Networking Guide for Expats
Bangalore is a social city and there are several ways to connect with fellow expats and locals alike.
Foreign Cultural Centres
Enjoy various cultural events and performances while making new friends. Even if you don’t belong to the house’s nationality, be sure to check out the following cultural centres in Bangalore:
- The Alliance Francaise http://bangalore.afindia.org/
- The British Council http://www.britishcouncil.in
- The Goethe-Institut http://www.goethe.de/ins/in/bag/enindex.htm
Clubs for Expats
Expats in Bangalore tend to meet and socialize easily with expats from other countries. Most expats groups are privately run and very accommodating in helping you get used to Bangalore. If you are an expatriate residing in Bangalore or planning to move to Bangalore shortly, you can enrol as a member in any of the following Expat Clubs. A token membership fee is charged by most clubs below.
- The Bangalore Expatriate Club or BEC is a social club whose aim is to get professional expatriates networking together in pubs, clubs, restaurants, and social gatherings in Bangalore.
- The Overseas Women’s Club (OWC) of Bangalore (http://www.owcbangalore.org/) is a very active social and charitable organization of women from many nationalities and cultures. OWC greets new members and provides guidance for making a successful transition into a new culture and a new city.
- The Bangalore Expat American Dinner Meetup Group is a group of expats (mostly American, though other nationalities are also welcome) who meet regularly for dinners.
Clubs frequented by Expats and Well-travelled Indians
Bangalore has a number of well-to-do clubs, however, they have long waiting lists and getting into some clubs can take years. Ask if the company you are going to work for has an arrangement with any of the local clubs.
Some of the other popular clubs in Bangalore are:
- The Bangalore Club (Cariappa Road) has affiliations with numerous clubs of its type and class, at home and abroad. http://www.bangaloreclub.com/
- Bangalore Turf Club (Race Course Road) http://www.bangaloreraces.com/
Members of most expat clubs are very helpful to new members and will help you settle in and experience India’s rich culture and heritage. There are mixed groups of expats from several countries and membership with any of the local expats groups provides wonderful opportunities for making new friends from all over the world. For example, enjoy a cup of coffee on Thursday mornings hosted by OWC at the Leela Palace Hotel.
Other regular meeting activities:
- New OWC Members Coffee morning: Last Monday of the month newcomers meet for coffee, and sometimes lunch. (OWC members only.)
- Bangalore Film Society screens films weekly, discussion followed. http://blogbfs.blogspot.com/
Chambers of Commerce
Some countries have chambers of commerce with local events occasionally held in Bangalore. This can be an excellent avenue for meeting peers and business counterparts. Also refer to the above Foreign Cultural Centres section, since many of these organizations host a variety of events.
- Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) http://www.iaccindia.com/
- Indo German Chamber of Commerce http://www.igtcindia.com
- Indo Italian Chamber of Commerce & Industries http://www.indiaitaly.com
Bangalore has a great many NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) helping those in need and there are ample opportunities for expat members to become involved in voluntary work. Information on these charities and organizations is available from the sources listed below:
- NGO Consultancy: http://www.ngoconsultancy.in/
- Human Development: http://www.hidforum.org
- Animals: http://www.karnataka.com/ngos/animal-lovers.html
- Health: http://www.karnataka.com/ngos/
- Environment: http://www.karnataka.com/ngos/environment.html
Initially, you may want to volunteer through the OWC Charities Committee which meets once a month to coordinate the funding of a group of charitable organizations based in Bangalore. Check their site http://www.owcbangalore.org/ for a list of charities supported by them and the type of volunteer work required for each.
Other places to meet expats and like-minded people
Bangalore has a number of fine dining options and some of the renowned bars and restaurants are good places to meet up and interact with expats, tourists and well-to-do locals. Popular hangouts include:
- All Taj, ITC, Park and Oberoi (five-star) hotels feature great restaurants and bars
- UB City (on Vittal Mallya Rd) has several high-end shops and restaurants, including Fava, Toscana and Shiro’s. (The building also offers topnotch service apartments.)
- India Coffee House (http://www.indiacoffee.org/) is a coffee houses-cum-restaurant in the city centre that offer old-Bangalore charm and is a great people-watching and meeting spot.
- Sunny’s restaurant where you can get Italian, French and American food, home-baked bread and an imported cheeses
- Lounge bars like 13th Floor (MG Road)
- Nrityagram in Hessaraghatta (http://www.nrityagram.org), a school that showcases the seven classical Indian dance forms
- The Golden Palms Spa & Resort on Tumkur Road (spa resort that also includes Asia’s largest swimming pool),
- Eagleton Golf Club and Resort on the Bangalore-Mysore highway (rated as one of the top 5 Golf courses in India and, spread over 500 acres, the biggest of its kind in the region)