Amidst the SARS crisis, Raj and Ritu Grover bravely decided to take up an opportunity to move to Singapore. Eight years on and the family have made Singapore their home. I met up with this dynamic couple at their spacious apartment in The Arcadia, which they share with children Sarika (12) and twins Aryan and Karran (6).
What brought you to Singapore?
Raj: I was working for Barclays Capital in London when the company began expanding in Singapore. A colleague who had been here before had lots of good things to say about the city. Ritu is from California, so she’s used to blue skies and sunshine and she was eager for a change after nine years in London. At the time, Sarika was in her first year of school, so we felt it was a good time to move and we were very excited to try somewhere new.
Was it easy to settle in here?
Raj: Yes, we’re enjoying it very much. We both have great jobs (I’m in IT at Barclays Capital and Ritu works in finance at Marina Bay Sands), and Singapore is an ideal place to bring up three children.
We have live-in help, which has been a godsend, especially when the twins were born, and we love that it’s safe here, the transport system is outstanding and there are excellent educational opportunities for the children. They attend Tanglin Trust School and they’re doing very well.
We were a bit concerned when we enrolled the twins, as the school policy is to split twins into different classes, so we thought they’d have a tough time adjusting. But, in fact, the boys have thrived as individuals instead of constantly being compared with each other, and they get along so much better now that they have their own friends and activities.
What prompted you to buy your apartment at The Arcadia?
Ritu: We decided to buy our own place in our fourth year as we wanted to stay here for the long term and were fearful about the rapidly increasing rental prices. We decided against a landed property as we enjoy the social environment of a condo as well as all the facilities.
We visited loads of condos, but instantly fell in love with The Arcadia. We love the big rooms (our apartment has 3,800 square feet of space), the huge balcony (the kids used to ride their bikes up and down it) and the fabulous view of greenery. When you turn into Arcadia Road, it’s like driving into the countryside; you feel like you’ve left the city behind.
How do you spend your leisure time?
Raj: We’re quite an outdoorsy family, so we often go for a walk or a cycle along the East Coast or at West Coast Park. We usually go out for Sunday lunch at the American Club or to our favourite, Nando’s, which recently opened in Singapore. Ritu runs regularly and I’m a bit of a fitness nut, usually doing triathlon training two to three times a week as well as playing football every Sunday afternoon in the ESPZEN football league.
Any favourite travel destinations in the region?
Ritu: We love Phuket and have been there a number of times. We all enjoy snorkelling, so we like to hire a boat for the day and go island-hopping. Usually, we stay at the Laguna Phuket, as you can use the facilities of all the hotels in the resort so there’s plenty to occupy the whole family. With great snorkelling in mind, we’re planning our next holiday to the Maldives – we can’t wait!