One big family: Shakya Udugama on his journey

Shakya U.,

Shakya Udugama has had a turbulent journey. The HDI Group has always supported him along the way and stood by his side. After leaving Sri Lanka, Hanover has become his second home and the HDI Group his family. But it wasn't as easy as it sounds.

His first point of contact with the HDI Group was in 2013 as part of an exchange program at his school in his hometown Colombo. During his time in Hanover, Shakya Udugama attends high school in Isernhagen and works at HDI. He remembers his first day at work vividly: "It was impressive. In Sri Lanka we also have big buildings, but HDI is just different. I still remember everything about that day - in the canteen, for example, we had schnitzel."

The time from the exchange program flies by and hardly back in Sri Lanka Shakya Udugama is already planning his next stay in Hanover at the HDI Group. This time as part of an internship. This experience awakens the desire to also complete his training at HDI. He applied for the position and began his training at HDI in 2017. Since 2020, he has been permanently employed at HDI Global SE and works in the "Knowledge Management" team. What feels like a dream at first also has downsides: There are 8,000 kilometers and a pandemic between him and his family in Sri Lanka.

Return home with obstacles

Due to the effects of the pandemic, Shakya Udugama cannot see his family and his fiancée in Sri Lanka for a long time. But then the situation eases and his trip to Sri Lanka and the wedding with his fiancée are within reach. After more than one and a half years, Shakya Udugama is back in his home country Sri Lanka and can finally marry his fiancée. But the happiness is not for long. Sri Lanka decides on a lockdown and Shakya Udugama cannot travel back to Germany. Important documents are missing for his residence permit in Germany, which he cannot receive in Hanover. His permit is threatening to expire. He fears for his job at the HDI Group and for his new life in Hanover.

HDI family sticks together

Fortunately, Shakya Udugama has people by his side who always stand up for him. His manager at the time and his supervisor, together with the Human Resources department, stood up for him, while his colleagues had his back. Shakya Udugama goes through eight weeks of uncertainty, during which he does not know what his future will look like. But the issue not only goes around at HDI. The German Embassy in Colombo, the Immigration Office in Hanover and even the Mayor of Hanover are also aware of Shakaya Udugama's fate. The efforts are successful and the residence permit is extended.

The now 25-year-old lives in Hanover with his wife and is still deeply impressed by the dedication of his colleagues: "I saw HDI as my second family right from the start, and at that moment it proved that to me. I can't imagine better colleagues. At the airport, my former boss was there - with a welcome package of masks, quick tests and my favorite chocolate."