Home » Middle East » Middle East – May 16th, 2013

Middle East – May 16th, 2013

“Jaya, Jaya, Jaya, Jaya He”

After a breakfast of Indian delectations, sour gourd juice and traditional American eats, we checked out of the Taj President hotel and took a bus tour of the city of Mumbai. The city’s architecture is a reflection of various cultures and influences. The British, Parsis, Muslims and Hindus all combined to create an amalgamation representative of the epansive cultures of India.

Visiting Mumbai has been an eye-opening and humbling experience.


From the opulence of the World’s most expensive home to the abject poverty of the city slums where 50% of Mumbai’s 21 million inhabitants reside (and pay rent) every aspect of life’s struggle is represented.

The tour culminated with a visit to the Mumbai residence of the Mahatma. Of the many quotes regarding Mohandas Gandhi, the one that most stood out to me was found in the description of his death (as represented on the black plaque below commemorating his death). Gandhi understood, like Victor Frankl, the one true freedom is to choose one’s response in any given circumstance:

“The assassin of the ages came with unholy design and lodged hot lead in the flesh of the man who had known no enemy. Gandhi had said, “If I am to die by the bullet of a mad man, I must do so smiling. There must be no anger within me. God must be in my heart and on my lips.” He bowed to his assassin and died with the name of God on his lips. He was the Victorious One in death as in life.”


Our business trip to P&G was less moving, but impressive nonetheless. The message that resonated with me also involved victory. P&G described their efforts to sell to the three different tiers of Indian women; perctionists, organizers and enjoyers. In marketing fast-moving consumer goods to its customers, P&G has realizes that there are two moments of truth. The first moment is when consumers first see the product, the second is when consumers first use the product. Their goal is to win at both moments. Victory in these moments is pursued by three guiding objectives:

  1. Win with innovation on all price tiers
  2. Win by driving productivity and cost savings to fuel investments in growth
  3. Win by improving the consistency in their execution

Finally, after a day spent at the home of an iconic leader and in the midst of energetic executives exploring emerging markets, we borded a luxurious triple 7 and flew to Dubai to explore and experience the United Arab Emirates.

-Rob Nielson

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