The Toss and the opening spell — SAP Social Sabbatical Kick-off @ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The Toss serves as the beginning of a cricket match. It is no longer a ritual but is of strategic importance in the context of the match and the decision on whether to bat or field after winning the toss is often influenced by the nature of the pitch, the weather condition (e.g. is there a chance of rain? Is dew expected in the evening?, etc.) and team composition. When the first batting team starts their innings, it is always advisable to play the balls on their merits and not to go for slam bang from the beginning. The first few deliveries are the most difficult to negotiate, but once that has been dealt with, batting becomes relatively easy.

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The Kick-off meeting for our SAP Social Sabbatical in Ho Chi Minh City happened on 3rd April 2017. Stakeholders and representatives of the 4 NGOs with whom we are engaging as part of the Social Sabbatical attended the kick-off. It provided an opportunity for the first round of networking and socialization with the clients. The meeting was kick-started by Natalie Legrand from Pyxera Global welcoming the participants, followed by Koert Breebaart, the SAP Social Sabbatical Mentor, reiterating SAP’s commitment to social causes and explained the rationale behind social sabbatical. The 4 NGOs then made a presentation each to highlight their objectives and expectations. The NGOs were as diverse as catering to children’s education, career development of young adults, developing a teaching ecosystem for better education of children and providing impetus to natural farming. The respective SAP teams also joined their project stakeholders on the podium and we talked about our expectations from the project and also what the project means to us.

Our project is for an organization called G.A.P Institute which aspires to bridge the gap between graduate students and requirements of the industry.

After the kick-off meeting, we accompanied our client to their office. We were able to interact at a more informal level with the staff of G.A.P Institute. This helped to establish the early rapport and then to also know about their views and expectations from the project. Thanks to the CEO and the Academic Director for ensuring a welcoming environment for us. A nice sumptuous G.A.P team lunch with loads and loads of Vietnamese food provided the opportunity for another round of socialization which is so vital at such an early stage of a project. A plan about the next meetings as part of the Discovery phase of the project was discussed and finalized.

What added more color to the kick-off day was an impromptu birthday celebration for our colleague Felipe during the dinner. Great going Team Mekong!

Watch out for my next story coming your way titled Power Play 1.