അമ്മാവൻ എന്നറിയപ്പെട്ടിരുന്ന ജോൺ ഇമ്മാനുവേൽ എന്നും ആ പേര് അന്വർത്ഥമാക്കുന്നു.സഹായിക്കാൻ ആയി നീട്ടിപ്പിടിച്ചകൈകളും, തുറന്ന മനസ്സും എന്നും ജോൺ കാത്തു സൂക്ഷിക്കുമ്പോൾ, ജോൺ ൻറെ ഭാര്യ വീണയും അതിന് പൂർണ പിന്തുണനൽകുന്നു. അവരുടെ വീട് സഹപാഠികൾക്ക് സ്ഥിരം കൂടി ചേരാനുള്ള വേദിയാണ്. വിസിറ്റ് വിസയിൽ വന്ന് നട്ടം തിരിഞ്ഞഎനിക്ക് ജോലി കിട്ടാനുള്ള എല്ലാ സാഹചര്യവും ഒരിക്കിയിയിട്ടു, ‘ഞാൻ ഒന്നും അറിഞ്ഞില്ലേ രാമ നാരായണാഃ’ എന്ന മട്ടിൽജോൺ യാത്ര തുടർന്നു.
This is the interview I did with John exclusively for Throwback Online.
John, can you tell us briefly about your life after MACE?
Two years after MACE, in 1994, I moved to Dubai. Jibyachan was the first from our batch, followed by Mohammed Salim, Santosh George, Ajai MC, Bindu Suseel …. I worked with different construction companies in Dubai until 2004. My desire to start up an own establishment was fulfilled in 2005. Now I am the partner/ Director-Engineering and contracts of GAYATHI Construction. ( www.gayathi.com). I am also a member in the Director board of Focus Engineering College, Poomala, Thrissur and a partner of St. Judes School, Manarkad, Kottayam.
How about your family?
My wife Veena is an Architect and is a partner of a Consultancy. We have three children, studying here. Our daughter is now completing Grade 12, followed by two sons in grade 10 and 5.
How easy was it for you to integrate with the society in Dubai?
Dubai in United Arab Emirates(UAE) can be considered as the fifteenth district of Kerala. Anyone who knows about the demography of UAE in general, Dubai will agree this. Today 24 batch mates working in UAE. Another 10 were here and moved to other places. It is the same with our juniors and seniors.
Still it was not easy to get started in the early years with our technical knowhow, communication skills. Like many others, I was also backed up by fellow Kerala Engineers at that time. Our persuasiveness and hard work led us to where we are now. As Biju John remarked in his profile, our contact with local Emaratis are less, but interact with other expatriates. Our social interactions are more within our Kerala community (Approximately 10 lakhs population in UAE). As the constitution of this country does not allow Citizenship nor PR to other nationalities, we continue live as expatriates irrespective of the years spent here. UAE is a good place to work and live and provide opportunities for jobs and business start-ups.
Any other activities you want to share with us?
MACE alumni UAE chapter is pivotal in my net working in Dubai. It was formed in 1994 and since the inception I have worked very closely with this association. Currently the member strength is around 700. I have served as the General Secretary and President of the association. I was fortunate to preside over the MACE Global meet held in Dubai in year 2012 on the Golden Jubilee celebrations. The function was graced by our former Principals, respected teachers, alumni members from super seniors to juniors and our batch mates from all over the world. The members work very closely from the oldest to the newest; Social gathering, Networking, Signing up business, Securing jobs, Organizing tours are some of our activities. We have also formed Kerala Engineers Alumni(KERA), one of the biggest social group in UAE, where we associate with Alumni members from other Engineering colleges of Kerala. We have Inter Engineering college Alumni sports tournaments, arts festivals, seminars and business meets. Yes, we can proudly say that MACE was in the forefront in the formation of KERA and currently in leading the activities. MACE Alumni’s relation with our alma mater is strong. We conduct two-day session on “Career development” for final and pre-final years which leads to job recruitment once in 2 year, do fund- raising for members or students in need. Every year invite a current or retired faculty as guest for annual day celebration. Currently MACE Alumni chapters are present in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Australia, Canada and UK.
Any advice to the new engineers coming out of MACE?
Anyone young Engineers planning move over should come with 2 to 3 years of experience, effective communication skills and desire to work hard. Unlike many Western countries, it is very easy to obtain a visit visa and try for a job hunt. Though I have close contact with many of our batch mates, eagerly waiting to meet others. Hope to meet you all in August.