It was a strange feeling; the five of us were sitting together at the McDonald’s in Frankfurt Airport knowing full well that within the next 24 hours, we would be dispersed across the entire globe. While 3 of us were headed to America, one was off to Australia and I caught a plane destined for Mumbai just moments before they closed the boarding.
Shortly after landing, it became clear I was no longer in a country of order and rules. I was in India! Not only did I have to wait more than 1.5 hours to get my bags, I also had to run around looking for the hotel pick-up service.
Look at Mumbai.
But as I would come to find out over the next 10 weeks, such situations are commonplace on the Indian subcontinent.
Sales in India
SMA has an office in a pretty, relatively new and modern section of northern Mumbai. Unlike many of SMA’s international offices, all the employees are Indian at this location.
Despite the language and cultural barrier, life together went pretty well. We did a lot together, exchanged ideas and laughed. During my internship, I was to support the colleagues in the local sales department. I took over the ‘island solutions’ tasks and tried to teach our Indian colleagues what I had learned about these products back in Germany.
In my free time, I tried my best to make Mumbai unsafe, but what can I say; it’s harder than it sounds. This city is simply insane. In an area ½ as big as Berlin, there are more people than in all of North Rhine-Westphalia, our most populous state. You see people who are swimming in money along side those who aren’t even sure they’ll survive the night. You see and smell the atrocious hygiene standards, you need 3 hours in the car to drive a distance of 20km and you ask yourself how people could possibly go swimming at the thing they call a beach. In summary, I could never live in this city, but it was still a great experience which I would be happy to repeat. After all, it is through such experiences that we really learn to appreciate what we have here in Germany.