Everyone was up early Wednesday for our first group trip to London. We left St. Catz at about 7.25 to walk to the bus station, where we caught an 8.00 bus into the city. Once there, we successfully navigated the Tube to Canary Wharf, London's "new" financial center. We arrived in good time for our 11.00 visit with Infosys.
At Infosys, we had a great meeting with Arindom Basu, the head of European Operations. During our two hours together, Mr. Basu shared a little about himself and his "typical" day as a consultant with a global company. He gave us some background information about Infosys, which began in Bangalore in 1981 and now has 100,000 employees and a market capitalization of $200 billion. The UK office has 150 employees. Infosys focuses on business success in the "flat world," and its vision is to be the most ethical professional services firm in the world. Infosys is also a Top Ten "Green" company, and is involved regionally in a number of charity organizations. More generally, the presentation touched on the evolution of the consulting industry, the Flat World concept, and how to be successful in a global environment.
Our students asked a number of insightful questions before Mr. Basu began his presentation about cultural awareness and some of the major differences between the East and West as related to business. This turned out to be an excellent follow-up to Tuesday's class discussion.
Upon leaving Infosys, we had about an hour at Canary Wharf to grab lunch and explore the underground malls. We next headed to Piccadilly Circus, where we hopped on The Original Tour until arriving at Parliament Square. That was the end of our day together as a group, but a number of students stayed in smaller groups for the rest of the day. Many of us took a Thames River cruise from Westminster to the Tower of London. Some students took a "flight" on the London Eye, others shopped, and some met up with friends and other Kelley students who are currently studying at the London School of Economics. Dr. McDougall attended a West-End play, while I chose to see a musical. It turned out to be a late night for everyone, but we all made it back safely to Oxford.