Sunday, May 18, 2008

On the way to Bangalore

It's been about a year since I've been to India and I'm on the way. I know it's something that I need to do...and I pushed to take the trip, but I don't really enjoy the trip. It's 9 days away from my family who I will miss terribly. I also leave with the fear of wondering what will happen when I'm away. I don't expect anything terrible, but it just seems that whenever I travel, especially on an extended trip, either my wife or my daughter...or both...gets sick. And with no family around, I know that it's a lot of stress on my wife, especially now as she's super busy with 3 clients and not enough babysitting time.

And in addition, I have a jammed-packed week in Bangalore and Pune. I've got my day almost completely booked. But more than that, I'm sure, as usual, that I will be dining alone each night. For some reason, no one ever seems to volunteer to go out even one night. That's one thing that I miss about working for the Japanese. There you were never alone and rarely sober after work. I will always remember that while I worked at Kyocera, that every time I visited Japan they worked it out that one person would go to dinner with me, if not a group. And on my first trip to Tokyo, one of my colleagues (Mishima-san) spent the entire day with me on the weekend...with his wife...showing me around Tokyo. Well above the call of duty. But I believe it is the cultural importance of developing personal relationships in Japan that drives that. India is a much different vibe. Nice people all the same, but not near as collegial an environment.

Well here I am waiting at Heathrow for my connection here at the KLM Holideck lounge using free Wifi, drinks and snacks. But as soon as I found out that the BA Lounge had a spa, I was bummed that I can't get in there. Unfortunately, the BA Lounge is only for Club World and above. You'd think in an international airport like this there would at least be one of those quick massage places where you sit in the chairs like they have at rinky-dink airports in the US and even malls. With 16 hours of flights and a 5 hour layover, that would have felt nice.

1 comment:

Local World said...

Hi Glenn - Just wanted to comment on your observation on the differences in business socializing in Japan and India. I've lived in both countries, and think that the cultural importance of building relationships in India is at least as strong as it is Japan. I'd guess that the differences are more about how building relationships is done (definitely more karaoke and sake in Japan!), and the way in which your US-international business operations work together. Doing business in India today tends to be seen as "business as usual," and Americans often interact with our Indian colleagues so often (by phone, email and IM) that an in-person visit can seem almost ordinary. Yet if I ask for dinner, shopping trips, tours, etc., I find those requests are usually warmly received, and Indian colleagues are happy to act as hosts.