Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Back to where it all began...

Our first night in Ludhiana, Peter, Lukas, and I spent a long time in the business center printing presentation slides.  To set the stage, one computer had no internet, the other had no mouse.  I ended up using the computer with internet but no mouse to pull up our first presentation for the CEO, Mr. Jain.  An hour later, using keyboard shortcuts, and rolling the printer on a rolling chair to get close enough to connect it to our computer, we were finally able to print the presentation.

Our first night in the business center (the printer is sitting on a chair)

Now, on the night before our last day at Ludhiana Steel Rolling Mills, we were back in the business center for the second time, frantically trying to print our final report.  It seemed only appropriate that we would end our time here!  Previous printing attempts at other shops had not worked out for various reasons and we had run out of time and options.  Luckily, this time was much easier than the first thanks to a thumb drive and a couple of hotel staff that helped us manually print 2 copies of our 100 page report double sided!

Our final report!
The next morning, we got our final report bound at a local copy shop before presenting it to Mr. Jain, the LSRM CEO.  We recapped the presentation from the day before.  Mr. Jain is ready to begin the program and implement many of our recommendations right away - we were so impressed!

Binding our final report at the local copy shop
Mr. Jain reading our final report in his office

Our final powerpoint presentation the day before went very well.  Mr. Jain and about 12 other people, including Shruti, LSRM employees, and even an LSRM employee's 21 year old daughter interested in learning more about the program, attended our presentation.  After we presented each slide, Rajeev translated into Hindi so that everyone would be able to understand our presentation, which made our presentation pretty long.  In a culture where taking calls and leaving the room are common practice during presentations, we were so impressed that everyone stayed for our whole 1.5 hour presentation!  
Closing the presentation with Rajeev preparing to translate
After the presentation, we had a brief discussion and Mr. Jain then announced that the program would begin the following week!  We were so excited! 

Attendees at our final presentation
We are so thankful and appreciative to work with LSRM and really feel like we have made an impact that will benefit LSRM's CSR objectives AND benefit girls education in the Ludhiana community.  We have also made many friends that we will stay in touch with for many years to come!  Thanks to Mr. Jain, Rajeev, and everyone at LSRM!
Our last day at LSRM with many of the staff
Final day in Mr. Jain's office
Word of the day:balika shikshanam - girl child education

#ibmcsc #india22

Last week in Ludhiana!

The program that we will be presenting is the Balika Shikshanam program (girl education in Hindi).  More about the program in my last post.

Quick commentary on naming: We learned that a lot of people in India first think about the Sanskrit translation (the classical language of Hinduism) of a certain meaning to name their children.  Rajeev mentioned that he went through the same process to come up with our program name, so the program has a more formal name rather than a literal Hindi translation.  I thought this was a very culturally appropriate nuance!
Company sign outside the plant
During our last week, we visited another family and a school to understand costs of education.  We also gave each family we visited a framed picture of our visit to their home - they were all very excited! 
Presenting an employee with a framed picture from our home visit
 Most of our week was spent preparing for the final presentation and compiling the final report, but we did attend a hotel sponsored goodbye dinner with the regional manager of our hotel chain, which was very nice and generous of the hotel. 

With the regional manager of our hotel at the hotel dinner
 We also got a chance to walk around the plant again to take some pictures (see below).  We could feel the heat from the hot steel and was surrounding by lots of loud machines - such an active environment to be in!
Workers moving the steel to another rolling machine
Where they size the steel
Quality control checking out steel samples
Finished goods ready for transport

 Word of the day: chalo - let's go