Winding down in Mumbai

Sunday night was a long night for all of us, reaching Mumbai after 11 PM.  Most students worked in the plane and were awake until 3 – 3:30 AM  to finish their presentations.

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Monday was our most important presentation in front of the CEO and president of the automotive division.  There were 2 sets of presentation, one in front of the CEO and then another in front of the other senior management people.  Everyone looked sharp in their business attires.

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It is amazing how Mahindra’s leadership has been so helpful and has provided us valuable insights for our presentations. Before presenting to the president today, we had another round of quick discussions to fine tune our presentations.

Finally it was time for the big moment. One team member from each team presented the solution recommendations for 5-6 minutes with a quick Q &A session, followed by another 10-12 minutes detailed presentation on their approach to Mahindra’s issue.

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The CAP India team primarily worked on two specific projects related to order fulfillment and responsiveness of the supply chain system.  At the beginning of the semester, the India team was divided into four groups where two teams competed with each other on their projects. Today for the first time, each team got a chance to see the other team’s presentation. Every team came up with very unique recommendations for their projects. Mahindra’s senior management told us that ideas from students are always welcomed and taken into consideration whenever there is an opportunity to implement a new solution.

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Monday evening was fun window shopping and trying out sarees.

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Tuesday was filled with meetings at client office. Every team met with the client’s management team to get specific feedback for the gaps that we had in our reports. We will submit our final reports on Thursday (last day of CAP India).

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Tuesday evening was planned for a Birthday dinner for those students whose birthday falls in May.  The party took place in Café Leopold which is one of the most famous and very common hangout place for tourists. This is the same cafe where the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks happened. We had a great Birthday celebration for Yawande, Amanda, Matt and Shivan.

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We started early morning on Wednesday for Nashik plant visit.  It was a four hours bus drive. We visited one vehicle body shop, one vehicle assembly line shop and the vehicle stockyards.  Whatever we learnt during the last five months as part of Cap project was right in front of us.  The plant was very clean, and organized.  We saw “inventory on wheels”.  Mahindra has very high tech robotic body framing process for manufacturing the bodies. There is a training program known as “Gurukul” whose concept is “I’ll do, we’ll do, and you’ll do”. The training is for improving ability and skill for precision manual movement, quality, safety, speed and fluidity. We came to know that “white” is the most preferred color across all models and variants for Mahindra’s top selling vehicles.  While visiting the stockyard, we got a chance to see the new Verito Vibe model which is yet to be released in June.

In this Nashik plant, there are approximately 5% women among the workforce. Women are mostly in the white collar jobs of quality and R&D. There are no women in the shop floors.  We saw sustainability as a high focus across all areas in the plant. There are big initiatives in planting trees, water conservation, reducing carbon footprint and electric/hybrid vehicles.

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Wednesday our day ended with a vineyard tour, wine tasting and dinner at the winery.  We went to a place called “Sula” vineyards. The logo is the face of sun that symbolizes male and female in India. The tour guide informed us that harvesting in this winery happens between January and March.  During the tasting, the guide explained that tasting involves primarily 4 S’s: See, Swirl, Sniff and Sip.

Here’s Haritha enjoying every sip of the wine !

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I must say a few lines about our beloved TA who accompanied us on the CAP India trip. He became a favorite to all the students , not because of how he helped us, but how we had to make sure he is with us everywhere and does not get lost !!!  As you can see here, he seems to have enjoyed every moment of his trip with us.

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As I write this blog, I ‘m realizing how fast the days flew by since we landed here on 11th May. The memories that we created here will be etched in everyone’s mind, if not forever, at least for a long time. I did not realize before this project why second year students and faculty always told us that CAP is an amazing experience; even though I’m from Indian origin and have been brought up in India before moving to the US, this time I saw Mumbai and New Delhi from the eyes of an international student.  It was very interesting to see how everyone in the team talked about cricket and watched IPL games, tried out variety of spicy Indian foods and did not bother about the heat and the dusty weather.

Tomorrow is our last day here in Mumbai and then everyone goes their own way of either returning back to the US or to other countries for summer internships.  This is my last blog from Mumbai.  Here’s a photo that represents our CAP project.

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See you all in the fall…..bye

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