First day at Tata Motors

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May 22nd 2017
Published: May 23rd 2017
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Tata's 90 acre lake
Today was my first day at work. I am working at the Pimpri plant. A member of the legal team, Mr. Shinde, picked me up at the house I am staying in at 9 AM. From there, we began our drive to the plant. Pimpri is what we would consider a suburb of Pune, but do not be fooled by my use of the term suburb. The ride to and through Pimpri was full of some of the poorest and dirtiest places I have seen since I have been here. There are large slums on the banks of the rivers with mountains of garbage streaming into the water. Oddly enough, the roofs of these slums are mostly topped with satellite dishes. While I do my best in these writings to not focus on the negative aspects of this place, I would feel dishonest if I ignored them completely.

The drive to the plant was… intense. Pune during rush hour is a mad house. The street is filled with motorcycles, busses and compact cars. Only the very busiest of intersections have stoplights, the rest have speed bumps to slow traffic, but everyone keeps moving. This creates a chaos that even the most experienced American driver would not be able to navigate. Throw pedestrians and the lack of crosswalks into the mix, and that is Pune rush hour. Drivers only use their turn signals when they are turning, not when they switch “lanes”. While there are stripes painted on the roads for lanes, no one adheres to them. Horns are used constantly, especially when passing other vehicles. Traffic gets packed together so tightly that if I stick my hand out the window, I could touch the people in the car next to me. I do not think I let go of the “oh shit” handle for the entire ride.

I arrived at the factory around 10 am. The place is huge. At least 10 square miles with multiple large buildings in which thousands of cars are produced a week. I was driven around the campus on a tour bus and saw everything from the school where the techs are trained to the line where the interiors of cars are put together and then rolled off the line. Tata is an interesting company. They do not deny the impact that their factories have on the environment and surrounding communities. Instead, they work to minimize the detrimental effects of running such a large manufacturing facility. This plant has thousands of trees and other greenery planted all around the campus. This, I am told, reduces dust in the air and lowers the temperature around the plant by a whole degree Celsius, saving on cooling costs. Also, all the water used in the plant is treated and then pumped to a lake on the other side of the highway. This lake is about 90 acres and has a beautiful ecosystem filled with peacocks, cranes, frogs, snakes and fish. I took a quick picture of it, it is attached below.

The rest of my day was mostly just sitting around, signing the occasional document and making a few trips to different offices for a bus pass and permission to bring my laptop to work. Ganesh, one of the members of the legal team, was my guide. The office that the legal team is in is very unorganized. There are dozens of 3’ binders filled with papers and haphazardly stacked around the office. It is a wonder that anyone is ever able to get work done or find the things that they need. Still, I was given my own desk in a corner of the room with plenty of space. Tomorrow, I will meet the head of the entire company’s legal team, Mr. Pundlik. Then, I will be given my assignment for the summer and have more work to do.

At the end of the day, I took a bus back to the guest house. This will be how I get to and from work from now on. The journey takes around an hour to complete and the bus is very old and shaky. I am not complaining because this is the best way for me to see the city and there is very much to see. When I got back to the house, it was time for me to change rooms. I had been staying on the ground floor and now I am staying on the second floor. The room is about the same size but the two beds were pushed together to give me something a little closer to a queen size, which is great. The toilet is across the hall now, but I have solo access to the entire roof. The roof is a perfect place to sit at night and just listen to the sounds of the city and enjoy the ambiance of Pune. Now, I have a bus to catch in the morning, so I must sleep. Until tomorrow.


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