After the checkout at 8:30 most of us drove to Nasscom who helps IT start-ups to develop and compete in the Indian market. There, the business model of the company and the potential, especially for IT companies, in India were explained to us. Next up were some presentations of exciting start-ups. Followed by that, we had the opportunity to talk to founders of these start-ups and ask them about their business ideas, their goals and the problems they are facing.
Meanwhile, a group of four people including Maya as a representative of the ZHAW visited the offshore location of the Swiss company Bühler in Bangalore. The three students are all working for Bühler Switzerland and were excited about this opportunity.The IT infrastructure was explained as well as a factory visit. We were very impressed by the high standards which are comparable to Switzerland. The visit ended with a vivid discussion on the Indian market, its challenges and chances.
The two groups met after lunch and traditional Indian coffee at the location of Swissnex. The company is a federal institution of the department of foreign affairs. They provide infrastructure, access to networks and know-how about the Indian market for Swiss start-ups who want to start business here. We also had the opportunity to present possible business ideas based on the experiences we have had on our study trip so far. The most discussed subjects were environmental issues and IT tools to simplify the daily life regarding mobility.
Then it was already time to head towards the airport to leave the city of Bangalore. At 21:25 the aircraft took off to Delhi, our final destination.
After a great dancing night with only little sleep we were about to leave Pune. Only a short trip was required to arrive at the Pune airport and we had to say goodbye to our drivers of the last few days.
The check-in and security-check procedure was very annoying and crowded but finally we boarded to the plane which was in a surprisingly good condition.
Only 80 minutes later we arrived at the very modern airport of Bangalore. The airport was built in 2008 and looks really different to anything we have seen so far in India.
A new bus and new drivers were already waiting for us and took us to our next visit at Cognizant.
Followed by the check-in we were brought to the meeting room at the “carpet floor”. The whole floor was pretty impressive. Everything looked veryluxurious and modern.
The first presentation, held by Srikanth Srinivasan from the human resources departement, was mainly about the management layout of Cognizant and how the firm is placed in the market. Afterwards his associate Symu Koul took over and introduced the department of “Quality Engineering & Assurance” which is essentially responsible for testing and is the largest outsourcing partner for testing worldwide (1.6 billion USD total revenue). Mr. Koul impressively explained how much money gets lost, due to software errors and lack of testing.
Finally we went to a different room where a presentation about IT Infrastructure Services was held. At one side of the meeting room there was a huge milky glass wall which we didn’t really noticed, until the glass got transparent and we could finally see behind the curtain… erm glass wall. There was a huge round 24×7 service center with approximately 50 IT technicans. This was the end of our visit at Cognizant.
The bus took us to our new hotel, the Vivanta by Taj. The expectations were very high because we were told it will be the best rated hotel we visited so far… and our expectations were even exceeded. The hotel is just amazing!
You will probably hear more about the hotel tomorrow. It’s 10pm right now… we are going to have a drink at the hotelbar. Cheers!
Wednesday began for us with a short stroll to the conveniently located Cognizant Pune where we were greeted with an exciting and eventful presentation about the banking and finance section of the company.
Joozar Hastak and her colleagues from Cognizant followed the presentation up with a discussion in which everyone was free to ask any possible question.
After lunch we started a sightseeing tour through Pune guided by our local sweetheart Baya. The first stop was at the University of Pune where we had the chance to experience the life as a student in Pune. While looking at the stunningly beautiful campus we could even attend a live singing performance from a student who studies Singing, which was a very special experience.
Later on we took a 5 minute ride in a rickshaw through a part of the busiest city we’ve ever seen and proceeded to the Gandhi Memorial Palace where we met the legendary Bollywood actor Raza Murad, who often played the role of a villain in his long career. After the coincidental meeting we headed back to the hotel.
In the evening we were invited by Anand Gadgil, a cousin of Maya to watch a traditional Indian dance which was performed by three lovely professional dancers.
After this delightful performance we were gifted with a fabulous turban which is only worn on happy occasions – definitely a suitable moment! Then we enjoyed a delicious Indian dinner. Overall it was an extraordinary and joyful experience.