Take It From Me Dmitry Ig­na­tovich

Expatriate Lifestyle - - April - In­ter­view by Ta­nia Jay­ati­laka

Name: Dmitry Ig­na­tovich Oc­cu­pa­tion: Di­rec­tor at Flight Ex­pe­ri­ence Kuala Lumpur Na­tion­al­ity: Rus­sian Time in Malaysia: 4 years

Sunny days

My wife, daugh­ter and I used to live in Bei­jing for al­most nine years. When my friend in­tro­duced me to the Malaysia My Sec­ond Home pro­gramme, we found it in­ter­est­ing be­cause you can get a 10-year visa and other pretty good ben­e­fits, like buy­ing tax-free cars. When we came here, we re­alised that the lo­cal peo­ple were friendly and the climate was very nice. That’s very im­por­tant as well be­cause per­son­ally, I don’t like win­ter! We de­cided to par­tic­i­pate in this pro­gramme and that’s how Malaysia be­came home.

Be­hind Flight Ex­pe­ri­ence

I’ve wanted to be a pi­lot since I was a child, but I couldn’t be­cause of my colour blind­ness. When we re­lo­cated to Malaysia, I started think­ing about what busi­ness I could start here, some­thing con­nected to avi­a­tion some­how. Af­ter some re­search, I found an Aus­tralian fran­chise called Flight Ex­pe­ri­ence. I’m also do­ing my Pri­vate Pi­lot Li­cense (PPL) at the Air Ad­ven­ture Fly­ing Club in Subang, but that’s just as a hobby. In Malaysia, you can travel and par­tic­i­pate in so many out­door ac­tiv­i­ties and hobbies.

Entrepreneurship for ex­pats

In terms of ad­min­is­tra­tive bar­ri­ers, it’s not very com­pli­cated to open a busi­ness here. Com­pared with China and Rus­sia, Malaysia is much eas­ier to es­tab­lish and man­age a busi­ness in. Our busi­ness, Flight Ex­pe­ri­ence, was a bit eas­ier be­cause it’s a fran­chise, so the busi­ness model was given to us. Open­ing a store is ef­fort­less and all our staff are cer­ti­fied pi­lots — smart and in­de­pen­dent. But of course, you must work hard and long to main­tain the level of ser­vice and keep the busi­ness go­ing strong.

Fam­ily time out­doors

I like to have pic­nics at the park, if it’s not too hot. We pre­fer the Per­dana Botan­i­cal Gar­den near the city cen­tre. Ta­man Bukit Kiara is close to where we live and it is re­ally nice since they made re­cent ren­o­va­tions, in­clud­ing an in­ter­est­ing walk­way and a des­ig­nated lane for bi­cy­cles. I also like the For­est Re­search In­sti­tute of Malaysia (FRIM), but cur­rently some of the trails are closed.

A Malaysian holiday

We go on two types of hol­i­days: for na­ture we went to Ta­man Ne­gara. When you stay overnight in a tent sur­rounded by a 130 mil­lion-years-old rain­for­est, you feel the power of the jun­gle. For re­sort stays, we like Tan­jong Jara Re­sort in Tereng­ganu and Pangkor Laut. We’ve also vis­ited the Eastern and Ori­en­tal Ho­tel in Pe­nang and the Chateau Spa and Well­ness Re­sort – the French vil­lage in Pa­hang – and I rec­om­mend them all.

Af­ter work

I try to keep fit and visit the gym as of­ten as I can. Every Mon­day I at­tend Muay Thai classes, it’s a very good work­out, es­pe­cially at the gym in Jaya One. On Tues­days and Thurs­days I go to Fit­ness First and dur­ing the week­end I run or cy­cle, de­pend­ing on my mood. At the end of the day, my favourite place to go for drinks is Marini’s on 57.

Pub­lic hol­i­days

Malaysia has a few too many pub­lic hol­i­days. When I send my kid to kinder­garten, they’ll have a no­tice say­ing the school will be closed tomorrow for some pub­lic holiday, and some­times I’ll have no idea what that holiday will be about. But there are events like the My Bal­loon Fi­esta in Pu­tra­jaya and flower ex­hi­bi­tions that we have vis­ited on days off. We’ve also en­joyed Bon Jovi and Mariah Carey con­certs.

Per­sonal motto

Talk less, do more! You have to work hard for every­thing you want to achieve in life. For me, sports and out­door ac­tiv­i­ties help keep my mind ac­tive and I can think faster. Plus I en­joy the weather here. For peo­ple in coun­tries like Rus­sia, the rain or snow out­side gets re­ally cold and it makes you want to stay at home and do noth­ing. In Malaysia, the weather can keep you in a good mood al­most every day; although the nice climate might make some peo­ple feel a bit lazy some­times! EL

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