New country, same Bekaert

At Bekaert, we believe that diversity enriches our culture, and seeds innovation and creativity. We are committed to an inclusive workplace that represents many different cultures, backgrounds, and viewpoints. Our 26 980 colleagues with 75 nationalities join forces every day to solve problems and meet customer needs in new and exciting ways.

Wendy and Sachin, who work in different parts of our business, both moved continents with Bekaert. Here they tell us about their experiences moving across the world and the importance of cultural diversity. 

Read their interview below.

Wendy Di

Global Lead Digital Program Office
Joined Bekaert in 2016
Moved from Hong Kong to Belgium in March 2020

Sachin Badukale

Vice President – Rubber Reinforcement North America 
Joined Bekaert in 2006 
Moved from India to the United States in October 2021

Can you tell us about relocating for your role with Bekaert?

Wendy - In 2019, when I was the Business Development Manager covering China and Southeast Asia, I heard that corporate strategy was looking for a corporate development manager located in the Headquarters, Belgium. I always wanted to see the world beyond Asia, expand my impact, learn, and grow. I decided to fight for this opportunity, and I am extremely grateful that after several rounds of interviews, I landed this position and relocated from Hong Kong to Belgium with my husband in March 2020. Since then, I have also been given the opportunity to move from the strategy team to digital program office steering and governing the digital strategic portfolio of Bekaert.

Sachin - I am actually a homegrown product of Bekaert. I have had the opportunity to work in various functions like operations, sales, quality, R&D, and supply chain in India, which has really helped me to have a deeper understanding of the business but also about the people. And I really wanted to see how good I am in a different environment, so I was very happy when the VP Rubber Reinforcement North America role was offered to me in June 2021. I moved from India to the United States in October 2021 and my wife, and two kids joined me in April 2022. 

What was your experience moving continents?

Wendy - Bekaert has helped me a lot since I moved to Belgium. For example, Human Resources helped me with all the paperwork, visa application, and accommodation. When I landed, my colleagues knew that we would have to quarantine for seven days. 

They bought all the groceries every third day, and they left them at my door. And that is extremely warm to me. I already feel at home, like back then. I had another amazing surprise with this relocation. We learnt that I was pregnant! Without speaking the language, you can imagine that even basic things such as making a doctor’s appointment were a challenge. My colleagues helped me with translating different websites to English, finding a doctor and making an appointment. The better together culture helps me feel secure, accepted, relaxed, and makes me feel at home.

Sachin – It was decided that I would move in early October and my son was born shortly before that. He was one month old, so I took that challenge. My family supported me in taking this call. Because my family was not going to come to the US immediately, I had to go alone, but my circle of friends and my family were extremely supportive. That is a big part of it. I really believe that whatever we are today, and in general, this is my belief, and some people will echo with me, family has a huge, huge role in what you are today. If you ask me what difference I see having moved to the US, I can say that I do not see a difference. I only see people. The people who have really helped me, even before I landed in the US. Even my own little house that I got, was so nicely decorated by the team, that it felt like I was in India. I think I can take this to one level above and say that the sheer caring angle was there. They put me at ease, and I was so comfortable with the whole journey of moving.

Are there any learnings or advice that you can give to those who are contemplating about relocating to a new country?

Are there any learnings or advice that you can give to those who are contemplating about relocating to a new country?

Sachin and Wendy with their families.