Today was the first day we were with our client CECEODECON (Centre for Community Economics & Development Consultants Society). It took us one hour from the hotel to their headquarter office. Half of the time was lost as the taxi driver did not find the address of our client. I must admit that the numbering system of buildings was not clear to me either. Our taxi frequently stopped the car in the street to ask people of the way to our destination. After a while, and some phone calls with Manish, the CEO of CECEODECON, Manish promised to send someone to pick us up. As we were in the morning rush hour, the streets were full of cars, motorbikes, some camels, cows and a huge number of pedestrians. I was wondering how they will find us. While waiting, a motorbike rider stopped in front of our car checking us up in the car. It took a moment for us to realise that this was the person Manish sent to guide us to his office.
We finally made it to his office in the basement. We were introduced to Sharad Joshi, the founder of CECEODECON. We had long and very informative sessions that allowed us to better understand the client, its core capabilities and its challenges. It was an intense day with loads of new information to digest.
On the way home, we witnessed a procession for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, a Hindu festival in honour of the elegant-headed god Ganesha. In the front, there was a car playing loud music, followed by about 200 people all in a special bright red gear. This procession stopped the entire traffic as they crossed a main street. Interestingly, all cars stopped, waiting the procession to cross the street. No horns were used at this time and I did not see motorbikes squeezing in between the cars. I also discovered an elephant which likely was decorated for the festival, with a painted tail and some coloured stars on his legs…