It is hard to believe we are coming to the closing stages of our fourth week interning with RUDI and the work we’ve completed on our project is simultaneously moving closer to the finish line.
To date we’ve made three long and tiring visits to Pij (a small town an hour and a half away from where we are staying) in order to carry out our market research into how RUDI products compare against competitors. We met with the Rudiben who are involved in producing RUDI products at the Pij processing centre and Rudiben who sell RUDI products to customers in the surrounding villages. We have also interviewed RUDI customers, Pij residents and local shopkeepers. The language barrier has been difficult to overcome. Our interviews have all been carried out through a translator and at times have required a double translation from Gujrati to Hindi and then into English. Being unable to speak the language makes the interviews challenging, time consuming and at times frustrating for us but we have (so far) successfully managed to gain an interesting insight into how the Rudiben operate and how RUDI is perceived. And if these interviews are tiring for us, we can only imagine how draining it must be for Siddharth (our Indian colleague who studies at IIM Ahmedabad), who is the main cog in translating from Hindi to a language we can understand.
We have planned a further visit next week to the Anand office, which is the main office in the district we are conducting research. We will interview the district coordinator, several more Rudiben and a few Leaderben. Successfully completing these interviews is vital for our ongoing analysis and will help us provide suggestions and recommendations to incorporate into our report which
focuses on areas of RUDI that could be improved.
Though this seems as if it would take up all of our time, we have still managed to meet many people on campus at IIM Ahmedabad, where we are staying during the Internship. From regular students, to exchange students, to kids taking English classes at IIM-A, there is no shortage of people to meet. We watched the Euro 2016 final with many French students who suffered the agonising heartbreak of losing to Portugal in extra time. We say hello to people we must have met at the beginning of our stay here, but quite honestly, who we don’t really remember. One of the highlights was playing football with kids from underprivileged backgrounds who are learning English. They showed us how football is played here with complete happiness as they slid through the muddy pitch which has been ruined in the past week from the heavy rainfall from monsoon season. The happiness of these kids has been shared with us from many of the people we have encountered and seems to be endless here in India.
Coming up next, we have planned a trip this weekend to Jodhpur, the second largest city in the Indian state Rajasthan. Jodhpur is famous for its forts and temples and has been nicknamed “the blue city” for its many buildings painted in blue. We will be travelling by the infamous Indian trains which we have heard a lot about and are definitely looking forward to.
Josh and Sofia, GEO SEWA Interns