Monday, October 29, 2007

Taal Se Taal Mila - A Trip to Bhimtaal

Vaibhav Modi, our Sales HR Manager got a chance to take our Central Region Sales Team and families to Bhimtaal. Based in the heart of Kumaon, 22 Km from Nainital, the city of Lakes, Bhimtaal is named after the famous Mahabhrata character - Bhim - renowned for his extraordinary strength. Bhimtal is at an altitude of 1371 mtrs. and 4498 Ft. It has the largest of the lakes in this region.

Vaibhav shares “stunningly green landscapes, breathtaking view of Mountains and
amazingly peaceful surroundings alleviated my soul to the core. The resort
was situated amidst the beautiful mountains and amazing scenic beauty of
Bhimtaal. A refreshing trip to the lake, games and dancing around a bonfire
gave us all a time of our lives. I’d ensure such trips happen more often to
constantly give our employees the break they deserve and that too with their

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rapid RAFTaar

The rush of adrenalin when the raft swings wildly in the arms of a tempestuous rapid is a heady feeling that is called adventure. At a site called you can find out the various things that people have listed. Things they want to do. It talks about various dreams that people have. I know that one of the 43 things I wanted to do always was to go river rafting. And ... I did. The Human Resources team decided that we should celebrate a successful year by doing something that we would all cherish. The HR Meet for 2007 was held on a raft!

Partho Pratim Saha is one of the four people who brought rafting in a big way to India. The other three people being Ajeet Bajaj - the man who went to the North and South Pole on a ski, Yousuf Zaheer and Ajay Mehra.

Camp River Wild is about 27 kms from Rishikesh. The Pauri Garhwal area is gorgeously pretty and being there on a full moon night made it even more so. Watching the sands turn silver in the moonlight and the quiet gurgling sound of the Ganges flowing by creates a magical concoction. Ever tried going for a midnight trek though the jungle in the moonlit night? You have to try it out is all what I can say.

The next day we went Rafting. Rapids are graded on a scale of 1 to 6. You do not want to encounter a grade six rapid if you aren't a skilled rafter. I discovered that the rapids have unique names and that there is a story behind each name. The first one we hit was grade 3 rapid called "Sweet Sixteen" after the romantic story of a sixteen year old British School girl who came there a couple of years back and fell in love with her rafting instructor. The next one was called "Mala's Curves" - Mala is the name of the village where the rapid is and not what you thought.

If you meet anyone from the FritoLay HR team, don't forget to ask them about the two major bakras (practical pranks) that some enterprising souls played on the group. The group has been sworn to secrecy so that the same tricks can be recycled and pulled off on some other unsuspecting group in the office.

Monday, October 08, 2007

World Cup At Frito-Lay

World Cup At Frito-Lay

There was a blast at Frito-Lay office in Gurgaon on the eve of India Vs PAK-T20 FRONTIER. The spirits of employees was visible every time the Indian cricketers hit a six. Each time a bowler took a wicket, you could hear the screaming right across the hallway.

In the trade mark Ganguly style – and possibly even Salman Khan “ishtyle”, some of our employees at Financial Services office removed their shirts when the Indian bowlers took the last wicket and make victory a reality.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Environment Friendly Amsterdam

"Be careful! Watch out for the bikes!!"

The locals warn the group of us gawking tourists as try to navigate our way through the city of Amsterdam where the Human Resources Conference of PepsiCo International is being held. From 24th to 27th September, the city of Amsterdam sees repeat performances of the above variety. There are 600,000 bikes for 700,000 residents of Amsterdam and 220,000 trees. There are 2500 houseboats that are sprinkled across the 165 canals that are dug in horse shoe form to garland the city.

Parking a car - even that tiny car that you see below - is a prohibitively expensive proposition. So bikes become the mode of transport for everyone. It is environment friendly and has no fuel bills. That goes well with the PepsiCo philosophy of Performance with Purpose that has Environmental sustainability as one of the three planks of our growth. The other two being Human Sustainability and Talent Sustainability.

With environment sustainability an important component of the “performance with purpose” strategy, PepsiCo has decided to replenish whatever it takes from the environment. “We’re going to reduce our water usage and move more rapidly towards the ideal of ‘net zero’ —for every litre of water needed to make our products, we’ll return a litre to the water supply,” says our chief Ms Nooyi. We want to roll back greenhouse gas emissions as the company grows, continue light weighting packaging and recycling while identifying bio-degradable solutions.

Back to Amsterdam. I saw this lady who had her guitar strapped across with her kid sitting at the back and a dog sitting pretty in a basket slung at the front of the bike. Where's the picture of that, you may ask. She was just zipping past and by the time I pulled out my camera she was gone. But here are a few more bike pictures.

Ever since I had seen the movie Silsila - the Yash Chopra classic in 1981, the scene of the tulip fields and windmills has been imprinted in my mind. I always wanted to see those fields. Sad to say, I did not make it to the tulip field but have pictures of glass versions along with the mandatory windmills and clogs (shoes) . So enjoy!