Cultural Shocks in Malaysia -Part1

This article is all about what Indians encounter when they come to Malaysia in terms of cultural shock.

Basically, we use rupees in India against RM in Malaysia. So far, the price of RM against Rupees keeps fluctuating based on the economy every day.

In terms of price, there are many items obviously costlier than India, since currency value is relatively higher.

Let’s say one example: One-kilogram banana is sold for 5 RM, where in India, we will be able to buy at least 4-5 kilograms of banana in that price.

Many of the food items are imported since Malaysia is a small country and its climate is not suitable for crops like sugarcane and other agricultural products.

Food culture and its expenses: Wherever you go in Malaysia, as far as the restaurants are concerned, you are allowed to take on your own whatever dishes you want in terms of how much quantity you can eat and the price will be charged based on what you have taken and the quantity. It is not like you need to order, wait for the waiter to serve and the quantity is limited as per that restaurant’s standard.

Unless you go for banana leaf meals, where the number of items are restricted and the quantity is unlimited like India.

Meat: People do eat meat even for breakfast and majority of the people are non-vegetarian. Besides, people like to eat fried items more.

Outside Food: People who go for work, mostly they resort to have food in the restaurants and they don’t prefer to carry food for lunch. Hence, restaurants business is a very good business to do here.

Sweets: Here Malaysian sweets are less sweet when we compare with Indian sweets. We feel the Malaysian sweets are less sweet, whereas Malaysians feel that Indians sweets taste too much sweet.

Tissue Paper: Whichever restaurant you go, always tissue paper will be available to wipe your hand after you eat unlike India, where some restaurants got and we use to carry hand kerchief for that purpose.

Sea Food like fishes, squid, prawn is Prevalent here, almost everywhere.

Rent: Most of the places got apartments, condominiums and people do Sub rent the rooms in their houses to others. Unlike India, here you can get fully furnished, semi-furnished houses for rent where as in India, it is always unfurnished, here also it is available.

Finding landed and compounded houses, especially which is separated from other nearby houses is very rare, most of the houses if we take a lane, all will look like and will share the walls with the neighbor’s houses, since those are built by a builder and sold to the people.

Price Tag of products: In India, where each and every packed product you want to buy will have price stated in it. Whereas in Malaysia, price is not stated on the products and it varies in every shop.

Mall: In Cities, like in every corner of the streets, you can find malls, it is a lot.

Massage: Here massage business is prevalent and you can get good massage at an affordable price in almost all the locations whereas in India, it is rare to find and at some place, it is costly.

Travelers: Malaysians usually pre-plan for the holidays and travel to other countries. By the holiday time, if you want to book tickets for the commutation or stay, you will be disappointed, it is better to plan ahead in synch with their culture when you live here.

As a whole, Malaysian is a happening place, where you can enjoy your stay.

Please refer here for Cultural Shocks in Malaysia – Part2

Pocket Money in KL(Freelancing mobile app)

Premise: A platform to make money as a part-timer especially at your convenient time. This application is a boon to students who need pocket money for their expense (or) people who would like to see some extra dollars in their hand, apart from their regular income.

This mobile application is now available only in Android playstore, not in IOS.

It is a very user friendly application and you need not invest much time learning to do the tasks available in it. Besides, they give some sample tasks to learn once you signed up.

My Tasks Page will be displayed similar to this screen. Every day, they make available a few simple tasks in the Tasks Page which doesn’t require you to travel anywhere and it is just a questionnaire, but, these tasks would offer only .01 or .03 cents maximum. On the contrast, the tasks available in the marketplace used to offer minimum .20 cents to the maximum 5 dollars, it varies in this range so far. But, for the tasks, which are available in the marketplace, you may need to find the spot.

For e.g.: “Report on poor Street Sign Conditions” displayed in the above screen, you need identify a damaged or hidden street sign; take a photo; record the location, then, you may require to answer to few questions.

Exit Task: Even after you started the task, you are allowed to exit from the task, whenever you want, but, the progress you made on the task will not be saved.

Reserve Tasks: In the Homepage, at the right bottom corner, you can find the Plus sign, when you click on it, the below “Task Marketplace” screen will be displayed and the tasks available in the market place would be displayed as in this screen. When you click on the arrow displayed on each tasks, there will be an option displayed to reserve, once you reserve it, the respective task will be available for you to do and it is time bounded. You are supposed to complete the task within a few hours allotted, otherwise it will disappear and you might later be able to find in the marketplace.

Remove Task: At any point of time, if you think the task cannot be completed within the allotted time, you can remove the task from your kit. How to remove?

In the Tasks screen, the tasks you reserved would be listed. For every task listed, at the right hand side, there will be three dots displayed, when you click on it, it will display a menu using which it can be removed.

History Screen: This is the screen where all your completed tasks will be displayed with the status. There are 3 status:

  1. Under Review
  2. Accepted
  3. Rejected

For the accepted, cash will be available in the payment screen for payout.

There are various scenarios, the tasks may be rejected, but, they always state the reason.

Payment method: Once you download and install from playstore, it would ask you to setup payment method to debit the amount you can earn. Currently, there are 2 payment methods:

  1. Payoneer
  2. PayPal

If there is any delay for the tasks to get approved (or) task is rejected for invalid reason, you can always get in touch with the representatives through this screen, “Report A Problem” menu, they are very friendly and usually try to reply on the same day.

Available Countries: This application is available in many countries; it is a lengthy list. Here are a few: Brazil, India, Zimbabwe, Philippines, Vietnam, Tukey, and Malaysia.

Referral: This application allows you to refer your friends via sharing the link but, sadly there is no referral bonus offered at this point of time.

Comment your experience with this app, happy freelancing

What we experience in Malaysia as an Indian

Most of the Indians, once they land in Malaysia, the place where they first reach to stay is Kl Sentral, which is engulfed by brickfield, little India stretch, many Indian grocery shops, restaurants, and temples. It is almost a typical Indian ambience except the skyscrapers and condominiums around.

Staying in Brickfield won’t make anyone feel that you are away from India. Especially if you are from Tamil Nadu, as you pass by little India stretch, you can get to hear Tamil songs, that too old village songs and any place inside Malaysia, you travel, you would bump into some local Indians with whom you could easily interact in Tamil language, in case if any guidance required. Many Indian and branded restaurants like Thalapakatti, Anjappar, Saravana Bhavan, & MTR are living in brickfield to satisfy the craving of Indians and in other places as well.

Not only restaurants, there are grocery shops such as Modern stores who import vegetables, pulses, lettuce and other cooking items from India and serve the people staying in that locality. Living here, you would get everything what you get in India, there is no doubt about it.

Most of the expat Indians stay in the condos around this area. Staying here, you would get to meet your Indian community frequently to make friends.

Other places: Indians from India live in other areas as well, like Bukit Jalil, PWTC, Masjid India inside Kuala Lumpur, but, when it comes to brickfield, you could find lots of Indians around.

Food: There are 3 different races, hence, three different cuisines. Other country foods are also easily available and there are numerous options to dine out. One specialty about Malaysian food is you would get to try vegetarian chicken, fish made of tofu, which tastes similar to chicken and fish.

Indian food: Like I stated in the previous paragraph, Indians from India also run many restaurants here. We can get north Indian food, south Indian food, various Indian sweets, etc. You will never get deprived of having Indian food. Local Indian foods are also available, but, it is slightly different in taste and the vegetables they use to eat half-baked.

Mamak food: Usually, the restaurants run by Indian Muslims in Malaysia, the south Indian food is usually available here like Dosas, Rice, Sambhar, etc.

Chinese food: There are many Chinese restaurants across Malaysia. As far as Chinese food is concerned, it is typical Chinese food you would get to taste here, unlike, in India, we use to have Indianised Chinese food to relish our taste buds.

Malay food: Staying in Malaysia, there are a few must try Malay cuisines listed below:

  • Nasi Lemak
  • Murtabak ayam
  • Cendol
  • Rojak
  • Chicken Rendang
  • Kuih

People: Malaysia is tourist friendly country and it makes billions year on year, through tourism income. Here, people are tolerant to different cultures and friendly to everybody.

One thing, most of the people are very fluent in English especially the one who live in Kuala Lumpur. Even wherever you go out, most of the people will speak good English and only a few don’t speak which is rare. In this case, it is easy for foreigners to communicate and enjoy your presence in Malaysia, regardless of your purpose of visit.

Culture: Here, Malays are more conservative, ladies wear their traditional attire with Tudung; more religious. Chinese culture we feel it is almost western one. Indians also follow mixed culture since they live with other races here, but, in special occasions like marriage and other ceremonies, they try to follow typical Indian culture and they are very religious.

Green everywhere: Even though we live in Kuala Lumpur or some other cities inside Malaysia, you can see a lot of greenery around. Especially, it is raining here, almost every day, that too downpour every time, it is hard to come across drizzling. It is a beautiful country to enjoy our residence, blessed with nature.

Commutations: Here, if you want to travel across Malaysia, not all places are connected with public transport, but, you can still take grab to reach out there.

Unlike India, here Bus facility is not galore, even though bus facility is available to reach many places; timing of the buses may not be accurate. If you want to travel, better travel by train and then, to other places where train doesn’t reach, it is better to have own car or take grab.

But, if you want to travel to distant locations like Penang, Langkawi, Melaka, etc., Buses, Trains and flights are available from Kuala Lumpur, once you reach the destinations, to travel inside that cities, you can book taxi.

Travel Destinations: Though Malaysia is a small country,there are many travel destinations to cover around and it would take at least 1 month if you want to go and enjoy each places inside Malaysia. There is an upcoming blog in which I would cover places to cover inside Kuala Lumpur and other Travel Destinations inside Malaysia.

**Enjoy residing in Malaysia**

Work culture in Malaysia (as a foreigner)

It is quite common for IT people to travel across the world to client site especially for software related projects. Malaysia is one of the famous destinations where people from other countries visit here for work and travel for software jobs.

In this blog, I will talk about how the work culture is in Malaysia?

Intro about myself:  As far as myself is concerned, I am an IT guy who was brought from India to Malaysia for IT related job and it’s been 4 years now, I am still working here.

Currently, I am working in a client location where I get to meet clients on a daily basis and interact with them on the work related activities.

Races and English accent: When it comes to Malaysia, it is mainly known for 3 different races: Malays, Indian, & Chinese, though other races do live here.

Being a foreigner, initially to understand their English accent, it might be a little difficult task but over a period of time, we can easily get used to it.

Work Timing: On the work front, here locals try to stick with their work timing 8:30AM to 5:30PM. Most of the people will be at their desk around 8:30AM to start their work. They are very punctual. They don’t take many breaks from work, they are very sincere when it comes to work, hard-working, very professional, co-operative, and delivery oriented. When situation necessitates, they will extend to get the job done and they won’t hesitate either. Given this, they will expect us to follow the same and if you would like to be here, you must follow.

Contract staff: Being a foreigner, most of us work as a contract staff and contract is renewed every 6 months or on an yearly basis. You should be prepared for any uncertainties, if contract is not going to be renewed, which is usually revealed close to a month only when the term is nearing expiration. It could be a shock when it is revealed; instead if you are not in the good books of your manager, better to be prepared.

Secondly, you would get to deal with more work when you compare with permanent staff, but, you will be offered lucrative salary which would compensate on that front. It is not a big thing to worry either.

Qualities expected: Since we are a contract staff, we need to be proactive and dedicated on the work front, because our contract renewal is subjected to our performance. If you perform well for long, they will think about making permanent also. Just to emphasize, they will THINK about it, not for sure. When it comes to responsibilities also, you would get to shoulder more, but you will seriously get to learn better which should be appreciated.

Workplace treatment: People are really kind and considerate when it comes to work. They treat all human beings as equal regardless of race, gender, country origin, etc.

Regardless of the country of organization, there are good managers so as bad managers. If you are in good hand, you will be happy. Otherwise, time to make decision.

Lunch Timing: If you come from India, you will definitely be surprised to see people move away from desk by the time clock ticks 12 O’ clock. Yeah! It is time for lunch and it is usually be an hour.

Consultancies: Mostly foreigners are served to Malaysian organizations via consultancies who takes care of processing employment pass in touch with Malaysian embassy. They will be the one who come into picture even when the contract is not renewed at the client location and they would try to map you in different client location based on the availability of requirements.

At the end of the day, you are an employee of the consultancy with which you are affiliated and client location is the place where you are allotted to serve.

Unlike US, where visa could be for 5 years, here, maximum period of visa is only 2 years, which again can be renewed at the time of expiry.

The one good thing which we must admire about Malaysia is: Here talent is considered rather degree. Even if you are a B.Com graduate but capable of doing coding in some programming language, you will be given a chance to progress in your career. Importantly, salary is based on experience in the respective profile rather degree you hold.

**Happy working in Malaysia**

Journey towards MBA

Journey towards MBA

Here, this is my very first post. I am going to talk about, what all MBA as an education caters for a person to be successful in his journey ahead.

Why MBA?

  1. Career upliftment
  2. Want to change the profile and what more?
  3. Build up network of like-minded people
  4. Enlightening ourselves to be capable of successful manager

Career upliftment

In an organization, if you are working in an executive level, career growth to managerial position will take years to reach given the employee’s performance is also good else you need to switch over a few times to get better hike/higher position.

When a person does MBA, they usually get mapped in Client facing position or where management skill is required.

Want to change the profile and what more?

Yeah! There are people who get attracted to different profiles from what they are into and they take MBA as an opportunity to change and move ahead to their desired profiles.

Build up network of like-minded people

Even though MBA generally gives career upliftment, it comes with lots of perks, where students get to network with like-minded people and do lots of team work as part of their education which helps to improve bonding among students and help each other to plan for their career.

Enlightening ourselves to be capable of successful manager

Yeah! MBA obviously contributes to learn how a manager should be and how we need to act on certain crucial situations to wield our official power to stand successful.

Is MBA really necessary?

When it comes to MBA and the preparation journey towards it, it is not so easy and lots of effort to be put in terms of preparation towards

  • Logical reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Quantitative aptitude

In order to get a good score in CAT exam so that we receive call from premier MBA institutes for further assessment.

How all these contributes to become a manager?

Have you ever wondered about it? The answer is yes; it does in some way.

Being a manager, you need to be rational and need to be mentally stable, regardless of the circumstances. That’s where logical reasoning will help us to arrive at the logical conclusion of any problems in our life/career and how it has to be handled based on the circumstances. It can be otherwise called as emotional intelligence also.

Verbal Reasoning: Nowadays we live in the globalization era and we need to travel across the world for business purpose and build network/collaborate to attain sustainable successes. This is where the communication skills and the fluency in English is required. Besides, which and what word to use, when and where it should be used.

Quantitative aptitude: It helps professionals who work in the finance sector. Moreover, if we are able to calculate fast, our mind should act fast, which helps in other ways also, where our action to be felt immediately.

Are Non-MBAs not successful?

Cannot say like this. It all depends on the circumstances we grow up and what we experience also. Ultimately a person’s character is molded by what he/she experiences in their life journey. Life is always the best teacher.

Let’s say a child grows up in an environment where his/her parents run a company. Generally being a child, they tend to grab things faster into their mind, they will also imbibe what they see around and how things are handled in their presence. In this circumstance, though they don’t do MBA, they tend to have some managerial skill set imbibed without their knowledge in their mind, actions, and the way they do things.

Are all MBAs successful?

It again depends. Every human is unique by god’s creation. Some people experiment and venture into new things with all their courage, though it is associated with lots of risk.

Whereas some other people are happy to be what they are and stick around with it lifelong.

Likewise, there are many kinds of people.

In general, MBA teaches various things which will enlighten us to be successful in our career journey and it bolsters us with business related learnings.

HR: People mentality and the different ways of managing things, how we improve ourselves to be better as a manager.

Finance: Teaches how organization handles their financial stability to be successful and the tools they use for various purposes.

Etc.

Wish you good luck who have made up their mind to pursue MBA