Christelle Gourdine-Mandjiny is the founder of Zen Development Services Pvt Ltd. She lives between Pondicherry and Paris from where she organizes your trips.
French native, Christelle is from the 4th generation born outside India. Her family left Kolkata and Pondicherry 150 years ago to work as indentured labours in Guadeloupe, French West Indies.
She began travelling in India in 2004, the beginning of a wonderful inner and outer journey.
Coming twice a year, visiting each time different places, meeting many friends, she feels at home everywhere, without forgetting her French and Guadeloupean cultures.
She has started lobbying to ease the PIO – People of Indian Origin – card obtention for the French descendants of the Indian indentured labours few years ago and wishes that their identity will be recognized by both the French and Indian government.
She told her story in a book called “ Au rythme des tambours sacrés” published in January 2011 by India Empire.
Graduated in corporate finance, she worked for the French bank BNPParibas as an Operational Manager, a Trainer and then for Lean Management (Operational Efficiency). After being a project manager and been certified as a Lean Practitioner, she coached project managers in Paris and abroad.
However, after 14 years in the financial world, she decided to quit in order to have an experience of India and continues to push for the recognition of her people’s Indian identity.
She has created Zen Development Services Pvt Ltd in 2011 in order to share her experience of the roots connection and her expertise in individual and business development.
Her personal experience and family history made her understand the difficulties women can face in the society, as well as the minorities. She is now committed to help those populations with NGO Ader India created by her husband and business partner Muruganandam Mandjiny.
Credit photo : Jérome Désert