This blog is about my trip to India. A trip that I always thought I was going to make some day, but I never would have thought to make it for Travix first.
I was given the opportunity as part of the ‘Travix Talent Trail" Program, which I am currently participating in.
One day before my trip to India
Arranging my suitcase was not an easy task, I continually kept thinking: "What would be a proper dress code for a business environment in India?" The weather app on my iPhone told me that it would be warm and since it is July, I knew I would be there in the middle of India’s rain season. I decided I should pack clothes that would be comfortable in warm temperatures while remaining to be formal, so avoiding some of my summer clothes such as skirts and shorts.
On our way to India
I probably was the most exited girl in the entire airplane. The flight itself was long and I tried to pass time by sleeping a bit but I could not help to wake up from time to time. I simply did not notice that I was supposed to be tired since I only felt excited that this was going to be the first time that I would be in India and even my first time in Asia!
In addition, the person that I was going with was Remko, our Global Head of HR. I liked that I was going to India together with him because I know that he is a nice person and he would be happy to do this business trip with me. At the same time, it also made me realize that I needed to manage my nervousness and excitement since I do not think that is very professional and he is still the Global Head of HR of course! :P
Once we arrived at the airport of Bangalore around 2:30 in the morning, I unfortunately found out that my luggage stayed behind. Since it took us a while before we actually received the confirmation that my luggage would truly not come anymore, we ended up arriving at the hotel around 4:00am.
I really hated the fact that I did not to have my personal stuff in India. I knew that the next day (or actually in a couple of hours) I would be introduced to my colleagues at our India office and I realized that I would not have any proper clothes. Besides that, as I previously said, I really gave a thought on what to pack for coming to India and none of that I was able to wear now. Fortunately the airline did decide to compensate me by providing some rupees so I would be able to buy some clothes meanwhile my luggage would arrive to India some days later. Thus, after a short sleep and a nice Indian breakfast, Remko and I quickly passed by some stores before going to the office. In there I bought some clothes and other personal things that I could use the following day or even the coming days..
During my stay
Once we arrived at the office, I was being introduced to all the colleagues over there. It was so nice to meet all of them in person! Now I finally had a real face with those pictures and mail addresses that I was used to be seeing in internal communication and hangouts!
The main aim of my business trip in India was to co-work with my colleagues there and exchange practices and experiences within HR processes, provide the India team with new HR updates, and finally but not least assist Remko in giving the “Insight Discovery” workshop to a group of 25 employees from the office.
Being in India, made me realize again that cultures really modify the way people can think and react towards something. I am from Mexico myself and while working in the Netherlands I already have firsthand experience in cultural differences within practices and way of thinking. In India I noticed invisible cultural barriers as well.
Simply put, culture does matter. I believe culture has the power to mold behavior and to make people think the way they do. This trip made me realize that. Since day one I opened my mind for new experiences. I did not only want to understand Indian culture but I wanted to experience it. That, I thought, would allow me to better work together with as a team.
I can easily say that my stay in India felt like one breath. The days passed so fast! We started early in the morning and before we knew it, the working day had passed, UNBELIEVABLE! Our colleagues over there truly gave us a warm welcome, they also took care that Remko and I would feel comfortable. As Dutch people would say, they took care that we would feel “gezellig”.
Through this blog I would therefore really like to thank them and let them know that I appreciated very much their warm welcome and useful inputs throughout my entire stay.
My last day in India was a Saturday and two of our colleagues, Shashipriya and Mamatha, gave me a tour in Bangalore. We were able to visit a temple, a beautiful palace, a military memorial exhibition and a shopping street!! It was a unique experience!
I have to mention that it was a lovely day! Very active and full of different impressions! During this tour Shashipriya brought along her two kids, Bhargav and Sannidhi, he is 9 years old and she is 2 years old. They both rock! Thanks to all four of them I was able to finalize my trip in an amazing way where I got a better grasp of the Indian culture. But I am aware that what I saw on that day is only a tiny taste of India.
What I learned from my trip
Going to India made me more aware and keen of culture. Culture within the organization affects human interaction, levels of communication, trust and teamwork. In order to work together as a team we need to understand it and embrace it but never try to change it. I will always think back to this trip with very positive thoughts.