Our trip to India was both exciting and interesting. With the help of some Freeman school connections, our professors were able to plan numerous company visits throughout the city of Bangalore, each providing us with new insights into global business operations within India. Despite some last minute changes, due to flooding in Chennai, our original first destination, we still had the privilege of visiting a number of IT related companies, a government run company and an NGO.
Since we were in the “Silicon Valley” of India, as everyone calls Bangalore, we had the privilege of meeting with numerous IT companies. The most interesting part for me was seeing how connected all the companies were as we met with two different incubators and a few of the startups that they had each funded at some point, as well as a few currently receiving funding. The first company we visited, Theramyt, was one of the most impressive as well as successful companies. As a biotech company much of what they do goes way over my head but it was interesting to hear how they got started and what has made them so successful. It is also inspiring that the head of the company is a female powerhouse. In it’s early years, Theramyt, received funding from a few incubators including two that we were able to visit, C-Camp and Accel. Accel was an especially exciting visit as we had the pleasure of hearing from a few of the startups that are currently under their roof and beginning to take off.
Our day spent with the NGO, Parinaam, was incredibly eye opening for all of us. We were all eager to hear about the organization and their work, having just completed semester projects related to this type of work. I think everyone would agree that this particular organization was incredibly impressive and performing work that clearly had a positive effect on the community. After a brief overview presentation of the company’s services we were able to go out into the field and actually see the work being done. Parinaam offers helpful services such as micro financing, financing education, health education, and childcare programs to urban communities in need. We were taken to both a financing class for women and one of the ultra urban poor communities that Parinaam services. In each situation we observed and interacted with some of the beneficiaries to get a sense of the positive effects that the Parinaam programs had on each of the individuals.
These are just a few of the highlights from our exciting week spent in Bangalore, but each company visit provided something different and exciting to learn about. The entire trip was a great opportunity for learning and observing a new culture, both in the conference rooms and out. With the exception of one student and both professors, it was everyone’s first trip to India so we were also able to observe a culture very different from our own. The Freeman school made sure we had all the best accommodations from food to hotels to transportation. The hospitality we received from everyone was unparalleled and quite a comfort for everyone experiencing something so new and different.