Taking a Brave Pill towards sharing Tricres’ business expertise
A week before I was due to go to India for the first time to share business expertise, my eldest daughter fell ill with a severe bout of tonsillitis. She was in hospital overnight and I thought she may have had to have her tonsils taken out immediately.
I offered to cancel my forthcoming business trip to India and stay with her.
“Mum”, she said, “you only offered to cancel your trip because you’re scared.”
She was right. I was scared and slightly annoyed that my twenty-one-year-old daughter had seen through my ploy. It was time to take my brave pill and put my big girl pants on.
This was to be my first visit to India, a vast, mysterious, beautifully exquisite and very foreign place to me. Way beyond the comfort zones of Europe or the United States. Not only was I travelling alone, but I was also meeting people in business I had only had the briefest of email exchanges with.
I was going to be relying entirely on other people’s knowledge and experience and that didn’t feel comfortable to me.
Heading to India
Happily, my flight was uneventful, if not very uncomfortable. I noted that no matter what the additional expense was, I would be flying at least business class next time. I arrived tired but excited in the early hours of Sunday morning: without my suitcase.
The hotel was very good and supplied me with essentials and a promise to chase up my suitcase in the morning.
I woke at half-past midday, thinking my watch had stopped. After checking my phone and confirming I had indeed missed half the day in the energetic and vibrant city of Mumbai, I quickly got myself ready and enquired about my misplaced suitcase. Nothing. No sign of it or anyone at the airline help desk either. A shopping trip was in order and, ordering a taxi from the hotel, I embarked upon my first real taste of Mumbai.
It’s about three times the size and scale of New York. It never stops. All life can be seen on the streets, from the homeless beggars to the ever-present street vendors, and taxi drivers. Every now and then a cow appears, tethered to the railings at the side of the road.
The streets are very dirty, with rubbish piled high and odd mounds of rubble that gather at the side of the road for no discernible reason.
The people are incredibly friendly, welcoming and helpful. I met extremely polite and helpful taxi drivers who do drive a hard bargain and shop assistants who simply couldn’t do enough for you. I even got cups of hot, sweet chai as I shopped.
Experiencing Mumbai and Their Business Expertise
Decked out in my new, very Western clothes (I went to Zara!) the next day, I headed to my first meeting. Deepak from FICCI (the Indian equivalent of the Chambers of Commerce) was so helpful. He made introductions to key industry business leaders and set up meetings for me the next day, leaving me free for a few hours on Monday afternoon to explore the city as a tourist.
The people of Mumbai work hard. Everyone works. It doesn’t matter whether it’s making tea, washing endless sheets and shirts in the great outdoor laundry or in the shops and offices. Everyone has a job to do and does it with professional pride. There are people living in shacks at the side of the road as well as glossy high rise penthouses and the thread that links them all is their work ethic.
The fire in people’s bellies is palpable. People compete for your attention and your custom. They work hard to make you feel happy and fulfil your requirements without being overly pushy or aggressive. I loved their energy and their enthusiasm.
Bangalore traffic was worse than in Mumbai, which I really hadn’t thought was possible. Shaju from the FICCI in Bangalore introduced me to the heads of the Institute of Project Management and we all felt that Tricres has something unique to offer to the growing number of entrepreneurs in the country. There’s a huge start-up initiative in the country which is being backed by FICCI and PWC.
After five days of hotels, aeroplanes, delicious food and warm welcomes, I was heartily glad to be home as well as sad to be leaving such a vibrant nation full of welcoming people. The question arose in my mind, ‘what on earth had I been afraid of?’
People in business are the same the world over. They want a good deal, value for money, a great product or service and they want to know their dealing with fair-minded and trustworthy people. Can you achieve that over Skype? A bit. There’s nothing quite like going to the country you want to trade with though and speaking to the people you want to work with. People always buy from people they like.
Yes, the Tricres coaching, consulting and training will be online. We’re already out in the world sharing our expertise with business leaders and entrepreneurs from start-ups to global law firms and banks. Our message is simple. We want to make it happen for you and your business, whether you own it or lead it.
Sharing our knowledge and business expertise with as many people as possible is our mission. So business owners and business leaders get the best chance to grow their businesses, succeed and create wealth for everyone.