Despite some twists and turns, Team Kopri – Smart City was able to successfully deliver our (almost) final recommendations to Viva Group on Friday, May 29th. If there was one thing we learned throughout the course of our trip and especially that last day, it was that doing business in another country, culture and style is no easy feat – especially if you are in India.
We found out Thursday night that a) our presentation location for Friday was not finalized, b) the timing of our presentation was not settled, and c) Viva expected us to have time to mingle, present, and eat a nice farewell dinner in the few hours before our flights that left at 10 pm. Understandably this stressed our team out a great deal as we were still putting the finishing touches on our PowerPoint. On Friday, we felt as prepared as possible and geared ourselves up for a great presentation. We arrived at a nearby hotel by 2 pm, but waited for Viva executives, employees, Dean Livingstone and others for about an hour-and-a-half. An important lesson to be learned from India — there is a great difference between the time we are used to, and what we nicknamed “India time.”
Regardless of whatever stress we were feeling leading up to the final event, in the end our team was very proud of the recommendations we were able to provide to Viva Group. Between the presentations on May 1st and May 29th, we deepened our research on what makes a Smart City, and more importantly we tailored our suggestions to Kopri Colony specifically. After the presentation we were able to speak with Monty, Viva’s CEO, who said he was very impressed with our work and delivery. We let him know that we would address more specific questions and suggestions he had about various sustainable implementations for Kopri in our final report.
All in all CAP has been an extremely valuable learning experience for our team. Not only were we able to gain insights into Viva Group and their hopes for smarter, more sustainable development, but we also learned about the different organizational behaviors, structures and intricacies that Indian business may entail. It will definitely be an important, memorable part of the two-year GWSB curriculum.