Day 8: Chennai – Visiting Cognizant Academy

Address exchange

Group photo

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.

By Kristian Bubalo, Dario Cocchi, Simon Guldener

Day 7: Chennai – sight-seeing


Government Museum Chennai


MGR Memorial

Marina Beach

After waking up in the fabulous Marriott Hotel, sight-seeing was scheduled. The few steps between the hotel entrance and the waiting bus were enough to predict: It’s gonna be a terribly hot day!
First object to see was the Government Museum Chennai where we lionised lots of historic sculptures of Vishnu, Ganesh, Shiwa (not Mike), Buddha and his other friends. These sculptures were not as old as they seemed to be, some were “just” around 200 years. However, some were really amazing detailed elaborated. The zoological section showed all kinds of animals found in India, a few foreign species could be seen as well. Because the rooms of the museum were not cooled, everybody was glad to re-enter the bus, although we saw only few of the generally interesting museum.

The short visit in a park near the sea with the MGR Memorial and the Anna Memorial caused everybody to sweat, some only little, others a little more. It was quite muggy and hot, around 33°. Our last stop before lunch was at the “International Schrein of St. Thomas Basilica” where a mass was just in progress. The drive to the place where we were supposed to have lunch lead us through some lively streets. Tons of people, hectic traffic, markets, beggars and even artists could be seen.

After a typical Indian buffet and some moments of rest, our two buses carried us to marina beach, a part of the remarkable wide beach of Chennai. On our way along the sea to get to marina beach we saw empty parts of beach, fishermen maintaining their nets and finally the well populated area of marina beach. The 250 meters from the street to the sea were characterised by Indian children, as well as adults, extensively watching us. As swimming was prohibited, we soon went back to the buses.
The heat and moisture was heavy for us to take and we all were quite idle and powerless. Back in the hotel at 16:30 most went in their rooms, some went to the gymnastics-room and few took a massage.

By Kristian Bubalo, Dario Cocchi, Simon Guldener