I arrived at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, also known as Hyderabad International Airport, in the middle of the night. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has been named amongst the world's top five airports in the annual Airport Service Quality passenger survey along with the airports at Seoul, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing. I can certainly attest to the efficiency with which I was able to retrieve my bags and pass through Security and Customs. Raju, a member of the VisaPro team was waiting for me at the railing outside holding a big sign with my name on it. Together we grabbed a taxi and headed off into the darkness. We arrived at VisaPro's Indian headquarters where I was to be lodged and I was fast asleep by 5:30 am.
For the next several days I hardly left the VisaPro office, being so engrossed was I in preparing my portion of the six workshop presentations we were to give in six cities all across India. VisaPro attorney Thomas Joy arrived from Los Angeles a few days after I arrived from San Francisco. Attorney Joy had presented at VisaPro workshops in India on two previous occasions in addition to several presentations at workshops in the U.S., so he required less preparation.
My jet lag persisted for several days, most likely because I remained inside all day working on my workshop presentations, Next trip I will remember to take some long walks around the neighborhood during the day in order to experience the bright sunlight and become entrained to the local cycle of day and night.
Finally, it was the day of our first Doing Business in the U.S. workshop in Hyderabad -- our shakedown mission, as it were. The workshop and our presentations went off as planned and I was able to meet so many really nice people that I could hardly keep them straight in my memory. I was so impressed by the eagerness and interest expressed by the attendees and by the ingenuity of their business ideas.
That night after the final 1-on-1 Business Clinic was completed, we could finally say to one another, "Job well done. One down and five to go."
The following evening we flew to Chennai for the next in our series of workshops. Our presentations improved with practice and we met and interacted with more amazing business people seeking help doing business in the U.S. The following day, we did a little sight-seeing and I was able to touch the waters of the Bay of Bengal.
Our tour continued to Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai where I was able to touch the waters of the Arabian Sea under the shadow of the stately Gateway to India and in the presence of the magnificent TajMahal Hotel. Finally, we reached New Delhi, the last stop. I enjoyed the cooler weather in this northern India city. I must say, however, the people I have met in Delhi, and the workshop attendees and inhabitants of the other cities on our speaking tour, have been warm and inviting. I leave India with the desire to return next time as a casual visitor where I can enjoy the wild national parks, glorious beaches, rural countryside and the culturally rich cities that define the Indian nation and its wonderful people.
-Dr. James R Ziegler