MMG goes to India

So the trip to India is over and I have to say it was anything but ordinary. It started out with everyone having to reschedule their flights. We were supposed to fly directly to Chennai, only to learn that the city was practically under water and the airport was closed. We quickly changed our flights and got on track to fly directly to Bangalore. I think we all agreed this was a stressful way to start the trip, but the most important part was that we all made it to Bangalore safe and sound and ready to start our week. We were exhausted because of the 11 and a half hour time difference, but everything we did was interesting and kept us engaged

While we were in Bangalore we traveled to all different types of businesses. It was a really busy week, so I’ll just touch on each day. On the first day we toured a biotech start up called Theramyt. That afternoon we went to the Rail Wheel Factory, which is the company that supplies every set of wheels and axels to the Indian railway system.

Tuesday was probably my favorite day. We spent the whole day with a local non-profit called Parinaam. This NGO has four different programs that focus on financial stability, health, and education. We started the day out in the office for a quick meeting, but later we had the opportunity to go to two separate villages, which was extremely eye-opening. Parinaam is a really incredible organization working to make a sustainable impact in the villages, and the organization is seeing significant transformations in these communities

On Wednesday we went to a biotech incubator called C-camp that supported multiple India-based biotech start-ups through government grants. That afternoon we went to Dell analytics and met with all the major players of the analytics team from marketing to online to sales. This meeting really helped put into perspective how the Bstat class we took this fall with Russ Robins is used in the real world.

Thursday, we went to a start up called TeaBox. If any of you enjoy a good cup of tea I highly recommend subscribing to this company. Later that day we went to the Accel incubator where all sorts of tech start-ups worked, and then went to Accel’s headquarters. Accel is a venture capital firm and one if the partners there gave us some great insight in to how their company works.

Finally, on Friday we toured the Volvo trucks manufacturing plant where we saw the ins and outs of how Volvo buses are built. We finished our last day early which gave people time to prepare for the long trip home.

I know that all seems like a lot of work and no play, but trust me, we were able to have plenty of fun in between. On the last night we all went out for a farewell dinner and were able to fully unwind and reflect on how great the trip had been.

I understand that a lot of people might be afraid of the idea of traveling across the world- it’s a big deal. I will say, if you’re ever going to travel to an unfamiliar place, this is the way to do it. We had transportation to and from every place we went, we stayed in 5 star hotels the entire time, and always got fed SO MUCH. I swear we all gained ten pounds. It’s a scary idea for some, but the professors and travel guides make it an extremely comfortable and safe environment.

If the idea of traveling excites you, then this is perfect. You have an excuse to go across the world and you can stay and travel after the school portion ends! In fact, I am currently on a flight from Goa to Delhi. Later this week I’ll see the Taj Mahal in Agra, play with elephants in Jaipur, and see all types of monuments that will show me so much more about the culture and history of India.

All in all, the trip was great. If some of us weren’t interested in one company, we were extremely interested in another. There were very few dull moments, and everyone managed to stay healthy the whole time. I will leave India being extremely grateful for this opportunity and will most definitely be back someday.

Makayla Barton