This article was originally published in the summer 2013 Harker Quarterly.
In late March and early April, students Neeraj Baid, Neel Bhoopalam and Simar Mangat, all grade 12, traveled to India with Chris Nikoloff, head of school, and Jennifer Walrod, global education director, to learn about entrepreneurship there and see the cultural and natural wonders the country has to offer.
Eager to learn about India’s business and technology culture, the group visited a number of important spots throughout the country. One such spot was Gurgaon, where they met with the founder of India’s largest accelerator – a firm that supports entrepreneurial enterprises – and learned about how the dominance of the mobile phone in India will have a profound effect on how business develops in the country.
They also visited the data center of SiFy, one of the biggest Internet service providers in India, and T-Labs, an accelerator designed to assist the ventures of entrepreneurs in the Internet and mobile data fields. There they met a 16-year-old prodigy who is an entrepreneur and examined the business plans of several startups.
Not ones to let a trip to such a culturally-rich country go to waste, the Harker contingent also visited many of India’s spectacular sights, including Delhi’s Lodhi Gardens, the Agra Fort and, of course, the Taj Mahal, to name a few. They even met the maharaja of Jodhpur, who was gracious enough to give the students an audience with Indian royalty.
Toward the end of the trip, the students visited The International School Bangalore (TISB) to participate in the Idea Challenge Competition, which they ended up winning, and tour the school campus, visiting classrooms and observing the life of TISB students.
The students kept an online journal of their adventures in India, which can be found at http://indiatrip.harker.org.