These were some of the statements made by the German students of the Duale Hochschule Baden Wuerttemberg (DHBW) at the end of their 13 days – Business Environment India, International Student Exchange Programme which took place from 10th – 21st January 2016 at IGTC Mumbai. This international exchange between IGTC and DHBW has become a tradition as it started in 2012 and with each year it has grown in its significance and value addition for the German students as well as for the partnering institutes. This year, the 21 students were accompanied by Professor Volker Ihle, Dean of the Business and Engineering Programme at DHBW and Founding Director of IGTC India and the newly appointed Dean of DHBW Karlsruhe, Prof. Dr. Stephan Schenkel. During the course of the programme, Prof. Hans-Peter Mengele, Director General, IHK Karlsruhe and his wife also joined the delegation for a few days.
The programme literally got off to a “sizzling” start with the delegates being introduced to the famous Indian Sizzlers during the Welcome Dinner on 10th January 2016. Mr. Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, IGTC formally welcomed the delegation at IGCC on 11th and gave them an overall view on the bi-lateral trade relations and thereafter, the Mumbai Highlights bus tour gave them an introduction to the city which never sleeps. And the first day concluded with a traditional Gujarati Thali dinner.
The programme consisted of a mix of industry lectures on topics like Logistics, Economy, Marketing, Advertising and the Indian conglomerate TATA as well as company visits to Tech Mahindra, Mercedes Benz, Bosch Chassis, Siemens Kalwa, Godrej and the Associated Cement Companies (ACC). They also visited institutes such as the German Consulate General, Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and got a feel of the “charitable “as well SME side of Mumbai through the visit of Dharavi and the NGO IMCARES which works with children of Dharavi.
The practical aspect of the lecture on the Logistic Industry was demonstrated by a live interaction with a Dabbawala and IGTC students along with their professor demonstrated the cultural aspects of India and patiently answered questions such as – what is the “Bindi”, what is the right “dress-code” etc. Prior to visiting ACC they visited the construction site India Bulls Project at Lower Parel and from the 25th floor of the under construction luxury tower they were treated to a “top view” of Mumbai. And as one cannot leave Mumbai without seeing the Elephanta Caves and Crawford Market, those were also visited. At Crawford Market they got an impression of a “local” shop as they visited a perfumery and garment shop owned by an IGTC student’s family.
They were taught some Bollywood dance steps by IGTC students, who not only accompanied them to some of the programme points but also “entertained” and introduced them to the night life of Mumbai throughout their stay. The German female students were super excited and full of gratitude about their Mehndi session which the IGTC had exclusively arranged for them.
On 21st January 2016, the German students gave their final presentations that would help them to earn a grade back at the DHBW. Thereafter, they were taken on a nostalgic walk to Marine Drive to witness the sunset while sipping on coconut water before heading for the Farewell Dinner at The Village in Cuffe Parade on a double decker bus. And just like the start of their exchange it ended with a sizzling “impromptu” dance and song sequence at the restaurant where everyone present – from IGTC & German students along with their faculty danced and sang with such gaiety and were so much in sync with each other like the perfect Indo-German relationship.
This compact seminar was a very life-enriching experience for me! I learnt so much about the Indian culture in professional as well personal life. The Indians are very friendly people and this was very much reflected in the programme. I can only advise/urge everyone to take part in this exchange as it also visibly changes how one views certain things in life! – Moritz Obermueller, Business Administration and Engineering, Michelin Reifenwerke