Clare Premo ’16 – India
I’m rushing to the store for last minute items, but instead of Christmas gifts, I’m scrambling to get the last odds and ends for an epic trip to India! It’s hard to believe that I will be on the other side of the world in just days, but I’m really excited for all that lies ahead. Our trip planners have done an absolutely outstanding job of putting together a great itinerary, with hour by hour schedules that will help us make the most of our time in four cities over ten days. We will be meet in Mumbai, fly to Jaipur, travel to Agra, and end in Delhi. This is an ambitious timeline but I think it’s going to be so great to get a taste of all of these diverse locations.
While in India, we will meet with nine businesses across a variety of sectors, including Reliance Fashion, HDFC, Unilazer, Moshe’s, Dabbawalas, Jaipur Foot, BJP, Fortis and Bharti Airtel. I’m really excited to meet with executives to hear about their companies, to learn more about the business climate in India today, and to get their impressions of what’s coming in the future. I participated in Chazen Indonesia last spring, and I was blown away by how interesting and candid our business meeting speakers were; I learned so much from hearing about their hopes and concerns for the country’s economy. Based on that experience, I have really high expectations for these meetings and think that they will be incredibly informative, especially since so many of our classes feature cases that take place in India and this will help bring those studies to life.
Of course, the cultural immersion aspect of Chazen is going to be fabulous as well. We will be visiting old forts, the Taj Mahal, exotic markets, a Mumbai slum, palaces and more! I anticipate that our time out and about will be overwhelming in many ways with over the top the color, people, smells, and energy: I’m picturing colorful saris, lots of Bollywood music, and delicious Indian food!
Lastly, I’m really looking forward to getting to know our group. We’ve already had two in-person meetings and an active GroupMe thread, but there’s nothing like travel to help b-school students bond. The social component of a Chazen trip is quite powerful and it’s amazing how close you feel to your new friends after just a few days together. It won’t hurt that we will get to ring in 2016 together!