Those who found the time and leisure to attend the morning joga had to be ready on 6 o’clock in the morning.
Everybody was on time for the departure to Cognizant Chennai on 08:15, but this time it was one of our bus drivers who was 15 minutes late. The weather however was becoming brighter but in our case that wasn’t that positive. The sweat run already when we were waiting for our delayed chauffeur.
After the 90 minutes bus ride through Chennais heavy rush-hour traffic and after receiving the visitors-badge at the security desk, we were warmly welcomed by a waiting class of Cognizant Academy students. The students were seated in an order that we had to split up and sit between them. First we were a little confused and unhappy, but the attitude of these friendly and open people once more changed our minds. Some words about the Cognizant Academy. This Cognizant-internal education system covers four different but related parts:
– a basic program targeted to get university graduates business-ready with the basic needs for cognizant
– a big advanced training section
– an individual “career compass”, aiming to help people to get a customized career perspective
– a leadership development program
After learning this, it now made perfect sense that we were sitting with a class of this academy in the same room. To better getting to know each other, we were supposed to play a funny game and develop as well as perform a short presentation in smaller groups. The atmosphere was both relaxing and funny. In these smaller groups, we also visited some other classes in their rooms, asking them about their lives as students of the Cognizant Academy. In one of these class-visits the ambiance became that good, that the Indian students told us to dance. After showing us some basic Indian-style dance moves, we indeed tried to imitate them. Our audience had really a nice time. As a reward, a male student sang a little Indian song and a female student danced really nice moves.
After dining we heard again some words about off-shoring and outsourcing. The hospitality of our hosts and the ongoing talks at the end made it hard to leave. However, after a group-photo outside it was time to say good bye. Or: Cu on FB.
This thursday we were invited at Cognizant in Hyderabad, where also the UBS is placed. We met us at 8:30 in the morning and went there with our stylish tour bus. As we arrived we had to walk through a metal detector for the security check and we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the campus so we had to leave our mobile phones and cameras at the security desk.
After taking seat in a state of the art meeting room the first speaker presented us, what Cognizant in Hyderabad is doing especially in the field of BPO (Business Process Outscoursing). He explained us why companies should think about BPO. The main point about this topic is that companies should focus on their core businesses to generate as much value for their customers as possible. So they should outsource all operatives and services which don’t belong to the companies main skills.
After this session Thomas Zeindler, the UBS vendor relationship manager of India joined our group and hold a presentation about how UBS operates in Hyderabad. At the end of this part we were able to see the UBS labs and to talk to the chief researcher.
After lunch we stayed at Cognizant and Shailaja Jha (Assistant Vice President, Information Media & Entertainment) explained us what Cognizant do in the domain of media and entertainment. Most of us were surprised that Cognizant is such a big player in this area, working with well known companies like Sony Entertainement or Warner Borthers. Another interesting point is that they also develop apps for mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. After we picked up our stuff at the security point we moved back to our residency.
At the evening we had dinner in a new built hotel in Hyderabad called Sarovar where Thomas Zeindler joined us. Finally some of us went to the Novotel-Bar with Thomas which is by the way the only bar in town that don’t closes doors at 23.00.
On Tuesday morning we managed to be on time. Our bus had one hour for the 8 km ride to Cognizant’s headquarter in Bangalore. We received personal “visitor batches” with pictures of each individual and headed towards the 8th floor where we got placed in an oval meeting room already provided with different soft drinks, nuts and cookies.
The presentation gave us a good insight into the whole outsourcing industry and services offered by Cognizant. In addition they showcased how they add value to customers. In our opinion, it gave us a better insight than the presentation from SAP. Very fascinating was that a ‘Chai Walla’ brought us tea. This expression stands for someone who delivers tea during a meeting or office hours. You might know it from the movie called ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. This was the first time we experienced something like that but it seems to be a common job in big companies.
Unfortunately we received for lunch some American style pizzas from Domino’s delivery service instead of typical Indian food, which we have expected. But this might be because we first have had to get used to the spicy Indian food. By the way they eat spicy food for breakfast, too!
After the interesting speech we took some photos within the Cognizant building. Actually this was against regulations but as the vice president allowed it, we took some more shots to remember this awesome and especially exciting day. As appreciation we gave the speaker team, CH Murali and Shrikant, some Swiss chocolate and original “Swiss Army Knives”.
In the evening after dinner, nearly all of our class attended small house party at Raj Comforts. There we have had an own living room. We drank some drinks, mainly beer and some non-alcoholic ones. This party was going on until 4 o’clock in the morning. Imagine how sleepy some of us were at the day after.
This summer the Center for Business Information Management organizes a study trip to India in cooperation with Cognizant Technology Solutions. During the period between the 17th and the 30th of July the class BIT09a will visit the 4 famous outsourcing destinations Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and New Delhi. Cognizant is going to open their doors in every city to give a deep insight into their daily business. Beside visiting companies there will be plenty of sightseeing and also a sight behind the curtain of a unique India culture. We’re sure it will be an impressive experience for the students and also for the organizers.
We’d like to take the opportunity to express our gratefulness for the support given by Cognizant. Without Cognizant it wouldn’t have been possible.
We hope we’ll have an interesting study trip without any accidents. Stay up to date and follow the students on this blog!
The following places will be visited:
Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process outsourcing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industry and business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50 delivery centers worldwide and approximately 112,500 employees as of May 1, 2011, Cognizant is a member of the NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performing and fastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at www.cognizant.com or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant.