On 6 June 2018, the Eye on Asia programme series held its first talk on India with two speakers – Mr James Tan, a professional from the aviation industry and Mr Lalit Jagtiani, author of When Change Happens … A Story of Organisational Transformation.
Mr Jagtiani opened the session with a candid overview of India’s diversified cultures and environment from a local’s perspective. He provided an understanding of the unique characteristics of Indians as well as the traits of Indian professionals. For example, he cited a Thirupathi barber, who shaved off a small portion of a customer’s hair and went off to find other customers. Hence, the customer was forced to wait for the barber to return and complete the job. Likewise, the locals tend to complete one part of the job first and leave to find other customers. This results in a situation where companies have to wait for them to come back to finish the job.
The second speaker, Mr Tan, touched on the similarities and differences between India and Singapore such as a shared colonial heritage. As a Singaporean who lived and worked in India with a local team, Mr Tan further shared interesting experiences on housing, food, transportation as well as encouraged those seeking opportunities in India to keep an open mind, compromise when needed and blend in with the local community.
During the question-and-answer session, varied questions were put forth by the audience like the emerging industries in India, how to prepare oneself before going there, how to negotiate with the local companies and lessons which Singaporeans could learn from India.
This is one of the talks under the Eye on Asia programme series for everyone including young Singaporeans who want to explore opportunities in the region and beyond.
Wednesday, 6 June 2018
7.00 pm – 8.30 pm
Level 5, Possibility Room
National Library Building
Sharing in their personal capacities and drawing upon literary, cultural and anecdotal experiences, Singaporean James Tan and India-born Lalit Jagtiani present a contemporary perspective of India from the inside looking out and outside looking in.
Their aim is not to provide definitive answers about India today, but rather to raise candid questions and points of deliberation for a meaningful post-presentation discussion, to allow participants to form their own conclusions about the country.
About the Speakers
James Tan works in the aviation industry and is currently based in Singapore. His own passage to India started more than a decade ago when he visited Bangalore for an arts-based youth expedition project.
Revisiting India for an overseas posting two years ago, James continues to be charmed by this nation whose sights and sounds sometimes threaten to overwhelm but yet challenge his own assumptions on what it means to be human.
Lalit Jagtiani has more than 30 years of industry experience with over 16 years in Business Transformation.
He is the author of When Change Happens… A Story of Organisational Transformation, which captures his experiences and insights on organisational transformation. He currently works with SAP’s top accounts, helping to develop their new business models and leverage on the cloud, S/4HANA, mobile platforms and SAP Leonardo.
Lalit’s career has taken him across India and he has worked in cities from Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad to Calcutta, Bangalore and Cochin. His experiences in these diverse Indian cities and states have given him a unique cultural insight into living and working in India.