Throughout the week, the students met with a number of Westminster alumni – many of whom started their own companies – and visited a range of professional environments. They also explored a number of topics on the contrasts and challenges that India faces such as the status of healthcare, Bollywood and the country’s financial environment.
During the trip, the students were treated to a private screening of Time Out, the Bollywood film directed by alumnus, Rikhil Bahadur who graduate from the Directing: Film and TV MA course, now Film, Television and Moving Image MA. Following the film, the students participated in an interactive discussion with Rikhil and a number of others who worked on Time Out, including the lead actor, about the film’s themes as well as how it was made and received in India.
Westminster Media Management MA alumnus and CEO of Culture Machine Sameer Pitalwalla also hosted the group at his office. Students heard about Sameer’s professional journey and his tips for their future careers. As part of their visit to the digital media company, the students had the opportunity to take part in a unique and exciting project: in Indian pop-culture videos posted to ‘Being Indian’, in which they explored funny topics covering cultural differences between India and the UK.
Another highlight of the trip was when the students explored some of the social issues facing Indians and how they are coming up with enterprising ways to deal with them. The group learned about the Dabbawalas, who are a lunchbox delivery and return system, delivering homemade lunches to people at work. The students also visited the Dharavi Slums, India’s largest slum, where they saw a number of small-scale businesses operating, from the production of leather goods to pottery and plastic.
Film BA Honours student Joachim Alexander Pietsch, who took part in the trip, said: "I went to Mumbai to enhance my understanding as well as my knowledge of a place and culture that I have heard so much about and that is so famous in the global community. I subsequently gained respect for it and have - in many ways - been enchanted by the people and an environment that is so different from what I’m used to. The trip gave us an overview of the many areas of strife and struggle, allowing us to connect with the wonderful people of Mumbai and gave us space for reflection and inference.”