Last night we arrived at the Taj President Hotel in Mumbai. This city is different from the others we have been India. It seems a little more sophisticated and metropolitan. To me this appears to be a typical large city consistent with many I have been to around the world, highways, and modern looking buildings; it is actually very compelling to look at. This is the largest city we have been on thus far, and sits on the coast. Although I am sure they exist here, we have not seen as many of the indigent population as was so prominent in the other locales.
The hotel is well situated in an area where we feel we can actually walk around the neighborhood, and is on the upper end of the scale of nice hotels, like the others where we have stayed on this trip. The food and hospitality have been first rate, and somewhat over-the-top when compared to the lifestyle of many in this beautiful, diverse country.
The day started with a later start; we didn’t meet until 9:30, so we were able to relax a bit more in the morning. For some, breakfast started after a workout or swim. For others, they enjoyed a variety of good food before we all met to prepare for our first business visit to TATA and then to Mahindra. Incidentally there is a group here from Ohio State that many in our group ran into; they too are here for business visits as part of their education.
TATA was a short bus ride from the hotel. We met with Girish Ramachandran, Vice President, and James Maslamani, who works in recruiting, both of whom shared business highlights of their company and its history. Girish was very polished in his presentation; I think we left thinking “this is an incredible company” – I’m sure many thought they should further explore TATA as a career opportunity or investment, or both as a result of how the company was portrayed. TATA was a great host and provided soft drinks and sandwiches for all.
One of our classmates has been feeling a little under the weather most of the morning. When we returned from the meeting at TATA, two priesthood holders in the group administered to him. He went to bed following the blessing and stayed in bed the balance of the days.
By mid-afternoon, we were off to the second business visit for the day, Mahindra & Mahindra. There were a few of the guys who were feeling a little queasy; not sure if it was from the sandwiches or the drinks provided earlier, or something else.
We met with one of their strategy team, Shiran. He provided a history of the company and discussed the details of each of their business units, which have grown to 11 to date. It was interesting to me that the facility did not seem as presentable when compared to TATA. Although the presenter was knowledgeable and fielded questions well, he was not as polished as the gentlemen at TATA; I left there with a less than stellar perception vs. our experience at TATA.
Tonight we gathered as a group for dinner at the hotel. We were short a few more since the last business visit due to sickness – not sure what is causing the health issues, but the numbers are growing which makes us more cautious with our food intake. We are all hopeful that those in the group who are ill will recover quickly.