Interview with Rajesh Misca: “Romania is not a country to make your millions quickly”

Romania – talked to Rajesh Misca, a high performance coach and learning and development consultant, a global citizen with Indian nationality currently living in Western Romania, where, among others, he teaches cricket to young Romanians.

For how long have you been living/working in Romania? What brought you here in the first place?

It’s a simple, straightforward love story! My first trip to Romania was in 2010 when I met my future wife-to-be in a training program. We fell in love and were seeing each other virtually (three cheers for Skype and g-talk) every day. Few short visits to Romania dotted these days and I decided to let go of all the jet setting corporate life and come down here to take the ultimate plunge – marriage. I have been living in Romania since 2012 with my wife and her family, where my happiness lies.

During those early days I volunteered my services to an NGO to provide employment programs to university students in Timisoara and Hunedoara. Simultaneously I was contributing to developing the first generation of ethnic Romanian cricketers through many coaching and development programs for Cricket Romania.

What do you do here in Romania?

I have two avatars here in Romania. In the first, as CEO of my own corporate training firm Corpstrat Consulting in Romania, I design and deliver a performance enablement program to corporate executives and individuals across organizations and publicly.

In the second avatar I am president and high performance coach of Timis Cricket Sports Club, I design and deliver various human engagement programs for youth development to empower and enable youth in rural areas of Timis county. I also integrate these youngsters into main stream society through my cricket programs. Our club conducts cricket coaching sessions for youth under 22 with no physical disabilities and for youth under 19 with hearing and learning impairment.

Where else in the world have you worked/lived or just traveled? For what projects?

As an organizational and learning development consultant and high performance coach in cricket, I have traveled across the length and breadth of the world in the last 19 years of my career. My work and personal interests have taken me to 20 different countries, across five continents. In these stints, I have had the privilege of making a difference and sharing a lot learning with more than 20,000 professionals and I am still counting! Most of these projects were in he fields of performance management training, communication skills enhancement, integrating new employees, cricket coaching. In the last three years my travel has also included research for my impending book on performance management.

What is your favorite place in Romania and why? When and how did you discover it?

My favorite place is definitely Alios, a small village near Timisoara, where my wife’s family hails from. It’s a dainty little village where everyone knows everyone else. I fell in love with the place when I first visited it in 2010 and saw the toothless smile of my wife’s grand mother.

Beyond this place I love the Trei apa and Garana villages. These are places where one can just lose themselves with true Romanian country side. The spring festival is something you should not miss!

What don’t you like in Romania? What would you change about it?

Every country I have traveled to had its own positives and areas of improvement. The big challenge in Romania has been my inability to communicate with the people in fluent Romanian language. As I have seen, if you speak the local language fluently, then 80 percent of your work gets done easily. Of course I am not saying it will be a smooth sailing. The processes take their own time, but things get done and you are aware of what’s happening. Apart from that, Romanians are people who are culturally guarded. Hence they seem to come across as people who are closed to the outside world. Given the time, they open up, which in my opinion can be slightly annoying for a open guy like me.

How do you spend your free time in Romania? What would you recommend others?

Being an avid photographer, writer, traveler, cricketer, and a cricket coach does not leave me with a lot of free time. However in my free time I love to experiment with various cuisines around Romania. The other thing I love to do here is drive around the countryside. What beautiful places! Just get in my car and drive around.

What do you think is your biggest accomplishment in life so far? Give us a few details please.

I am still young and I feel my biggest accomplishment has still not come yet. However, during this time of material pursuits and lack of human engagement in its true sense, letting go of the material world in pursuit of love, and coming here to get it for myself, is in my opinion an accomplishment worth sharing.

Apart from this, the new cricket program that I designed for children with hearing impairment in Romania – Rapid Cricket, is an accomplishment that is close to my heart, as whenever I see the smiles on those faces when they hit a ball or just feel the fun during a play, I get a feeling that can’t be described in words.

On the professional front I hold certifications in training and development from Harvard Business Publishing and Cambridge University and Level 3 accreditation in Cricket High Performance Coaching from Cricket Australia. Very few people in the world have these in my opinion, and according to me this is an achievement.

What are you passionate about? How often do you get to pursue your passion in Romania?

I am passionate about life in general. But two aspects fill it predominantly – my wife and my mistresses! My wife takes the priority of my time and time spent with her is very precious for me. Apart from her I have two mistresses, who sometimes are very demanding – performance management training and cricket!

My first mistress has, is and will be forever cricket. My time with cricket is spent by playing for my club or the Romanian National squad. If I am not playing then you will find me coaching the game to Romanian youngsters – I have introduced to cricket almost 500 kids in Romania so far – the Romanian National squad or just about anyone who is interested in the game at the local park in Timisoara.

During the day, in those rare days of free time, I invest time researching and developing new human performance courses in line with what are currently the standards across the corporate world.

What are the main pieces of advice you’d give foreigners who plan to come to Romania?

From my experience Romania is not a country to make your millions quickly. Here things move sedately and the business world moves in a very different mode. The initial shock of many organizations without mission statements was an eye opener for me. So, if you are the idealist, with little patience to make your way to success, then Romania is a good place to just visit. I am saying this from many personal experiences. Apart from that this country is very amenable and has opportunities that wait to be found. So be prepared to play a long innings here.

Interview by Corina Chirileasa, [email protected]

(photo: Courtesy of Rajesh Misca)