Stillman Leadership Class of 2021 in India
For twelve undergraduate and graduate students, the spring break of 2019 will be a hard one to forget! We had the amazing opportunity to enhance our education by traveling abroad to India for eight days. This was the 11th year of offering of the Doing Business in India course by the Stillman School of Business, organized by Management Professor A. D. Amar. This year we traveled to the modernized ocean city of Mumbai, then to the traditional city of Jodhpur, and finally to the capital city New Delhi, with a brief trip out to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.
Our journey began with a nonstop, a 15-hour flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. On our first day, we visited HR College of Commerce and the Indian School of Management and Entrepreneurship, where we listened to presentations on the culture, academic structure and differences between India and the US.
During our second day, we took an hour long ferry ride to the historic Elephanta Caves of the 2nd Century BCE, which house the temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
On our third day, we were able to explore the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. Jodhpur is the second largest city in state of Rajasthan—literally the place of kings. We visited the massive, 15th century Meherangarh Fort, located on a sheer rocky ridge in the middle of the town. The views were stunning as we overlooked the blue and white-washed city. We stopped at the Jaswant Thada, which harbors royal cenotaphs built in white marble. We even got to sit on top of a camel!
We spent our last morning in Jodhpur visiting Victorian Palace, a construction company, and Sarvotam Apparels, a textile factory. At Sarvotam Apparels, we saw their long processes of printing cotton, where some steps took hours to complete.
Arriving in India's capital Delhi, we saw the government buildings, the Prime Minister's house, and the Gate of India located in the center of New Delhi.
Seeing the Sights
On the next day, after getting an early start to the day, we reached the courtyard separating us from one of the New Seven Wonders of the World—the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, built tomb for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, upon her request. As we entered the grand gate, which is considered a veil, the Taj Mahal slowly came into view. The gardens surrounding the Taj Mahal are beautiful and perfectly aligned. There are four ponds that connect to a main pond in the middle to symbolize the four jewels of Paradise. The whole thing was magnificent and breathtaking.
On our last day we visited two more universities. At Ramanujan College, some of the students took us on a tour of what was built of the new school. At the Birla Institute of Management Technology, we were able to tour their Atal Incubation Centre, a place for start-ups to be business ready, and attend their town hall meeting.
Our very last stop before boarding the flight home was the Akshardham Temple. The view of the temple was striking since we arrived at sunset.
Doing Business in India allowed us to really understand the culture, art, education, and businesses of India. India is a country with a rich history that is incredible to experience firsthand. It was a thought provoking journey, which would not have been the same if it were not for the people we met and bonded with. We formed friendships and memories that will last forever!