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Feilding is Exactly What We Were Looking For


After spending almost two decades in the South Island and Wellington, Ramesh and his wife Laksmi went in search of a place with the perfect blend of small-town charm, career opportunities, and a short drive to their extended family. They found it in Manawatū

"Twenty years ago, I was the first person in my family to move to New Zealand. Now, all the family on my side are here. We'd been in Timaru for a number of years, but I was looking for jobs in the North Island so we could be closer to them."

Meanwhile Proliant, a groundbreaking biotechnology company, was on hunt for a Quality Manager with impeccable experience. US-owned, the $30 million plant takes blood from cattle and uses it to make proteins for diagnostic test kits, vaccines and in drug production. It chose to be based in Manawatū thanks to its significant primary and agritech sectors.

Ramesh's more than 30 years in the pharmaceutical space made him a perfect fit. "No one else in New Zealand is doing what Proliant does. I ended up having a chat on the phone with the boss, and within half an hour he offered me the role!"

Meeting taking place at Proliant Manawatu
Their base in Feilding was exactly what Ramesh and Lakshmi were looking for. "I'm from India, I've done big cities - big populations, lots of traffic. Feilding has that small town feel, we love it."

The lack of traffic also has its advantages. "Our plant runs 24/7 - if something goes wrong after hours I can pop in while my wife makes dinner, solve the problem and be home quickly."

"My favourite part of the job is my team - they're excellent. The company has a great culture and there's a lot of flexibility in the working hours too."

While their two kids are now grown, Ramesh thinks the region is a fantastic place for families. "The parks, the lifestyle - it's a wonderful place to raise kids. That's New Zealand for you - I wouldn't have gotten as much time with ours if I was still in India."
"Plus it's so safe! When my family came, I had to explain that there's no security screening in regional airports. In India you'll spend hours in airport security queues."

Those short airport queues are a nice bonus, as Ramesh is passionate about travel. "We've done two trips to Europe,  but still want to see more of the Eastern European countries, and Scandinavia."

They're also making the most of their central location here. "We enjoy exploring the region - whether that's going to coffee shops over the weekend, or when family comes up to visit and we take them on road trips all over."

"It's also easy to make social connections. Last year I went to mini golf with my family and the guy at the counter asked what I do, we started chatting. Turns out he's in the Lions Club and they got me to come give a guest lecture!"
Scientific experimentation at Proliant Manawatu
Manawatū is home to a number of scientific organisations, and Ramesh says he's grateful for the different work opportunities he's found in New Zealand.

"If I stayed in India, I would have stayed in the generic pharmaceutical industry - but in New Zealand, I've done so many different things, from Radiopharmaceuticals (tracers) for cancer patients to bio tech. It's exciting!"

"I've always wanted a great scientific role and a five minute drive to work. I get that here and it's amazing."

World class & Well connected

Palmerston North and Manawatū is the home to some of the brightest minds in Aotearoa, world-class research and educational institutions and an established business ecosystem that is connected to the world. 


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