Business Culture: MMG in India

It’s 11:00 AM on Sunday morning in New Orleans, and my classmates and I have just landed at MSY after a grueling 25-hour journey home from Bangalore.  While I’m excited to have my feet back on US soil, it is with great sadness that I leave behind India and the incredible experiences we’ve had there over the past week.  

This trip was not without its challenges- from the onset, with flooding in Chennai, the group had to adjust to major itinerary changes, rescheduling flights and venues with little notice.  But we were lucky to have Tulane alum Rahul (last name) as our liaison in India, and with his help our trip leaders pulled off nothing short of a miracle.  Our entire trip was relocated to Bangalore, and we were able to have all the same business and cultural experiences that were intended to be split between the two locations in one.  

This was my second trip to India, and my first time in the southern region of Karnataka.  On our first day, we spent time seeing the beautiful temples and botanical gardens of Bangalore, and experiencing some of the culture the city had to offer.  This set the backdrop for the rest of the week, which was predominantly spent learning about the many thriving businesses and start-ups of Bangalore’s biotech and financing community.  

Meeting powerful female entrepreneurs like Director and COO Kavitha Iyer Rodrigues of Theramyt Novobiologics was a particular highlight of the journey for me.  Comparing and contrasting the differences in start-up and corporate cultures between India and the US provided me with a better understanding of how global business is conducted between countries, and the sensitivities necessary to understand how things work in cultures different from ones own.

Business Culture

India’s great sense of community, communication, and collaboration in both personal and professional settings was a difference that stood out to me in particular.  At each company we visited, the interconnectedness of the roles each individual played within the business was very obvious to me- each person was dedicated to the greater vision of their workplace.  This was especially clear at Dell India, where we had the privilege of speaking to members of various elements of their Data Analytics department.  Each person had a perspective to provide on their specific job, but also on the roles their colleagues play at the company, and how they all tie together to produce the services and products provided to customers each day.  

I cannot express enough what a privilege and a learning experience this trip was for me and for our group.  I was able to meet incredibly talented and gracious people who shared their successes and challenges with us, and gave us great insights on what it means to be a part of the global business community.  On my favorite day of the trip, we were able to visit the NGO Parinaam, and learn about the services they provide to underprivileged women and children in Indian communities across the country.   

In the afternoon of that day, we visited two villages to observe microfinancing seminars for the women of each community, and engage with them to ask and answer questions about each other’s lives.  This experience is the one I will never forget, and the one that I hope will bring me back to India in a professional context. I’m excited to return to Tulane after winter break with this trip fresh in my mind, and for what the next chapter of the MMG program has in store.  

Clare Tuck