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Jun
19

Two beautiful days with the students of Sam Walton College of Business

“Cross cultural interaction not only teaches us that people have different beliefs, but that people seek meaning and understand themselves in some sense as members of a cosmos ruled by God.”
My friends from FIIB and I were so excited to meet the students flying from the Walton College of Business as we prepared to host them for a weekend that we couldn’t wait for the weekend to arrive. On 18th, we welcomed the delegation from WCoB comprising of 14 students and 2 Faculty members from Walton College of Business. The students – either pursuing graduate and post graduate courses in management at the University, Prof. Vikas Anand and Prof. Alan E Ellstrand were really excited to explore the city. We assembled in the Faculty lounge at 9 am. Our first activity started with a Market Research Group Activity. We had been divided into 4 groups, my team members were chosen to be Anchal Bedi, Rohit Kumar Jaitly, Teah Bidwell, Lauren Davenport, Craig Mahan and Kristen Raney. We got exactly 20 minutes to select a topic, and my group decided to go for a comparison between Formal and Informal market. The main objective of this research was to observe and analyse the behavior of consumers when they come across formal and informal sources of communication, and to determine which source affects their buying behavior the most. To do the same, we decided to go to Ambience mall in Vasant Kunj. While enroute, we exchanged information on American and Indian lifestyles,cultures, politics, education system, work culture etc. After tedious observation at the mall, noting down prices of various commodities and speaking to many customers, one major difference my American friends observed was that when the malls in India were compared to US, there was a higher number of staff personnel in India while the cost of the commodities was much cheaper.

From a centrally air conditioned Shopping mall, our next destination was Sarojini Nagar Market. Delhi’s summer with 44 Degree temperature couldn’t let our enthusiasm die. Infact many times we noticed WCoB students being more active and energetic without minding the hot weather. Here as well we interviewed many customers and got a clearer picture of main factors that influence Indian customers buying behavior.
After compiling our data and observations, we went back and assembled at the hotel in Defense colony where the American friends were staying. The groups were then asked to plan an interesting activity for next day, which should be informational and enjoyable for all the students and as a group we concluded that we would explore the Cuisine of both Indian and American cultures.
We then moved towards FIIB for a joint class session with the students in WCoB School, Fayetteville, Arkansas

The lectures were given by Mr. Manish Kheterpal (Chairman, FIIB) on Indian Investment Climate and by Mr. Alan Ellstrand (Progessor, WCoB) on Comparison of emerging economies.
The second day of the exchange program started with “Amazing Race”, for which new teams were formed and the rules of the race were as follows
The teams had to cover the following places
New Delhi Railway Station (Ajmeri Gate Side):need to click Photo at Platform 6 with the sign showing.
Coasta Coffee in Janpath : need to Buy coffee –keep the receipt
Emporio Mall: Need to click the picture in front of it .
Roopak Spices—Ajmal Khan Road, Buy a spice and bring receipts.
India Gate: Need to click Picture
The group that finished all the tasks, and reached the hotel would be declared the winners. The groups had to keep in mind that altleast three modes of transportation were used and the total travelling expense should not exceed 1000 rupees. The experience was beautiful and my team was judged as the first runner’s up.
We then proceeded for the activity we had planned the previous day. We decided the menu and went to purchase the ingredients from the nearest market. It was decided that FIIB Students would teach WCoB students taught how to prepare typical Indian food items like Chicken curry, Sooji halwa, Roti, Indian chai(tea) and students from WCoB would teach the FIIBians how to prepare “Apple pie”

It was an awesome experience for me to cook with the wonderful students from WCoB as we explored the cooking and eating cultures of both United States and India. At the end we served the food which we made to the entire delegation.
We then moved proceeded to Sagar Ratna where WCoB had hosted a dinner for FIIBians. During the dinner, Mr. Alan Ellstrand declared the 1st prize for the best learning and enjoyable activity and we were elated to hear our name!
The time to bid farewell came faster than we thought but as they say
“The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye…until we meet again”

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