I write this on the plane ride back from my extraordinarily quick trip to Mumbai. In total I was in country for a shade over 2 days meaning my trip to California next week for the MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Summit will be longer!
Many of you reading this already have had multiple India experiences so I won’t bore you with the expected views from my first trip, but I do have a few quick observations.
- The traffic in Mumbai is, of course, indescribable. Even though I expected it, I wasn’t prepared for it. One of my Indian colleagues put it succinctly: “It operates on an understanding.” Exactly.
- And the same goes for the poverty. I had heard all of the stories and seen it on TV and in the movies, but until you see it first hand, you can’t really grasp its full impact. For me, that just makes the spirit of the Indian people and their success all the more impressive.
- While I think that jet lag’s impact on your body is certainly real, you can trick your mind into just about anything. Tired yes, debilitated no.
- As I have written before, nothing can replace the face-to-face. We had so many productive conversations with people that we had only talked to by phone. Now we have a mutual understanding of each other’s needs, and how to be mutually successful
- While I was there, I interviewed a candidate for a position on my team. I wish I had prepared better, it wasn’t quite like interviewing here in the US.
- And lastly, nothing embodies the spirit of the culture than this story: One of our team members is about to move to Boston from Mumbai. Despite having never been to the US, and certainly not having driven a car in the US either, he was about to buy a car in Tampa. He thought the drive might only be 16 hours or so. Even though it’s more like 28 (driving non-stop) to be completely undaunted about moving to the US, having never visited, and perhaps not realizing that we drive on the other side of the road, he thought nothing of making a “16” hour drive in his new car.
In sum: no challenge is too daunting, there is nothing that cannot be done. I am truly impressed.
India, see you again in January. Looking forward to it already.