Business and pleasure: Yi Ping and Tanya’s trip to India

In December 2022, Tanya and I were fortunate to visit India for a few weeks. It was a ‘business mixed with pleasure’ trip. The three ‘must dos’ were:

  • Visiting our India outsource team and the AGN Business Association
  • Attending our colleague Alisha’s wedding; and
  • Sightseeing all the beautiful places along the way

Glad to say we accomplished all three and came back home happy and safe.

The business agenda


GS has been a founding partner of KFT since 2006. During that time, Tanya Canty travelled by herself to train two key staff members. It was very special to see that those very same people are still working for KFT in 2023, now as senior managers.

We continue to send team members from New Zealand to visit the KFT team in India every two or three years. The purpose is to get to know each other, iron out any issues, and train the India team on new technology, compliance, and process changes.

KFT now has 1100 staff working on business advisory services backhouse processing, for many New Zealand firms. The GS KFT team consists of around 15 team members and during our visit, we were able to mingle and chat with the team.

AGN International

GS is a part of AGN International, and we have several associated firms based in India. During our trip, Tanya and I visited KNM in Delhi and had great conversations with Manoj and Sandeep, two of the partners at KNM. The Indian economy is booming now and looks to continue thriving over the next 10-20 years, in the light of geographical political strain experienced by other areas.

The professional industry has felt a significant amount of pressure due to the shortage of highly skilled human resources. Even so, India is going through vast infrastructure and development, and their focus on exporting talent services to the world is remarkable. 

In a city like Delhi, those with skills in demand can easily jump from job to job, and this made talent retaining difficult. Comparing to Chandigarh where KFT is located, the staff can be kept by including the family as part of the net.

Alisha’s wedding

Alisha joined GS team in 2020 and was quickly loved by her bubbly personality and dedication to supporting other team members. She came from Goa, a wonderful holiday destination. We felt so lucky to be able to attend Alishas wedding in her home town. The Catholic wedding in Goa consists of three parts:

  1. A pre-wedding ritual, called Roce ceremony
  2. The wedding itself (mass in Church and reception party at a beautiful resort); and
  3. A return home ceremony

Tanya and I attended all three events with enthusiasm and enjoyed every minute of it. Due to Covid, people have been unable to enjoy themselves for around three years, hence the timing of Alisha’s wedding. It was a long time coming, but we finally got there, and everyone was so cheerful to finally meet and celebrate together again.

As of now, Alisha is back in New Zealand, but her husband Joel is still in Dubai. Hopefully they will be reunited again very soon.

Sightseeing highlights

Along with the business agenda, we tried our best to explore India’s beauty. It was the first time I’ve been to India, and Tanya’s 2006 visit was all about business. This time, she has determined to not miss the fun part that the trip had to offer. She also had “Bride and Prejudice” as her guide to make sure we visit most of the scenes in the film.

Taj Mahal

The most popular places in India, and no doubt one of the top ten in the world, the Taj Mahal lives to its fame. The most beautiful building I have ever seen. The rich history associated with the building is part of its significance, so make sure you go with a tour guide when visiting, and it’s best not to Google it before you go. Us Kiwis are so used to DIY, but sometimes, we do need to trust the professionals, it’s so worth it. In fact, the tour guide services are such excellent value in India, and we have some awesome contacts that provide NZ/India tour services which we are happy to share if you’re looking at travelling to India.

Golden Temple

This was one of Tanya’s must go “Bride and Prejudice” places, so we woke up at the crack of dawn. It’s 3am in December, we remove our shoes and socks, and walk through cold water to enter the temple. And wow… so holy and deeply touching. For context, if you feel depressed or unwell or anything, you visit a place like this, you immerse yourself in the crowd, free your mind, and come out of the place feeling completely renewed. Such is the effect of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. This is another case that a photo could not do it justice.

Goa, Mumbai, and more

We spent two days on a guided tour around the city of Goa, one day at South and the next day at North. There are spice farms, historical cultural places, dolphin watching, aquariums and beaches. The place I liked best was the spice farm. I have recently taken up cooking as a hobby so experiencing all the different spices was of great interest to me. And of course, we tried Feni of Goa, and that was pretty good. The most enjoyable moment was sitting idle at a restaurant along the beach, just chilling out and enjoying all the delicious food and drinks!

The Attari-Wagah border ceremony is the perfect place for people watching. Thousands and thousands of people from both India and Pakistan gather to watch the flag be raised and lowered, every day, morning and night. It was amazing to see. I was more fascinated by the amount of people than the event itself.

We stayed in Mumbai during Christmas. I walked along Chowpatty Beach – Nariman Point Trail and the Fort Heritage Area of the Mumbai trail, which I found through the Alltrail app. Both are quite good. We also took guided tours around several sites including the Ghandi Museum and the Bollywood studio: both educational, entertaining and all enjoyable. One lesson I would like to share is, don’t go shopping with a tour guide. They have thousands of ways to get you to buy things that you don’t really need, or in excess price. Just stick to shopping on your own schedule, and you’ll be able to stick to your budget.

Tanya and I are so glad we took the effort to make this trip. The reward from the trip has been huge and the memories will forever bring me joy. I am looking forward to seeing improvement with the GS-KFT co-operation, and I wish Alisha and Joel a forever happy life.

Can’t wait for another trip to India! If you are planning a trip to India yourself, get in touch, I am more than happy to recommend tour guides, sites, and hikes.

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