I forgot to mention that we had a first hand experience of the difficulties of having updated information available for your consumption. There's was a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that shook the neighbouring countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan but we were completed ignorant of that incident until the next morning when wifi services were restored. That made me wonder what we can do to better disseminate information to people in general, especially those relevant and critical ones depending on the location that you currently in. This is clearly not a challenge faced only by people in developing countries but people around the world. I'm sure if you were to be walking around the streets of Singapore and asking people about this incident, many would not have been aware.
So I finally managed to take a picture of the bag scanner located at The Raddison Blu itself. We can see that India is particularly good at the "application side of things". They are making use of resources available and using it in areas where a need is observed.
They are also very service oriented I must say. Just look at how they ended up arranging our toiletries on a towel in a neat and presentable matter tells us how meticulous they are down to the minute details.
If you are not convinced, look at the towel-folded animal art that is arranged on your bed after room service is completed.
Here's a better picture of the military personnel accompanying our convoy whenever we are out.
After 2 days in Guwahati, we packed our bags ready for a 4-hour bus ride to Shilong. Shilong is one of the smallest state in India and is 1,000m above sea level. The road was surprisingly smooth and has a great scenery throughout the journey. It was shared with us by a professor at the India Institute of Management (IIM) that they were newly built as Shilong is increasingly popular and recognized by businesses for it is known as the Scotland of India.
Here's another proof of their attention to details. They have reflectors placed on a divider that might be hardly visible without road lights at night.
Our first stop is at Umiam water sports complex where we enjoyed a scenic view by the lake. I must say that this is by far the best I have seen throughout my travel overseas!
Seems like something common that people in countries with large water bodies would do is to drive their vehicle down for a good car wash. It's like instead of the mountain coming to you, you go to the mountain kind of analogy.
The next place 2 minutes away is the Orchid Lake Resort where we had yet another delicious Assam tea and local snacks.
A few minutes after hitting the roads, there was a loud gas leak that was coming from our bus. The bus driver quickly got into action and performed the repair with the spare part at hand. I am impressed by how proficient in terms of understanding the innards of their vehicle and even bringing spares along. It makes me wonder if this is a trait of the Northeastern Indians for their meticulous character. I must say that none of us would probably think of carrying spares car parts or even bothering to prepare some if we are bringing delegates in our vehicle.
Quick lunch was served at Hotel Polo Towers as we had to travel further up the hill for the rest of the day itinerary. The weather is fantastic in Shilong at around 22 degree Celsius and that made wearing a suit less unbearable.
I am once again impressed by their creativity as a crew was preparing a Minion theme setup for possibly a birthday bash. Whoever thought of the idea must be one who is updated with latest happenings around the world and have the courage to try out new themes never attempted before. We may be living in a First world country having top rankings in various aspects but are we somehow limited in our creativity and guts to explore unchartered waters? I must remind you that Shilong is geographically located such that they are "cut off" from the region around them and they are situated up high as a hill state but yet this interesting observation was discovered here.
The first stop for the day is at the India Institute of Management or IIM in short.
The president gave us some food for thought and said that:
"One finger may not have the strength, but when all five makes a fist, that gives us strength."
IIM is the 7th of the 13 institutes in India founded in 2007. Students enrolling for their courses are required to take the Common Admissions Test (CAT). It is said that 2 million people take the CAT annually but only 5,00 people qualify for their offerings. That makes it a ratio of around 2.5% and it is pretty astonishing I must say.
Another interesting thing we learnt is that IIM offers a program only for executives who have at least 5 years of experience in the management role. This program requires them to spend 6 months in China as an intern at a local company. I'm not sure if you are amazed by this but I am pretty surprised to know a program like this exists between India and China.
Why China you may ask? India and China are seen as the 2 most important emerging markets in the World and other countries are constantly looking for business opportunities in both countries. Graduates from the program are highly sought after as they enable the company to venture into 2 countries were vast opportunities present themselves.
I'm glad that we came to this conclusion during our 4-month exchange in China that it's a country that cannot be overlooked and we have to partner them in the next 50 years ahead to enjoy growth and development ahead.
The final destination is at Rajabvan, otherwise known as the Governor's house built in year 1907. It was a really short interaction where delegates from each country were invited to introduce themselves, where they were from and their impression of India after 4 days of stay. We had to say that we were from the north/south/east/west area of Singapore since really, we aren't as big as our ASEAN friends. :)