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January 17th 2013
Published: January 22nd 2013
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Infosys CampusInfosys CampusInfosys Campus

A very impressive business model
Thursday 17 – Friday 18 January 2013

Thursday starts with a trip to Infosys campus. Infosys is a huge success story for India and the men behind the software company have created a global success story over the past 30 years. Infosys is a NASDAQ 100 company with offices across the globe. They employ more than 50,000 people and this Global Education Centre in Mysore is like a holiday village for the thousands of trainees who stay here every year. The company believes that staff will work better and train harder when they are well looked after so the site has its own accommodation, food court, bowling alley, gym facilities, cinema, swimming pool and even shops, housed across 110 buildings. It is similar to a Centre Parcs holiday camp in the UK, except top software experts are learning their trade here. It seems quiet on our visit and we are told this is the effect of the recession in the west. Despite this, the company still appears to be leading the way in training and client satisfaction.

At Mysore Palace, we get VIP treatment and are allowed to visit some areas which are closed to the public, including a room displaying all of the weapons used throughout the history of the palace and then a taxidermy room. The animals displayed here are amazing. The palace itself is beautiful and well maintained. The prince still lives in part of it.

For the meeting tonight, Anu, Nimisha and her friend all want to dress me up in a traditional outfit. I don’t mind at all as they spend more than an hour wrapping me in some beautiful silk, adding gold jewellery and a bindi for the finishing touches. Nimisha has also put mehendi on one of my hands. It looks fantastic and feels very elegant.

Early start for a Friday as I’m joining Nimisha and her friend on their daily walk around the local lake to watch the sun rise. It really is beautiful, though the girls are feeling the cold. We joke that they should try getting up on a January morning at home, then they will know what cold is!

Today we visit Jaganmohan Palace to take in the artwork on display. There are some beautiful pieces here, including furniture and trinkets, and many have links to the British history of India. We head onwards to Bandipur Tiger Reserve, which turns out to be quite an experience for some of the group! As well as seeing hundreds of wild boar and monkeys playing and carrying their young, we see some tamed elephants working in the national park. The park covers hundreds of square miles of forest land and the team here are working to protect the area and increase the number of wild animals living here. Before we take our safari trip, we are given a lodge to relax in. After a tour of the information centre, we make use of the lodge. However, one of the monkeys got a bit too close to Angie for comfort and started hissing, before trapping Nicola on the balcony as it tries to make its way into the lodge. Luckily, a security guard came to the rescue! Honestly ladies, I leave you all alone for ten minutes and you can’t cope!!

On the safari, we are lucky enough to see a huge variety of wild animals, including a herd of elephants. It obviously wasn’t our day as one of the elephants also attempted to warn us off while protecting its young. Little bit scary to be honest!

Tonight we get a little bit of time with our hosts and I have a discussion with Anuradha about their local newspaper and the stories and adverts it prints. Todays headine is about a tiger attacking a local photographer! Some of the job adverts are very discriminative but Anu explains that it also works the other way too. She has campaigned for years to provide better employment opportunities for differently able people and it is paying off now and they are seeing results. It is hard to believe that it’s already our last night in Mysore! The Nandakumar family have been lovely hosts and it has been great spending time with them here in their home. The food has been particularly nice!

Tracy x

Additional photos below
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Nimisha and her friend showed me their favourite place

22nd January 2013

Safari transport
Exciting times with the wild animals, but some kind of armoured car would have been my preference in the circumstances, rather than a converted jeep. I think you're all very brave.

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