Nanubhai Blog

Evan Talks Technology: Indian Internet

Evan shares with us some of the technology-related setbacks that worked themselves into a very regularly occurring routine during her internship in India last summer.

Being in India, sometimes feels like being in a strange twilight zone where time doesn’t function quite as those in the West are accustomed to. Part of this problem is caused by the technology available to us in the Bardoli office. NEF is, by Indian standards, pretty advanced technologically, but in comparison to a Western office, the set up is very different.

For instance as I currently work on this blog, the internet has gone out. We luckily still have power so we can still get some things done, but anything requiring internet is impossible for who knows how long. A lot of our work and data, we keep stored in google docs so sometimes the internet being down really impedes our progress. When it monsoons, the power often will go out for hours at a time with no signs of when it will return. Whenever this happens, work almost comes to a standstill. We can get some work done without the power if our laptops are charged, but if your battery is dead, you’re basically out of commission until the power comes back on.

We also don’t have the same sort of equipment that most Western offices have. The interns, Jayesh, and Sarah all work on their personal laptops. I also worked on my personal laptop until it crashed midway through July. So Mitesh and I use the laptops that Sarah’s school donated to NEF. Being that all of our laptops are different models, makes, and years, this causes a lot of compatibility issues that we have to work through. It’s a lot more complicated than in a Western office where everyone would have a company computer that more or less has the same programs on it. The office also has a small printer and scanner we use pretty regularly, but if we need to make multiple copies of a document, we have to take it to a xerox shop because it’s much cheaper.

At any moment, we could be having to deal with one or all or some combination of these difficulties in the office. It’s kind of like working in a space-time continuum where it requires twice as much effort to get half as much work done. As interns, we’ve had to be flexible with our work and schedule based off of the office environment at the time, and despite the setbacks, we’ve been able to adapt and really have accomplished quite a lot this summer.