/ ON BOARD WITH Swapnil Kshirsagar


Dedicated, affable Swapnil is our Regional Director in Mumbai, India. Because of the time difference (9 1/2 hours) and distance (7,643 miles) we interviewed him via Skype. When we quizzed Swapnil about his day-to-day activities, he replied, “Making sure all the deadlines are met and the clients are happy.” Then he added, “Actually, I enjoy all of it. But what I really like is working on creative solutions.”

Have you ever worked in any country other than India?

No, I’ve only worked in India. But New York is high on my list.

Your monsoon season is from June to September. How do you cope?

I like this weather because I grew up with it. [Swapnil moves left so we can see through a window -- a hard rain is coming down in buckets.] It’s been raining like this for almost three days. It’s nothing to us. It’s part of being in a tropical place.

Do you have a long commute to the office?

I don’t travel by train, which takes one hour. Instead, I spend two hours in my car coming and going. My trip is 15 kilometers (9 miles). The offices are in the center of the city and everyone lives in the north or south. That’s the problem right there.

Are you a vegetarian?

No, I’m allergic to green vegetables. (Laughs) I like meat, fish and chicken.

Do you have a travel bucket list?

I really want to travel throughout India. I want to see my backyard first. Then, I’d like to go to New Zealand.

Which do you prefer — Bollywood or Hollywood movies?

I like both, but Bollywood movies are like musicals. You always have song-and-dance numbers.

Do you have any favorite Indian dishes that you like to eat?

I think Rogon Josh is delicious. It’s one of the signature dishes of Kashmir and it’s basically lamb with yogurt and spices such as curry, ginger and paprika.

Where do you go to escape the heat during short holidays?

I like Matheran, which is closest to Mumbai. It’s a place that offers a cooling escape because it’s way above sea level. I also enjoy going to Mahabaleshwar which is a mix of old-world charm and natural beauty.

Do you have a favorite singer or rock group?

Yes, I like Bryan Adams. He’s the best-selling Canadian rock artist of all time.

You have a motorcycle and you like to ride it. Why?

I do it to find myself, it’s my time. Some people like to go dancing — I like to ride. You feel the wind in your face and the sun on your back. It’s a great feeling.

What’s your favorite spot in Mumbai?

It’s near my home and it’s called Sanjay Gandhi National Park. We call it “The Lungs of the City” and it’s a welcome change because the air quality in Mumbai is very bad — lots of pollution. This park has abundant greenery and waterfalls.

Do you have any children?

Yes, I’m married and we have a six-year-old daughter, Rewa, who loves to talk to me the minute I get home from the office. She’s very much a little girl — everything has to be pink!

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