From Argentina to India: Meet Nahuel, our young process engineer"
Nahuel Stricker is from Processes, in the Engineering Department and spent eight months working at Techint Engineering & Construction’s offices in India.
There’s a distance of 9,000 miles (almost 15,000 km) between the Techint E&C’s offices in Mumbai, India, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Nahuel Stricker spent the first part of his summer internship at the company, in 2015. In this interview, the chemical engineer shares some highlights from his experience so far, including this unexpected trip that enabled him to dive deep into a very different culture and build new relationships.
How did this trip happen?
I was planning to celebrate my 30th birthday in Morocco with a friend, but suddenly they asked me: “What do you think about going to India in two weeks? At the time, I was already working on a project with some guys from Mumbai. Although the Processes (Engineering) area has always worked with the India team, no one had yet had the experience of traveling there. The idea was to network and get the most of both team’s best practices. It was a great opportunity for me so I decided to go—and ended up celebrating my 30th birthday there. At first, it was difficult, but as the months went by, I got used to it. It was a really amazing experience, one of those that really opens up your mind.
What was the employment relationship like?
It was extremely good, and the really important thing was getting to know each other and build links. Thanks to that, in Processes, today, I’m the link person when we have to work with the Indian team. A good relationship between offices means projects turn out better. In fact, at one of the last projects, which I led, we worked closely with a large component of professionals from the Mumbai office and everything really went very well.
Historically, this way of working wasn’t seen as viable, but here we proved that it can be done. When tasks are delegated, people begin to feel challenged and interested, they learn more skills and become more committed to their work. Working with the Mumbai office is like having office mates who’re on another continent instead of sitting next to you in the office.
Professionally, I think this has opened many doors for me. All the work contacts that I have today are thanks to this experience. But it was also very enriching on a personal level.
How did you adapt in cultural terms?
I'm not going to lie, it wasn't easy… the culture is very different from us over here in the West. When you say 'culture', you tend to think about the language, religion, or food... But I learned that it also refers to things that go much deeper: respect, love and marriage. They have customs such as bowing their heads in the workplace when greeting their superiors or sitting in a deep squat position to eat. The food is incredibly spicy. Driving around is almost impossible… I once saw a motorbike on the highway going the wrong way with a massive sack of wheat strapped to the back!