We meet Dinesh Narayan at Seifen Horst Café Bar, in Bilk. It’s one of those cafés you walk past a lot and wonder what it’s like. For the record, it is a very chilled out place. It has, as Dinesh describes it, “a rustic, old fashioned feel” and is the perfect place for a quiet chat. When Dinesh recommends somewhere in Dusseldorf we know it’s worth checking out. He arrived in Dusseldorf in 2006 for six months training after joining Metapeople , a German owned IT company that had offices in the UK. Coming from the UK it couldn’t have gotten much better. It was the year of the World Cup and he arrived in time for “weeks of uninterrupted sunshine and football!” that lead to lots of thinking “I can’t leave!”. When Metapeople offered him a job in Germany, he said yes immediately.
1. What keeps you in Dusseldorf?
2. Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
“Snowboarding. It was always one of those things I wanted to try. We go mostly to Austria – Solden, St Anton and Kaprun.” He learned to snowboard though in Neuss at the Skihalle: a good place to learn the basics before taking to the slopes.
3. If someone gave you 100k for a legacy project, what would you do with it?
“Something to coach start-up businesses to produce in a more sustainable way.” It’s not surprising that Dinesh’s response draws inspiration from the work of one of his friends – Vasco, a former neighbour and friend who ran a workshop a few years ago exploring business sector environmental sustainablity. Ideally it would be a community project driving companies to explore ways to repair, reuse and upgrade; to basically push goods “to their limits” so they can be repurposed as much as possible.
4. Who do you admire most?
“Barack Obama without a doubt. He’s got qualities like good judgement, patience and tenacity. Anyone who has those qualities and is forward thinking and compassionate: people like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Martin Luther King. People who have empathy for other people, especially for people in distress or underpriviileged. It may be a controversial answer but also Angela Merkel. She has guided Germany through very turbulent times.”
5. Favourite possession?
“A watch I bought over 20 years ago when I was a student. I found it again last year and put in new batteries. It’s the only thing I have that’s pretty old. Everything else in my flat serves a purpose. I could leave it all behind, but the watch will go with me everywhere. It’s from a previous life…”
6. Where are you happiest?
“When I’m with people I forget my worries. You just have a good laugh.”