one of the nicest places I have been at, and does one of the best breakfasts I have had in Chennai.....the hot idlis and fresh coconut chutney are to die for!

    And whiles I am at it, I might as well rave about the Chettinaad grub at Karaikudi near the Royapettah High Road.....**sigh** food always makes my memories of places :o)

    By Blogger Taz Snow, at 9:33 PM  

  • wow great story. while all the guys from india go to us for ms and work there , people from usa are coming to work in india.

    i feel that its not worth going to us and studying over there. they are cutting down on a lot of jobs. ford is cutting down 75,000 blue collar jobs, aviva general insurance is cutting down 4000 jobs in the uk and moving to india .

    i am having second thoughts abt doing my ms in us .

    or is it worth going there ? plz advice

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:36 PM  

  • nice post kaps! Well its a good question, as to why he is staying still in a hotel? Thanks for sharing this post!

    By Blogger indianangel, at 4:54 AM  

  • Hi Anonymous,

    I am not sure if i am qualified to answer your qn (esp on studies) - but i would certainly "say" that it may not be a easy thing to plan a career in US/settle down in US in next 5-10 years. For the simple reason that US is too expensive to start a new life. Jobs are not growing (if not shrinking) , since offshoring is spreading to every sector. Competition will be high (for existing jobs) because US has relatively larger population of younger people (relative to Europe/Japan).Also if you start a new life in US, expenses (esp housing) are going to be high.

    The best time to have been in US was the 1980s and 1990s.

    By Blogger ramki830, at 7:55 PM  

  • thanks ramki for the info .

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:08 AM  

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