Bangalore Week Wrap-up

Cow Temple

My week in Bangalore is coming to a close.  It was extremely interesting and informative.  My host, Vishwas, was very welcoming and took very good care of me – taking me to dinner, helping me get my local mobile phone working, and even shopping and sightseeing.   (Getting the mobile working was no small feat, note the entrance to the Nokia store below.)

Nokia store front

What I accomplished:

  • Visited Grameen where I saw firsthand how the operations work.  Not only did this help me to understand the process better, but it will help me in the future to ask better questions of other MFIs.  As they say – you don’t know what you don’t know.
  • Visited Chaitanya who does not currently use Mifos but is interested.  Got feedback on what they are looking for.
  • Got lots of design ideas for improving the user interface:
    • Validated dashboard concept and got input on info that should go on the dashboard for each role.
    • Checklist idea – don’t allow the user to move to the next step until they have completed the previous step.  (Necessary to make sure everything gets done properly.)
    • Field data validation – constrain a given field to only possibly correct data.  This was articulated by many people.
    • Change tracking – need a history of all transactions, clients, and loan officers, very important to them.
    • Visual graph of how far along the branches are data entry for the day
  • Took lots of notes!

What I did for fun:

Bangalore Palace and VIshwas

Bangalore Palace

  • Visited with some Bangalore friends from the Stanford Sloan program.
  • Went running Sunday morning at 6am (too hot the rest of the day) with a VMware colleague’s sister-in-law at the beautiful IIM (India Institute of Management) campus.  Looks (and sounds) like Hawaii.
  • Vishwas took me sightseeing to the Bannerghatta Safari Park, the Bangalore Palace, and Nandishwara Teertha Temple (aka the “turtle temple”)
Turtle Temple

Turtle Pond in Nandishwara Teertha Temple

Next up, Kenya.  Stay tuned…

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