Assuming you have been told (or your asked) to go to Bangalore to spend a week with your India team, what’s the best set of things to do? How can you get work done and at the same time enjoy what Bangalore has to offer?
This is one person’s view – YMMV.
1. Most likely you are arriving either from Europe (East coast – NYC, Boston, etc.) or via Singapore (SF, Seattle, etc). You are going to land in Bangalore directly (if you arrive from Bombay or Delhi, ignore this point) late in the night (later than 10 pm). All international flights land late at night. Use that to your advantage. Get a quick eye (an hour is fine) on the plane. With the new Bangalore airport its likely going to take you an hour or two to get to your hotel. A pre-paid taxi is the preferred route (if you have not already made arrangements for cab) to get to your hotel.
2. Get some sleep to get over the jet lag. If you’re still hungry, grab a quick bite with room service (since most Bangalore restaurants are closed by 10pm) and hit the bed.
3. Day 1: Early brisk workout in the gym (if provided at your hotel) or a quick run (if you wake up before 6 am) is ideal before the traffic hits. Stick to running around the hotel or ask your concierge for a quick 1-2 mile path. Most roads will have some form of pavement, but dont expect it.
4. If you are up to it a local breakfast (at your hotel) is awesome (idlis and dosas are great, and if your hotel serves Rava idli is a local specialty). Most coffee is served latte style, but you can ask for black if you wish.
5. Make arrangements for your taxi / cab ride to your office. If possible leave late since most companies I know that work here start work at 930. There are exceptions, but hopefully you are staying at a hotel close to your office. If not, plan on at least an hour of commute.
6. You will be served multiple cups of coffee (or water if you wish) throughout the morning, which you can choose to politely decline. Avoid a buffet style lunch the first day (since there’s a big propensity to nap later). I would also avoid salad and US style fast food. Be aware most Indian teams have lunch late (130 pm is usual) and its usually a 1 hour or more affair.
7. The lull of the afternoon is the best time to have back to back meetings with interaction & Q&A as opposed to presentations. By late evening you are most likely to be tired and sleepy, so I recommend a quick walk on M. G. road (if you are close to it).
8. Dinner at Three Quarter Chinese is would be my bet on day 1. Its a good mix of local and “Indian Chinese” cuisine and the ambiance is just right. Its moderately priced with your meal ranging from $15 – $20 per person with alcohol. They serve a killer buffet at lunch so if you wish you can come back another afternoon for a quick lunch.
9. After dinner I would recommend a walk down Brigade road to browse the shops. Hit the sack early so you can dance and experience the nightlife and dancing tomorrow.