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Puma India's MD Abhishek Ganguly found his best friend while travelling

Ganguly was in grade six when he travelled solo for the first time.

, ET Bureau|
Mar 14, 2019, 10.29 AM IST
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AbhishekGanguly
Puma India MD Abhishek Ganguly.
Puma India MD Abhishek Ganguly doesn’t like playing by the rule book when it comes to exploring places.

Out of the comfort zone
“Ten years ago, when I first travelled to South Africa, I didn’t read enough about it and hence didn’t know about the high crime rates in the country. On reaching, I realised that while it was a beautiful country, it wasn’t as safe. I was told by locals about the precautions I should take — about avoiding certain areas, not venturing out at night and was also briefed on how I should react if I was accosted by muggers. And then I saw a car robbery in broad daylight in Johannesburg. That day I realised, that despite the crime, India is safer than a lot of other places. My first travel to Eastern Europe, Czech Republic and Poland, was also discomforting initially, language being major barrier.”

Friends on the way
“Funny as it may sound, I got to know one of my best friends while travelling. Though it wasn’t an actual journey, we ended up spending two months together. Rahul Ajmera and I had never spoken to each other during the first year of our MBA in IIM, Lucknow. However, we ended up travelling together and sharing a room during our internship in the heat of summer at a nondescript hole in the wall in Triplicane, Chennai. We had food together, haggled with the autorickshaw drivers, ran on the beach, cribbed about our course, shared stories and ended up being friends for life.”

Travelling solo
“I was in grade six when I travelled solo for the first time. An eight-hour bus journey of 220 km (imagine the roads) from Bhagalpur, where I was born and raised, to Asansol, where my grandparents lived. It remains one of the biggest adventures of my life. It was a surprise for my grandparents, who weren’t expecting me, forget seeing an 11-year-old alone. I found it to be a game-changing journey for me. I started believing in myself a lot more after the trip.”

A journey cut short
“I don’t like it when I extend trips or change a plan. I end up extending my stay in a particular city that I like at the cost of cutting short my itinerary. I end up losing quite a bit of money to airlines and hotels. I keep promising myself that I will stick to the original plan from the next trip.”

I keep going back to…
“Spain. The country is an amazing confluence of friendly people, culture and traditions, architecture, food, art, fashion, some of the most pristine beaches on the Mediterranean, and its vibrant nightlife. Spain beckons me many times over.”

On my bucket list
“I want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I have been intending to do that for a while. Hasn’t fructified. Maybe, in the next one or two years.”


Travel Like A Boss: Here's Where Ananth Narayanan, Sebi Joseph Like To Holiday

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Leaving On A Jetplane

27 Sep, 2018
From Swiss towns to the quaint house boats of Kashmir, here’s where some of India’s bosses love to vacation. In Pic: On the left is Ananth Narayanan, CEO, Myntra and on the right is Sebi Joseph, President, Otis India.
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