It was the first abroad assignment which i received after four years of working in Chattisgarh which is in the central eastern of India,being an Electrical Engineer i landed in a power plant since chattisgarh is rich in coal production there were so many power plants.
First four years of my career is a real hardship where you are in a learning phase in tackling the clients in which managerial skills were more important than technical skills.Working in India that too as a contractor is really challenging where your rewards(Salary) doesn’t match your expectation and this is the only reason why every migrants move towards middle east and i too fall in the same category.
Middle east is definitely an land of opportunity and there is always a demand for Electrical Engineers in the field of mainenance. Even though Kuwait is one of the richest country in the world the ministry of electricity is still in the stages of renovating their distribution substations.
Some of the Distribution substation in kuwait still uses MOCB(Minimum oil circuit breaker) and transformers which were installed decades ago requires periodic maintenance.Kuwait has around six governorates and each governorate has their own maintenance contractor for their distribution substations.
Maintenance contract in a governorate is given for a two year period after which the new tender will be floated.so whenever a new company quotes and receive an tender they recruit locally and conduct interviews in India to meet the demands.
Local transfer doesn’t meet the complete demands due to Visa issues.After a decade my company which i am going to move in kuwait is been awarded a contract to do maintenance in Fahaheel governorate for the distribution maintenance.
New contract generates new jobs for Engineer,supervisor,technicians and labours.so you might have got an idea how i lande a job over there.Initial searches for the abroad jobs were quite unsuccessful due to lack of Middle east experience,however a better interview answers may end up in Middle east even if you don’t meet their eligibility criteria.
The worst part in moving abroad is the tedious process which we and consultant faces.I waited for nearly 6 months to receive an visa due to visa issues in ministry.I received an visa ,did a medical and boarded a flight to Kuwait with a gesture becoming richer(feels funny while writing this).
Landed in Kuwait ,well received by the company delegates and waited for more than three weeks to receive the identity card.Worst case is you may land in jail if you get caught by police without and ID card.After formal communication with the client maintenance groups were allotted between the Engineers.
Somalia was often wrongly portrayed for wrong reasons,why i am mentioning Somalia here was i met a somalian and kenyan in the maintenance group who were working as forman and helper respectively.Actually i was fascinated to see them work here because i never met them before.
I willingly spoked to the somalian who is accompanied by the kenyan they both speak arabic.I was confused how to start but the somalian started asking,”How are you”.I was taken back because i was in a wrong imagination that nobody in somalia studys and everybody is pirates(How stupid i am).I started speaking to him he was friendly and his phoenitics were equally good.I came to know that he did his bachelors in Malaysia and responded his family members were all over the governorate.
I always thought Indians were spreaded all over the world.Even when we were interacting each other kenyan was keenly looking but he didn’t utter a word.He responded with a smile ,he was trying his best to speak in english.I really wondered how he ended up here,his friend somalian responded with a smile that he didn’t have any qualification and moved to kuwait through his mother who worked here in a kuwaiti house as maid.
Kenyans really account very low in Kuwait as well as in other middle east countries.There were around three million people in kuwait and kenyans account only in meager numbers.Similarly Population in United Arab Emirates is around 9.2 million and kenyans counts are increasing and reach round 50,000.Many work in construction and hospitality industries.
Maintenance in distribution substation is like grinding a wheat ,doing the same work again and again.Since kuwait is in the stages of renovating many relays are still electromagnetic and technically nothing more to learn.The formal duty starts early in the morning and to be frank most of the work is real cleaning of the entire substation.
Transformer faults are rare where usually tap changer breakers because of corrosion.The routine scheduled maintenance happens five days in a week for each substations in a governorate. Emergency shutdowns happens occasionally.The aim of an engineer is to test the relay and supervising the entire activity and safety of the people in his group.
An ultimate end to the journey in kuwait came to end when the contract won by an another company.
If anybody wish to post their own experience in abroad,please contact.
The above article is published in Medium .