In the last 2 months of 2022, I was given the opportunity to travel to India for a work secondment. I signed up to travel to India without any expectations, but the entire experienced turned out way better than I expected, all thanks to the warm hospitality I received throughout my stay in Kolkata.
13-18 November 2022: Training in Bangalore
One the main reasons of my work trip to India was to conduct upskilling sessions for our team members in India. As majority of our team members are located all over the country, we gathered team members located in the south in Bangalore for the week-long training. This was my 2nd visit to Bangalore after 2013.
Stayed in Westin Kolkata the night before and got he hotel to drop me off at the airport at 2pm for my 3.50pm flight. It's been quite awhile since I traveled with Airasia, and I didn't know Airasia India is a completely different company from Airasia until I tried adding my Airasia Big number.
My first domestic travel out of Kolkata airport was pretty smooth, but I learnt that I had to take out ALL electronics from my bag when going through security, which meant taking out almost everything from my bag. I had to take the bin and go through security all over again coz I only took out my laptop the first time. =.= Another thing I learnt was that pharmacy in India is also called 'druggist'...lol!
The flight was delayed by an hour and was completely full. Light refreshment was served but I didn't feel comfortable eating coz a guy sitting close to me was coughing and many people weren't wearing masks. I was ready to get away from the crowd after the flight.
Thankfully the hotel staff from Renaissance was already waiting at the arrival hall when I got out at 7.05pm and led me to the hotel vehicle. Bangalore is known for bad traffic and the airport is located quite far from the city so it took about an hour to get to the hotel.
My accommodation for the week...Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel. I could see the race course from my room.
The layout of the hotel is kinda weird with the swimming pool and gym located in a separate building.
It took about 15-20 min from our hotel to the office with the hotel pick-up and drop-off services. It was good that our office at RMZ Latitude was not located within the city so we were able to avoid traffic as we were going against the rush hour traffic.
Our team is completely remote so this was the first time many team members came to the office and met each other in person. This was the first training we conducted and I was glad it went well.
I was very impressed by the Blinkit app, a grocery delivery service. I could order whatever I wanted on the app and they'd be delivered within 10 minutes with live updates of the driver's location! Definitely one of the apps I used the most in India. =)
Swiggy delivery for lunches and room service for dinner.
No more working in pyjamas...lol!
Went to Orion mall on our last evening in Bangalore. Not glad to be stuck in traffic for 30 min to travel 5 kms but was glad to have Nandos!
21-25 November 2022: Training in Kolkata
Following the week-long training in Bangalore, we conducted another week-long training in Kolkata for team members located in the northern parts of the country. A full office is a rare sight after Covid.
Similar to Bangalore, this was the first time we brought a lot of team members together in Kolkata and it was the first time many of us met each other in person after working together for almost 2.5 years. As much as I enjoy working remotely, it was great to finally meet a lot of our team members in person and putting a face to the names we known for awhile now. =)
Team connectivity lunch at Tipsy Tiger.
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