I was trying to find a common theme on how to close a 3 weeks chapter. I certainly have a lot more stories to tell and will continue capturing them – but as I am sitting on a 3rd plane today – and still remember – will just quickly put some thoughts on paper of my takeaways.
The last week was a bit of a whirlwind. We had our final presentation which was to be at 11, then 2, then 430 and then ended up being 530-730. By now, it was no surprise to us – I guess we got used to the India’s loose time. I actually thought it wouldn’t happen at all – but we decided to stay positive. The presentation was a perfect example of how meetings are managed here:
- A lot of people that really don’t have to be there, just sitting there, watching, completely disengaged
- Start in and hope for English – but with first question, turn into Hindi and then 50/50 – so dynamics of starting/stopping, double translation – conversations and dialogs going off…
- One or 2 people that really matter and speak
- Phones in front of everyone, phone calls taken – side conversations happening again
- No laptops, no computers, no calendars – just show up for a meeting and walk in – expect wait
- Everyone saying something at the end – to close it
- Lots of pictures taken everywhere, all the time
- Tons of articles in the newspaper the next day – with close to nothing accurate that we said but lots of “quotes”
- Power off here and there…. total dark.. actually much better in a conference room than in the elevator (trust me!)
My business meeting impressions from Week 1 didn’t change at all – continue to have a hard time coping with the loose time, everything takes time, lots of wasted time and lots of talk and planning. Rest of the week was catching up on shopping (again!), and writing our report which is meant to be a 50-pages of Word so not a tiny piece of work (on top of the powerpoint presentation we did on Wednesday). Mornings in the gym with our faithful trainer Anoop, driving everywhere, dinners in the evening with more Indian food…. you get the gist by now. Throughout the crunch time, the team came up with a few “smart city walla” phrases that will keep living…but probably only relevant to the team 🙂
- Stay positive
- Glow with the flow
- 100% no problem
- What about the pigs?
- What is waste?
- Some sort of leakage
Here are some visuals of us, the smart city wallas team, all over – so you get a sense of what we were up to – 100% (scroll over for commentary)