July 27th, 2015
Hello from leaders Sarah and Jonathan! After a restful night, we emerged from our hotel and headed to Dilli Haat market for some final souvenir shopping. Dilli Haat market is a cultural market which subsidizes spaces for vendors from each region of India to sell their unique crafts, clothing, and food. (Families and friends: we’ll let the students share the gifts and details of their experiences here when you see them in a few days.) After the market, we ate lunch at a delicious South Indian restaurant (think dosas, uttapams, and coconut rice), then braved an intense but brief afternoon monsoon and made our way across town for a meeting with William Bissell, the general manager of Fabindia, one of the largest apparel companies in India. William is an old friend of Evie and Jeff Shumlin, and he graciously gave us an hour of his day to discuss his life and business ethos — we’d describe it as a college seminar with a good-humored, engaging, and truly inspiring business school professor. William led us through a pilot program that he and his colleagues tested: they sold shares of his business to the producers and store employees in order to test the effects of a ‘bottom-up’ model of capitalism. With a few quickly sketched graphs and diagrams, William gave students an idea of how a business can function without sacrificing any part of its ‘triple bottom line – social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and profit’ (his words). In fact, the model has been used as a case study at the Harvard Business School. As a final gesture of kindness, he arranged for us to be shuttled to the Delhi metro (by far the quickest way to travel during rush-hour) on our way to our next engagement. What was that next engagement, you ask? Obviously, one’s first time in India would not be complete without a Bollywood movie in all it’s epic glory! We spent the evening reclined (yes, reclined) in the seats of a luxury theater, eating popcorn and watching the summer’s record breaking blockbuster ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan” — check out the trailer here!
Now we’re on our way to Agra for the final step of our long goodbye to India. Tomorrow we will watch the sunrise from the Taj Mahal and visit Fatehpur Sikri before heading homeward via Delhi airport. Until then!
— Sarah & Jonathan