Last month it was the first time I went to India as an expert for Women on Wings. I’ve been there before to bring some visits to an ICT-company, but as a client it felt very different than it was now. One of the first differences was travelling on my own instead of travelling with colleagues. I arrived in the night of Saturday to Sunday and came to a lovely little paradise in New Delhi; Lutyens Bungalow.
The first day was reserved to acclimatize and to meet Ronald and Ineke who run the Women on Wings office in India. We discussed the assignment with Jharcraft in Ranchi. After this meeting I made some preparations for the next days.
In the evening I had an inspiring diner with some other guests in the hotel, all from different countries and with very different reasons to visit India. One of them had lunched that day with Kailash Satyarthi, who had just heard he was the winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace! It felt like it glowed on us ;-)
Jharcraft requested Women on Wings to organize a number of 2 days workshops for the direct reports of the managing director. The topics: team work, communication, ownership and working in a supply chain. Ronald was told we could expect about 8 people in the workshop, but he said: “I’d not be surprised if we have 15 or maybe 25 people”. So, in preparation of the workshop I knew that it was up to me to set up a flexible program. And indeed, Monday morning we started working with a group of 25 people…
Committed to make a better India
The first day we had to get used to each other, or, in any case I had to get used to giving a workshop in English, understand the different accents of the Indians and trying to understand the daily issues they deal with at Jharcraft. The kind of exercises we did and our way of working were very new to the participants, but all of them were very enthusiastic and very open. For example, participants weren’t used to talk about private matters, but surprisingly opened up to share information about themselves.
One of the things that really touched me was the commitment towards their social environment. People are very motivated to make a contribution to their country by giving their best to Jharcraft. They want to improve and strengthen the organization to make a difference.
In the beginning of December I will go back for the second workshop. I will work on that with Annemarie van Holstein and, again, Ronald. I’m looking forward to it!