An MIT that had a fantastic Impact on me!

MIT Visits Sri Lanka

When our friendly neighbourhood country came calling, how could we say no? The HCCB commercial team, in partnership with the Sri Lanka, Operations team, had sent a delegation from HCCB to work in the Sri Lankan market. We were not alone – there were 38 other participants, from across different markets, who would spend the week, working the Colombo market.

The format of International market visits is gaining in popularity within our organisation as the cross cultural learnings are phenomenal.

Here are a few things that I discovered, about the market visit format that is unique to our organisation and the beautiful paradise Island. (I must confess, I have only spent 6 months at HCCB, but I haven’t experienced anything like this in my entire career) -

  • An app kept track of our performance in the market, real time!
  • The social feed on this app ran more updates that my Facebook page
  • There were activations surrounding the outlets, the trader, the sales team and new products in the week that we spent dressing the market and getting it ready for the Sri Lankan New Year, ‘Avurudu’. The excitement levels were through the roof as we painted the city red!
  • There are some interesting flavours that are Sri Lankan favourites (like Fanta Cream Soda and Ginger Beer) – the international teams took an instant liking to them.
  • The enthusiasm that the team had to clean and arrange coolers such that we had the picture perfect cooler, had to be seen to be believed (My team was part of the top 5 teams!).
MIT Visits Sri Lanka

5 things about the paradise Island that I didn’t know

  • Sri Lankans don’t lose their cool in traffic. Nobody honked, no one abused, amidst long traffic snarls.
  • It is intensely hot and humid. Kerala feels cooler!! Keep your sunscreen, hats and umbrellas ready!
  • For the adventure freaks - right from scuba diving to surfing to trekking to paragliding to wild life safaris, Sri Lanka has it all
  • The usage of English is not as common as we might think. ‘Mudalali’s’ (shop owners) have surprisingly spent time in the middle east (as the job market was very challenging in Sri Lanka during the civil war) working so will try and converse with you in Malayalam or Hindi!
  • The local cuisine is very meat friendly. Although there is something for everyone.

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