Life as an Expat in Kenya - Interview with Subrata Dey, Head of Talent Acquisition, Safal Group, Africa

Subrata Dey is an Indian National who has worked for more than 13 Years in India in talent acquisition. During this time, he was focused on senior level hiring across Africa, and over a year ago, he had the opportunity to take his learnings from afar, and take a position on the ground in Kenya. He joined the Safal Group in Kenya, one of Africa’s leading roofing manufacturers, as Group Talent Acquisition Manager. Subrata is both a friend, advisor and a client of Select Global Solutions. We spoke to him recently about how he is finding life as an expat in Kenya.


After moving to Kenya, he found it easy to settle in. He was supported both by his company, his colleagues and former clients. Taking his family to Kenya, including a young son, was at first daunting, but Subrata had visited Kenya in the past to meet clients, so he was able to reassure them and advise them of the environment. He already knew several Indian expats in the country, and prior to moving he and his wife were able to speak to them to get advice on what to expect, what to bring and how to settle their son into a school.


After moving to Nairobi, he developed friendships with other expats, and his wife quickly settled into the community. Subrata’s son joined an international school, and has naturally taken to the new environment and schooling system.


He told us, that the best part of being in Kenya is being able to explore the country at the weekend, enjoy outdoor activities and visit many areas of natural beauty. They take advantage of this unique opportunity as an expat, and have been to mountains, lakes, safari and the beach. 


On the professional front, he is well settled in his new role. He emphasized that Kenya has international influence in the work environment, given the fact that it is a melting pot of various cultures and nationalities.  Communication is a key aspect and people respect each other not because of designation but for the attitude that one carries. “India being a large country with billion plus population, the environment is very competitive and numbers driven.  In this regard, Kenya has a very different ecosystem.” Working in Kenya has given him work-life balance which was missing in India. No phone calls after office hours, more time with the family as the official time is from 8 AM to 5 PM. 


During the time of this pandemic, he feels technology has helped him connect with him his family. Though he does miss out on being with them physically but is virtually well connected.


Subrata is really enjoying expat life, both personally and professionally. Whilst India will always be home, he has learnt and developed in so many different ways, and feels privileged to have had this opportunity.  

Keywords: Group Talent Acquisition Manager | international influence | Select Global Solutions | several Indian expats | international school