Brief Guide to India
This guide will provide you with a detailed introduction to India pre-departure, however please note that you will receive a comprehensive handbook with all you need to know about your placement city when you arrive in India.
History & Culture
India has a rich ancient history tracing back almost as far as we are able to trace human civilization. These deep historic influences can still be seen in life today in various parts of the country. India is unique in its ability to incorporate so many civilizations, cultures, and religions into a cohesive nation. Learning more about Indian history will help you to understand the modern context of the country.
Historical Landscape of India
Human civilization was first discovered in India over 75,000 years ago. Since then the Indus Valley Civilization flourished and collapsed followed by Vedic Civilization and a series of empires and middle kingdoms throughout which Hinduism and Buddhism emerged and spread through the Asian continent. India emerged as a powerful centre of mathematical and astronomical thought. Muslim rule came across much of northern India in the 13th century, leaving behind beautiful architectural relics such as the Amber fort in Jaipur and the Taj Mahal in Agra. The Mughal Empire eventually declined in the 18th century and the Maratha, Sikh, and Mysore kingdoms rose up in its place. The British East India Company began annexing parts of India in the late 18th century and the country finally gained its independence in 1947 as the Republic of India to emerge as the world’s largest democracy!
Today India is a crazy-beautiful blend of its historic past; from cultures to religions to languages to architecture you will be able to see India through the centuries by just walking around your placement city. India today is a rapidly emerging economy at the forefront of the technology and information technology sectors. However, it is still deeply traditional. You will find businessmen who wear red vermillion powder called, ‘tika’ on their foreheads for special holidays and women dressed in saris (a traditional clothing for women) at the office. Pave will give you the opportunity to explore all of the nuances of Indian culture so that you might enjoy India in all its splendour and glory.
The Job Market
Working in India is an opportunity to gain international experience in one of the most dynamic, fast-paced and challenging work environments in the world. The skills you will gain as an intern in India are immeasurable in terms of personal and professional growth. While the job market at home maybe slowing and/or hyper competitive, your skill set will stand out in India and to practically apply your academic knowledge and past work experiences at your host company will be mutually beneficial. You will be given a great deal of responsibility and trust in your role as you are asked to perform crucial tasks for the functioning of your host company. Working in India will allow you to quickly gain skills that you can bring home with you. If you are hoping to work in India later in life or for a multinational company, our internships are a compelling way to show your future employers how you are able to adapt to and thrive in an emerging market environment. In addition to growing professionally, working and living in India is an amazing opportunity to develop personally. You will be challenged to reimagine the world around you as you see and experience things you never would have imagined possible.
India is so vast that climatic conditions are dependent on where you are in the country. Generally, the country has a three-season year – the hot, the wet, and the cool.
The weather in Mumbai is a tropical wet during the monsoon season and a tropical dry during the winter and summer months. While the temperature is relatively moderate, at an average of 27°C, the levels of humidity fluctuate greatly and can make some days in the summer feel quite oppressive. Winters in Mumbai can reach lows of 20.5°C and highs of 30°C, while in the summers lows are around 25°C and highs around 32°C. With the refreshing rain during the monsoon season, the weather is generally a little cooler for the entire period. The seasons are as follows:
Pune is at a slight elevation that helps keep the city relatively cool. Even during the hot summer months where temperatures can range between 30°C and 38°C Pune experiences relatively pleasant evening temperatures in the mid-20’s°C. Monsoons in Pune are relatively moderate with temperatures ranging from 22°C to 28 °C. Winter in Pune sees the most range in temperature with night time lows of approximately 10 °C but daytime temperatures of around 28 °C. The seasons are as follows:
Bangalore is known for its wonderfully moderate weather that keeps it at several degrees below most of the rest of the southern half of the continent. Temperatures generally range between 20°C -30°C, with winter lows rarely below 12°C and summer highs rarely exceeding 36°C. The monsoons in Bangalore are also slightly more moderate with the wettest months in August, September and October. The seasons are as follows:
The currency in India is called the Rupee (INR, which stands for Indian Rupee) and is demarcated by either “Rs.” or the symbol “”. Colloquially, rupees are also referred to as “bucks” or “dough” however, the vast majority of people continue to refer to their currency as simply “rupees.”
The exchange rates in India continue to fluctuate with some regularity so it is important to monitor the fluctuations in the value of the rupee during your stay in the country. You may refer to the exchange rate table below but check before departure for a better result.
|Home Currency||Indian Rupee|
|1 GBP||101.17 INR|
|1 EUR||84.45 INR|
|1 CHF||69.30 INR|
|1 USD||61.34 INR|
|1 AUD||55.71 INR|
|1 CAD||54.49 INR|
|1 NZD||52.28 INR|
It’s worthwhile converting some currency before arriving in India. However, accessing your bank account from India is relatively easy as banks and ATMs are prevalent throughout the country. Remember to inform your bank of the period you will be travelling in India and to find out if you will be charged for international withdrawal. It may also be worth bringing along some home currency that you can exchange for Indian rupees at a bank for free. It is fairly simple, although you will need to carry your passport with you as proof of identification when changing money.
Tipping & Begging
Tipping is quite prevalent in India, but you will find that it is not standardised and it is generally at your discretion to decide if you would like to leave a tip or not. Tipping is not appropriate in taxis or auto rickshaws, although when neither of you have the correct change it is fine to leave them a few extra rupees. Begging is most prevalent where there are tourists. This includes important monuments, railway stations, religious sites and shopping districts. In big cities, beggars will often be found approaching vehicles at major traffic intersections while the lights are red. Whilst the sight of people in such poverty and hardship can be very confronting, there is often more than meets the eye and we recommend that you avoid giving money at any time. A common problem is that if you give to one beggar, such a gesture will quickly attract others.
This price list was updated in 2014; we will update pricing as often as possible. You can refer to our FAQ for more information on a daily and weekly budget in India. Also, before you leave for your Pave internship our team will send an estimated budget for you to take into consideration when planning how much money you will need in your placement city.
|Pricing Guide in India|
|Meal at an Indian Restaurant||40-150 INR|
|Meal at a Western Restaurant||250-700 INR|
|Meal at a Fast Food Restaurant||25-100 INR|
|1L Bottled Water||18 INR|
|Pint of Beer||180 INR|
|1 Km Rickshaw Ride||15 INR|
|1 Km Taxi Ride||19 INR|
|Return Train Ticket||20 INR|
|Overnight Train Ticket||1000 INR|
|Entrance to Museums||100-250 INR|
|Movie Tickets||150-350 INR|
There are over 1,000 different languages spoken in India, with over 30 of those languages having 1 million or more native speakers. You will find incredible language diversity in the country which means that most people you interact with on a daily basis will speak upwards of 3 languages. The official languages used by the government of India are Hindi and English and you will find that most people have a basic understanding of Hindi and/or English and it is relatively easy to get by knowing only English. However, it is quite helpful to pick up some key phrases and maybe even decode the different meanings of the typical “Indian Headshake”!
|Basic Hindi||English Transliteration|
|Thank you||Dhanyavad / Shukriya|
|How are you?||Aap kaise ho?|
|I’m fine, thank you!||Main theek hoon, dhanyavad|
|Okay!||Accha / Theek!|
|I’m not doing well||Main theek nahin hoon|
|Do you speak English?||Kya app English bolte hain?|
|My name is (John)||Mera naam (John) hai|
|I don’t understand Hindi||Mujhe Hindi nahin samajh aati|
|See you later||Phir milenge|
There are different modes of transport that you can take to get around India. For long distances you can travel by domestic flight, train, pre-paid taxi, sleeper bus and even boat! When travelling around an Indian city, the most common transport modes are the metro, metered taxi and auto rickshaw. An auto rickshaw is a yellow-and-black three-wheeled motorcycle with a tin roof, providing enough space for two passengers and luggage. This typically Indian mode of transport is really fun and the cheapest way to travel but be cautious and ensure you think about the safety hazards.
Train: this is the fastest (and certainly the cheapest) way to do long distance trips throughout the city. Riding the train can be quite an experience! It’s very high energy and can be especially exhilarating during rush hour. There are separate cars for men and women, making train travel quite safe at all hours of the day and night. Rickshaw: this is by far the most convenient form of transportation and very affordable at just Rs. 15 for each kilometre that you travel. However, you will notice that they are only available in the suburbs of Mumbai as the government has outlawed them in the South to help control noise, pollution, and traffic congestion.
Rickshaw: this is by far the most convenient form of transportation and affordable. If you want to catch a rickshaw, stand in safe place on the street and stick your hand out! You won’t have trouble getting one to stop within hailing distance but do ensure that you have the address of your destination to help them take you where you want to go. Also, a helpful aid for rickshaw drivers is to know a landmark nearby your destination such as a well-known restaurant, building or street name.
Metro: Bangalore’s aboveground metro system is shiny and new. You will find the metro refreshingly modern, but it doesn’t always get you exactly where you need to go. The metro is also very affordable and a great way to escape the traffic below. Rickshaw: the best way to get around Bangalore is a rickshaw. They are ultra convenient and will get you wherever you need to go. Apply the landmark trick to ensure reaching your destination. Also, don’t forget to bargain a little for your ride!
While there are many parallels between Indian business culture and Western work culture, there is a great deal of unique peculiarities that interns find fun to learn about and experience. Working in India certainly poses its own set of challenges: from adjusting to your daily commute to the office; to learning how to participate and share during communal office lunches; to tactfully handling cultural miscommunications. You will never have a dull day at the office!
In India a great deal of hierarchy still exists within the office. Generally it is important to follow hierarchical structures when delegating tasks, making queries, or participating in meetings. This means that you might have to ask your direct supervisor for help, who may in turn approach the company’s head of department rather than directly going to him/her yourself. It is important to be cautious with these structures so as not to offend anyone. This being said, your office will be greatly appreciative of your outlook and input in all areas of the business and will generally be understanding and accepting of any mistakes you make along the way. India is an extremely diverse country and most people are adept at accommodating cultural differences. During your Pave orientation you will be given further training on working in the Indian business setting, which will set you up for your internship as well as future employment, as employers appreciate candidates who can demonstrate first hand insight into Eastern business practices.