One of the many things that surprised me upon my arrival to Pune was the proximity of city's poverty stricken regions to its industrial hub. On one side of the road is an imposing span of office buildings and factories that continues for miles, assembling everything from steam boilers to pressure gauges. On the other side, a mere few hundred metres away, a large collection of shanty houses lies in stark contrast to the nearby manufacturing facilities.
It is heartwarming to see that this disparity isn’t ignored by the companies in the area. In response to the lack of affordable healthcare available, my employer, Forbes Marshall, opened a fully equipped medical centre on it’s grounds open to anyone, where treatment will cost a patient only 2 Rupees (about 3 cents).
In terms of office work, hours in India are longer, meetings are much more lively, and the food in the cafeteria is way more spicy! In Pune, the office floor is alive with the hum of chatter between co-workers - intermittently punctuated by a loud siren that signals the end of shift for the factory workers next door.
Working in India has really opened my eyes to the cultural differences that exist in and out of the workplace from country to country.