I am lucky to have been able to travel around the Asia Pacific Region. It’s really amazing how different culture wise each country is in the area. I traveled to India in 2014 (both New Dehli and Mumbai) and I must say, India is a really interesting country. The country has great potential, and will experience great economic growth in the future (in my opinion, will mirror China). But like all countries that are in the beginning of growth phase, the infrastructure will need to be invested in. That being said, it is a country rich with history and tradition. I have to firstly disclaim that I am no Indian culture expert, since I have only been there twice.
What I will discuss is just what I experience during my 6 weeks there.
Religion. There are many religions in India. And with that, there are many dietary restrictions. Some religions won’t allow you to eat meat. Some religions won’t allow you to eat pork. This puts a lot of constraints and restrictions on the restaurants operating in India.
Take McDonald’s for example. In order to satisfy the vegetarians and non vegetarians, they have a strict policy in which the kitchen is split into two. The vegetarian side can not have a drop of meat. The food preparers on the vegetarian side must stay there, same applies for the meat food handler. Because of the importance of religion, many companies pay a lot of attention to these little details. Because if people ever find out you were serving meat to a vegetarian eater, your reputation is going to take a big beating.
India’s also got a bad rep lately, due to the unfortunate rape incidents that took place. When I visited Mumbai, however I did not have that feeling. Mumbai is a fast growing city with a lot of high risers. I recall having a drink at a rooftop bar, and overseeing Mumbai almost made me think I was in Toronto or Hong Kong. Don’t get me wrong, the rape incidents are terrible, but I think with a little assistant, India will be moving to the right direction, step by step.