Muscat: The first quarter of 2020 saw a sudden development due to the pandemic that caused job losses among many expatriates in Oman.
Jose Kolanchery, who was working as a workshop technician with a leading automobile distributor with over twenty years of experience in the field had to leave the country.
“Job loss was just one part of the story. Relocation is not new turf for us as we had plans eventually to settle back down in our city. But the pandemic situation had impacted situation all over the world and my home country, India was not an exception,” he says.
The uncertainty of the global battle against the COVID-19 virus, the various restrictions put forth on travellers by concerned governments, constraints for travel within one’s own country and the stigma of the virus added up to the existing malaise of the returnees.
Within a couple of months after reaching his town, Jose, started a venture in line with his expertise, a repairs and maintenance workshop. “I took the assistance of another group of IT technicians to provide an online back-up system of my venture, which picked up much faster, and today, our hands are full.” With the experience, expertise and key contacts that he had developed while working with the workshop in Oman, Jose says that he managed to rewrite an important chapter in life and has even helped some of his friends on start-up ventures such as this.
Srinivasan who was working with a leading airline in Oman, narrates his success story that he had planned, perhaps, ten years down the lane if things had remained normal. “But when the job loss was imminent and I got the notice of termination of my contract, I fast-tracked the plan of expanding my kitchen farm. My wife who was already into kitchen farming and catering business on a very small scale, gave me all the encouragement that was required at that time.” Srinivasan who hails from Palakkad in Kerala, today earns close to 75,000 to 80,000 Indian Rupees per month, with the combined business of farm-fresh vegetables and catering business. His son who is into IOT (Internet of Things) helps him with online orders and payment gateways.
Meena Vivek, from Trivandrum, turned her husband’s hidden passion of baking into his profession when he lost his job as an accountant in a real estate company in Muscat. Today their cup-cakes and pastries literally sell off the oven, which they reach to their customers’ homes through their network of paid volunteers. “Necessity is the mother of invention. And it is so true,” says Vivek.