Just another day at the office ……Not!

Just another day at the office ……Not!

My “work travel adventure” has almost come to an end,. 5 very special days ….

I had been warned: the first day you will be thinking “how did I get here”, on the second day you will be utterly confused, but after that it will get better. And, indeed, that was what happened. The first day was all about meeting people and taking in all the information (a lot!): about the current pilot, who does what and how, what is the company’s long term vision … Add to that: rush hour in Noida (just east from New Delhi and part of the National Capital Region which also includes Delhi and Gurgaon), the climate (from the heat on the street into the “fridge temperature” in the office and back again), tuning in to “Indian English”, quickly getting used to new jargon (“no, the pilot is not in you pee” … uhh, you pee? … then I remembered, that must be U.P., Uttar Pradesh, the state in which Delhi and Noida are located. In short: great to have to deploy all one’s senses!

Day 2: field trip! Getting a look and feel of what we had been talking about the day before. Travelling through the rural area around Gohanna (not always on tarred roads!) and talking to female farmers about their ideas and expectations. Interesting stuff and very good to learn about all the details involved! I was especially impressed by the women: assertive, knowledgeable, well informed on “market conditions” and very outspoken about their part in the concept.

On day 3 Deepika, my Women on Wings colleague, and me presented our observations to all those involved, discussed our findings and summarized it all. This led to new insights on both ends and the company’s conclusion that first some homework had to be done: talking things through within the company. And so I had the next day off.

And what do you do on your day off? Be a tourist. In the morning I walked to India Gate, strolled around and hopped on the HOHO-bus. A bit nerdy maybe, but an excellent way to get an overall impression of the city.
After the last sight of the day the heat had sunk into my legs and I decided not to walk any longer ………… so I took a tuktuk to Khan Market and do some shopping, because I would really love to walk around in a pretty kurta like the Indian ladies. And Khan Market was supposed to be “the place to be”. But after a long hot day, covered in dust I did not have the patience to try out enough models … maybe next time (I hope there will be a next time)!

Today, day 5, back at the office. Unbelievable, the work that had been done on day 4! Not only had every detail been discussed, they had even started to do some research and mapped out alternatives. Great job! So, in the end, this day too went as I had been told: “at the end of the week you will go home with a good feeling”. And they were right. We have been working on a meaningful concept and I am confident that it will lead to even more meaningful and sustainable business in the future.

Namashkar Delhi and many thanks to Drishtee and Women on Wings for this very special experience!

Hilke Tol

“In order to reach our goal of one million jobs for women in rural India, we have a strong focus on job creating business models in textile and food & agri.”

Ellen Tacoma
Co-founder at Women on Wings

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