This is my first official blog post for RM Sourcing and Consulting, I thought that I would put together a few stories of the exciting times I have had traveling the world.
I've been traveling globally since the early 1990's when I was working for Hobby Lobby. I will start with one of my first trips to India.
I was responsible for sourcing brass ware from India, in those days the largest trade show was held in Delhi at the Pragati Maidan fair grounds complex.
The complex is 600 thousand feet, has multiple entrances and was always a interesting place to walk thru and view products. I was never satisfied with meeting the trading companies and agents that most often had booths at these shows and pushed regularly to get to the factory level. I knew the prices there were always best and that is where I should be purchasing from.
I determined that it was time to go to Moradabad India, and visit the actual factories. I asked around, made some plans, hired a car and scheduled my appointments. The drive was only 140 kilometers, most likely would have been only a 2 hour drive (I thought). Every supplier I spoke with told me, "Mike, you really do not want to drive out to Moradabad, we can meet you in Delhi", I knew though that if I got there I could get the right prices.
So, when it came time to leave for Moradabad the driver showed up on time (miracle) and off I went. The fog in Delhi made it almost impossible to see the road, but the driver persevered and we made it thru the city and to the "Highway" to Moradabad. I quickly learned that even though the highway was initially divided, traffic still flowed both directions. Sugar cane carts pulled by donkeys traveled without regards to traffic rules (if there were any) and eventually we ran across the first major accident. A 4 door Mercedes had been driven under one of the sugar cane carts. The top of the car was cut off, along with the drivers heads. At this point, I actually considered turning back, but I knew the prices would be better at the factories!
Soon after, we ran across the second major accident, 2 large trucks had collided head on, not sure what the casualty count was, but both trucks were on fire. We reached the city of Ghaziabad after about 2 hours of driving, the traffic was at an absolute standstill for more than 1 hour, once thru we traveled quickly towards the bridge over the Ganges river. Little did I know that there had been another major accident there which would delay me for 2 more hours.
One of the suppliers in Moradabad finally became concerned about the delay and sent a car 2 hours south to the next bridge and then up to pick me up waiting to cross over. Eventually after 7 hours driving I arrived in the city. I went thru 3 supplier showrooms at the fastest possible clip, negotiated prices well below what i had been paying and then started back to Delhi.
The road back was somewhat easier except for the fog and the fact that most of the vehicles on the road had no lights or very poor lighting. Finally after 5 hours travel, I returned to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Delhi, spent the night recovering and started off the next morning for another grand adventure!