First meeting with our clients

First meeting with our clients

Wow.. What a wonderful day it was !!

We started our way form Lucknow to Kanpur by car.. It was such a unique travel: we have seen the highways of India – do not even compare with the ones in UAE / Turkey / Europe – there were pedestrians, cows, bikes… there were 4 very close speed bumps before the toll gate that made us feel like we are in off-road.. there were a lot of very close moments to “touch” the cars in front of us ( I have no clue what was happening behind us !!). Andrew named this experience as a documentary, which is the best word for this experience.

Our new hotel, or let’s say new home cause it is a moth, is very nice, some of us were able to settle, some had to wait until noon. And at 11:30 the moment that we were looking forward to have has started. The representatives of each organization, VSO and IBM team were in the hotel’s meeting room. First Thomas has mentioned about IBM, IBM’s community services vision and CSC program. Then Mr Ganesh from Shramik Bharti organization made a wonderful and striking presentation about women empowerment: gender discrimination, female infanticide, child marriage, molestation/eve teasing, rape, sexual harassment… These things happen in most of the countries but the numbers are so dramatic!!

There was a wedding party in the hotel and after having lunch, I wanted to have a look. Cause according to what my friends used to tell me, the Indian weddings are always so splendid, the bride is so gorgeous. And I asked one of our clients (you can see them in the pictures below) if it is possible to see the bride.. They took me to the wedding saloon and found the bride cause she was in  a different place (they told me that she generally does not stay in the saloon with everybody.) She was so pretty!! But can you think of me ? Standing in front of a bride, looking at her with a stupid smile on my face like a little child. I could hardly say “You look so pretty. Congratulations” 🙂 We were just about to leave but the bride’s father took us to the saloon until the stage to see the groom who is from Australia. He was looking at me like “who is this girl?” and I again could only say congratulations.. Then bride’s father introduced me to the groom’s father !!!! Everything was out of control 😀  What could I say to the man ? I was trying to explain him that we were having meeting and I just wanted to have a look to the wedding etc etc.. I was totally red.. I told the client Sadhana that it is better that we go, trying to find a way to escape, but the father did not let us go and this time offered some food !! Of course they were all talking in Indian, and I was clueless about what’s going on.. God! This was crazy, I just wanted to see the bride, that’s it ! 🙂 Finally we made to escape.

In the afternoon session, the client’s introduced their organization, expectation from IBM team, and every team has introduced themselves as well project & team by project & team.

Team #Thematic AreaClientProject DescriptionTeam
1Women EmpowermentAWARD and DUDA (District Urban Development Authority)Creating a model city livelihood centre with enhanced focus on women Women Empowerment•Andrew Faya
•Franz Petrozzi
•Lisa Canha
•Wayne Meng
2Women EmpowermentShramik BhartiRecommend on Strategy and plans for creation of decentralized & sustainable enterprises for women SHGs•Andreas Stickel
•Angela Hopewel
•Natalia Sanabria
3EnvironmentCentre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (CGanga) established at IIT (Indian Institute of
Technology) Kanpur
Creating a dashboard for Ganga River Basin on selected indicators •Hasibe Goculu
•Qiang (Robert) He
•Tamara Harris
4EnvironmentUttar Pradesh Jal NigamDesigning Grievance app for citizens of Kanpur City Environment•Reuben Bettle
•Santiago Farfallini
•Stephen Strebel


And then we had an hour session that client and IBM team for each project could meet together to discuss further about the details of the project. From IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Kanpur, normally Professor Vinod Tare should have attended but he was in Amsterdam so we were told that Mr Rakesh Mishra should join. Unfortunately he was not able to attend too and he delegated the meeting to two people: Ankit and Chiranjib. Ankit is working in his phd and Chiranjib is doing his post doctora. First we listened to them and then asked a lot of questions to understand the requirements more: who are the stakeholders, what are the data points, how they measure the quality / health of the river, how the data is received by IIT Kanpur, if there is any current IT infrastructure etc etc.. There were some conflicting information cause we digged a lot more. So we agreed to have a meeting together with Mr Rakesh tomorrow morning. and thankfully Kavneet has also reached out to Mr Vinod to schedule a Skype meeting. So tomorrow is another big day for us, that we will meet Mr Rakesh and Mr Vinod and hopefully almost finalize the requirements, and exit criteria.

After the meeting, we agreed to meet at the lobby at 7 to go to a restaurant to celebrate Andreas’s birthday !! It was so nice of him and Satish to organize this dinner. We had Indian food of course 🙂 – I think I should stop eating Indian food cause they are spicy and although I am drinking 3 liters of water, I don’t feel it is enough, even having a very small and a normal breakfast –


(Fennel and sugar, a few pieces of each is eaten after meal to stomach, after that much spice, i understand that it is required 🙂 )

When we came back to hotel, we had another surprise: the hotel management has prepared a birthday cake for Andreas.. It should have been a very nice feeling.. Then Tamara and Wayne has brought up some IBM branded stuff like notebooks, bags, post-its etc etc that we can share with our clients. They have been given to them in US for this purpose.. I was thinking even I do not have those things :p

Now I am at the room, my baggage is still waiting full 😀 and I am writing these lines listening to the music of the other wedding downstairs.. VSO team has told us that this is the wedding season (not because of the weather but religiously) and there will be a lot of weddings. (Hopefully I will not be in such a situation again :D)

#ibmcsc #cscin37 #cscindia37

alladola, 20 Feb 2018, Kanpur

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