My IBM Corporate Service Corps journey. Week 3 – Walking towards the final goal

By Mariano Aragunde

IBM’s Corporate Services Corps program gives IBM’ers the unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills, by going on a community-based assignment in an emerging market to help communities around the world solve critical problems. Over the next few weeks we’ll continue to follow Mariano Aragunde, IBM HR in Latin America as he goes on assignment in India.


After three intense weeks in Raipur, all our hard work is coming together now. We’ve been doing constant checkpoints both night and day on our progress with our clients from SRLM, and I’m very happy to say we’re successfully meeting their expectations with our work. To have a bit of context, make sure you read my previous posts where I explain the scope of our work.


Initially when we started on this assignment, it was seen more that we were coming here to work for SRLM, however this really isn’t true anymore. We have co-operated and learnt from each other so much, it has been amazing.   We have learnt so much from the women of Chhattisgarh – we have been touched by their stories, their hospitality and the hard work they are doing to improve the quality of life for poor families.


The only thing now left to do is to to fine-tune our final document and presentation for the members of the Government in Chhattisgarh. By the end of this week we will have delivered a comprehensive marketing and branding strategy that they will be able to apply effectively by the end of this month. It is a slow and long process, but I’m confident they will get it done. I’ve been inspired by the level of commitment and professionalism they are putting into this program.


And to think that our team set the foundations for this, makes me very proud. I hope in the near future people in Chhattisgarh – and India – will be able to buy quality food, entirely produced by the farmer families in an organic and natural way. And the best part: all the profits will flow to the farmers, without any “middleman” who takes advantage of them. Because they will be empowered. Smarter. I’ll wrap this and tell you the results on my next and last post!


On a personal note, a couple of key things happened to me in the last week. Firstly, thanks to my IBM colleagues Larry (Ireland) and Rob (Australia) I achieved a milestone: I watched an entire cricket game, I understood all the rules, and I really enjoyed it! What a wonderful game! I even got an official India’s team t-shirt, and proudly wore it on our team’s St. Patricks day celebration. Since I come from Argentina, I was never in touch with the world of cricket. People in India surely have the same passion for this sport that I have for football.

Secondly, one of our clients brought some snakes in to the office to teach us about conservation, and raise awareness. “You fear because you don’t know”. And it is so true! We learned a lot about snakes, and now my point of view of nature and “dangerous” animals has changed completely. So a great week!

If you understand Spanish, I’ll be blogging more regularly in my personal blog and tweeting as well. I’ll be sharing my experience about this fascinating country: the beauty of the landscape, the people…everything will impact your senses.

Take some time to read the previous editions of Mariano’s experiences in india here if you missed it.

To find out more about IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, visit IBM CSC website

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