QUITE FRANKLY PRODUCTIONS USA
OPENING THE DOORS OF QF USA
It’s been a whirlwind first four weeks here in Manhattan since QF USA opened its doors on September 10th. But we’re fully up and running and morale is high!
As I write, Catherine is wrapping a shoot day at Diageo North America whilst I’m off to the AFAR 2018 Travel Vanguard, celebrating key players in the travel industry and making new connections along the way.
I’ve certainly been rushing around the city since we launched – meeting with agencies, publishers, brands and government entities for presentations and conversations around potential business. When we’re not out and about, we are enjoying the new office – located within Hunter PR’s space on the corner of Madison Square Park, it’s an incredible location. There are some excellent local food spots, if you fancy a visit?
The team at Hunter could not have been more welcoming and have collectively made these first weeks incredibly smooth for us. The weekend will see Ben P fly over to install our first two edit suites, ready for post-production to take place on our first projects which have already been commissioned.
Tomorrow sees a visit to the famous B&H store to get further kit. Not necessarily my favourite kind of Manhattan shopping expedition… but similarly expensive!
As I look ahead to our second month of US business it’s exciting. This feels like a city where opportunity will knock, you just have to have the energy to go and find it.
Quite Frankly Productions India
THE RULES OF LIVING & WORKING IN INDIA
Change came to in India came in 1991, when it opened up economy to the world after years of protectionism. Today’s India, however, still has many problems – corruption, poor infrastructure, bureaucracy – but it also has new wealth and opportunity, which is attracting entrepreneurial talent from around the world.
Bangalore, nicknamed the Silicon Valley of India, and now officially known as Bengaluru, is a city of energy and development. However, despite its status as a leading industrial centre, it is still very much in the development stage. That said, there is a lot more to Bangalore than meets the eye.
Those who look beyond the power cuts, the road works, the traffic congestion and construction chaos will find that Bangalore is actually one of the prettiest cities in India. With its year-round salubrious weather, parks and tree-flanked avenues, Bangalore has earned itself a well-earned reputation as the “garden city.”
A couple of Indianisms:
Yes means Maybe, Maybe means No.
One thing you will learn very quickly in India is that people are always ready to please you by saying “Yes”. Although I have occasionally heard “No”, generally any question is met with a “Yes” or “Maybe”. But these statements do not necessarily mean that whatever you asked has, is or ever will happen. This could be misconstrued as irresponsible or even incompetent, but in India the people are simply being polite and not asking too many questions.
Indian Standard Time
It is hard, in words, to explain how laid back the Indian work environment is or Indian society in general. Here things take their own time and it is rare to find someone running around in a state of stress.
Compare this to the typical Western company, where people will start tapping their fingers if a meeting is a few minutes late. Sometimes it can even feel as if nothing is happening, but then it always seems to work out in the end. Generally business meetings happen at scheduled times. But if someone says “I’ll get back to you in a few hours”, that could be anywhere from two hours to a week. In India there is always tomorrow.
Everything is Negotiable
I have found that literally everything is negotiable in India – from the price of onions to tomorrow’s internet installation. Even prices that have been pre-negotiated are indefinite until the deal is done. It is simply a different way of doing business. There are rules and cultural norms to adhere to but if you change the word rule to suggestion it will make it much easier to understand living in India. The best way to illustrate this is through Indian traffic.
Like many Commonwealth nations Indians drive on the left. This is the rule. However, if, say, you have to drive on the right for a few hundred meters, or even on the roadside because it is closer that way, then you do it.
Leap of Faith
I took a leap of faith when moving back to India. Although I grew up in India I had never actually worked here before. I am still learning, every day, about this fascinating and diverse country.
However I would not say that I am “adjusting”. India and its people are so diverse and so flexible that in many ways it feels like India adjusts to you.
My husband and I often talk about what an exciting time this is for India. There are so many opportunities here and so much enthusiasm for innovation and progress and Quite Frankly Productions India is so happy to be along for the ride.