This guy is doing his own business for quite some time now. Since it is a startup business, he went through lots of tough time and that hard experience aided him in shaping his personality to some extent.
Because he faced lots of ''you should have done that before...'' scenarios in his business, he became very proactive and wants to do all work with proper planning, analyzing all pros and cons, projecting results blah blah right from the beginning. He is a perfectionist too. At least he thinks himself that way.
That guy is taking care of his family business in a big scale than this guy.
This guy, while preparing his plan for a foreign trip to meet his clients (yeah, he is dealing with export business), discussed it with that guy (just as an information. Not to show off as this guy is all grownup now to hate those who just show off.)
While discussing, this guy described all striking truths about western countries in a more interesting way as he lived there for quite some time. This created a slight interest in that guy and he enquired about the possibility of accompanying him.
Sensing a potential chance of avoiding lone travel, this guy narrated further truths about western country in such a way that he got convinced to find a justification for this empty travel. Eventually that guy got a justification. He will accompany him to gain a first hand marketing experience. No one was there in his house to question if this guy is a Philip Kotler.
As I said early, since this guy is a very proactive guy, he wants to finish off all the works well in advance. He requested for an invitation letter (which is needed for visa) from his client 45 days in advance. After receiving the invitation letter he checked for every detail and sent for few corrections. After seeing the corrected invitation letter, the visa agent said he needs the letter in their local language. So this guy, sent the letter back to his client and got it translated in local language. All these things were done in a flash of time.
This guy finalized all his thirteen appointments, booked hotels, internal flights in 4 different countries for 20 days and main flight before one and a half months. Since it was well in advance, he got every booking at least 25% cheaper than last minute bookings. He was damn proud of being so proactive. He even said few of his friends on how he saved money for being proactive.
The visa process would take 3 working days, but he submitted documents for visa, 21 days in advance (It’s not a joke, he is really proactive). After three days, he got a message from Delhi, that the consulate is closed and he has to deal it there in Mumbai. This guy wasn’t all shaken as he got plenty of time. He resubmitted it in Mumbai the next week.
He is not only proactive but also shrewd. So he followed it up with the agent after three working days. He said ''it didnt come''. this guys asked ''why?''. he said, this is how it works. This telephone activity was continuing for almost daily and some time even more than that.
While accidentally flipping through the invitation letters, this guy found out that there was a big mistake in the dates. Instead of 19, the lady who prepared the letter mistyped it as 9. This proactive guy only checked the English version of the letter. Since it is in foreign language and it was only a translation, this guy didn’t check that. He immediately called the agent and found out that he can do nothing about it now. This means he would only get visa for 10 days against 20 days. But the agent said, they will always give visa for atleast three months.
Because of the closure of consulate in Delhi, the Mumbai office became over crowded and he got the visa only two days before departure of his flight. Curiously he flipped through the pages and found only 10 days visa.
He cancelled the tickets immediately and rescheduled all the appointments for 10 days doubling the work. He re scheduled his flight and hotel bookings too in a space of three days. He will never give up you know.
Now he got another problem, he got an appointment by morning of his last day of stay. But all the flights were at before noon. After browsing through various websites, he finally found one flight that starts on evening 7:00 PM.
While booking that ticket, he got another problem. The flight is going through another country where he has to change flight. The lady who was booking the flight said he might need a visa for transiting country. So it is risky to book that ticket.
This guy is very tough, he called the airways and confirmed that he don’t need a visa. He was not convinced. He called the immigration office of the transit country airport and confirmed that he don’t need a visa for a short transit.
He called the lady and asked her to proceed booking that ticket.
This guy and that guy, happily boarded the flight as planned (second time). If they have to say about all those that happened in Europe, it would be too big that I need to leave an interval here for you to have some samosa and tea. So let us keep it short that all went well and they were very happy.
On the final day, this proactive guy wanted to go to the airport three and half hours before as he always insists to be like that even for local train in India (well it is half an hour for train in India).
While boarding, the airlines, refused boarding pass to them on the ground that they didnt have visa for transit country. This guy explained them on his pre confirmation with immigration and he himself called immigration officers. But to his surprise, they said they can’t allow them and they don’t have any records for their early confirmation. Since that was out of office hours, they coudnt contact local airlines office from where they got another confirmation.
The next straight flight was only the next day but they had visa only untill this day. They went up to the immigration officials of that country and got permission to stay that night.
To book another ticket they need nearly 2000 Euros, but these guys happily spent all the money and had only 700 Euros between them. Since it is mid night in India, they couldn’t do anything there.
This guy, called his friend in UK and asked him to book ticket online from his card and email tickets. Because of some site error, he couldn’t book ticket after trying for around couple of hours. This guy didn’t give up. He asked him to send some money through ‘western union money transfer’ so that he can collect ticket at the counter in airport. He was hurrying as there were only four tickets left.
Because of some system problem it took so much time that he could get the money only at the stroke of closure of the airport counter.
Now they were in a blissful state. They don’t have visa and return ticket in a phareen country. Great.
The next day, as early as 4:30 AM, in the ass freezing chilly weather, they went to airport and grabbed that damn ticket.
And there were nothing interesting after that as they landed safely in Indian soil.
From this experience, this guy learnt that, though it is important to be proactive and to plan ahead, it’s only your skill to counter the innumerable surprises that the life keeps throwing at us, will lead the way out.
Hope that guy will also agree.