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From Sri Lanka to Heidelberg: A New Life in Europe

Udith Geeganage has been on board at cbs in the Business Integration Technology unit since February 2021. To work in Germany, Udith had to leave his home country Sri Lanka. Although his wife has also been living in Germany for a few months, it is not easy for him to deal with the huge distance between him and his parents, his siblings and his dog back home. He told us why Udith nevertheless feels at home in Germany and how he perceives the working culture at cbs.

Udith, 35, worked as a technical consultant in Sri Lanka before coming to Germany. Udith already brought experience with SAP with him, having worked as an ABAP developer and in PI/PO for some time. He studied management and information technology at the state university Kelaniya near the capital Colombo. What Udith admired most about the German work culture was the work-life balance, as it is very difficult to combine work and private life in Sri Lanka. Many overtime hours as well as work on weekends and holidays are not uncommon in the island nation with 22 million inhabitants south of India. That’s why the desire to go to Germany arose. It was a big step, which Udith then actually realized in 2021.

 

The cbs team is his second family

 

Starting in 2018, Udith worked on a joint project with cbs. After Udith expressed his desire to come to Germany, his current supervisor Sebastian Gottmann, who was involved in the project on cbs side, asked him if he could imagine moving to cbs. In addition, friends of Udith who were already living in Germany had recommended that he start his career at cbs. That’s why Udith made the decision to move to Germany and work for cbs.

The first week in the new environment was really hard for Udith. He somehow felt that it was a mistake to leave his well-paid job in Sri Lanka to come to Germany. After all, the move came with a high risk. His team cushioned this in time, gave him time to settle in and introduced him to the work bit by bit, Udith reports. He got used to the many new impressions after the first week.

“The unique work culture, the high level of SAP and technology knowledge, the unity and diversity at cbs – that’s what makes the Power of Orange.”
Udith Geeganage
Senior Solution Consultant

Lights are a part of the inventory of an apartment in Sri Lanka. When Udith found his new apartment in Mannheim without light bulbs, he was initially very surprised. The fact that parcels in Germany are often not delivered to his doorstep, but only to the front door, was also a new experience for Udith. He is taking a German course at the Goethe Institute in Mannheim and would like to reach language level A2 by the end of this year. Professionally, Udith would like to take on more responsibility in the coming years and set up his own projects with a team.

His supervisor Sebastian Gottmann recounts, “Udith already worked with us on a project for a well-known sporting goods manufacturer in 2019. At the time, he was still living and working in Sri Lanka. Since it shone through that he would complement our team very well, we created a position for Udith in our team. At the beginning, he had to clear some official obstacles: For example, opening a bank account and taking out health insurance. With the language barrier, that’s really not easy. But it was worth it: It’s great for us to have a colleague from a completely different culture on board. Both professionally and personally, Udith is an absolute enrichment for our team. He is always in a good mood, always ready to help and simply a kind-hearted person.”

Matara, Sri Lanka

For Udith, the unique work culture, the high level of SAP and technology knowledge, the process know-how and professionalism, as well as the unity and diversity at cbs make up the “Power of Orange” – a special corporate culture that, according to Udith, “you have to experience for yourself.” The fact that everyone is respected and valued and that everyone has the same opportunities, is something Udith particularly emphasizes. Udith also feels that the relationship between supervisors and employees is very good. Udith feels totally at ease in Sebastian Gottmann’s team in the Business Integration Technology business unit, led by Consulting Director Holger Himmelmann, and has the feeling that his personal strengths are being promoted.

His team, as Udith says, has long since become his second family. Although Udith’s wife has been living with him in Germany since April 2022, his colleagues also mean a lot to him. Udith travels to Sri Lanka about once a year to visit his parents. He would recommend joining cbs to any consultant, even if they come from a different continent and therefore face greater hurdles in arriving.

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