Author: George Rafeedie

Nizam’s – Kolkata Institution

George Rafeedie Business TourWe had a fine lunch at a Kolkata institution, Nazim’s. It has a long history that dates back to 1932 and is known for its rolls and kabobs. The roll I had was chicken wrapped in bread that is fried. You eat it like a burrito and it is called a kathi (stick) since the chicken is grilled on a stick on coals before being wrapped into the bread. I am linking to this article because it does a good job at bringing the experience to life.


Sanjeev’s father used to go there in the 50s and was the first place he took his new wife after a long honeymoon driving trip across India. Nothing else was open as they drove into town so they went to Nizam’s.


If you are ever in the area, definitely stop by.

Sir Stuart Hogg

Business Professionals

Our trip keeps getting better. On Saturday we spent the afternoon in the central shopping district walking around the Sir Stuart Hogg Market, or New Market. It was built by the British in 1873 and is comprised of hundreds of vendors selling everything from spices, to fish, to t-shirts and jewelry. Residents of Kolkata can get anything and everything they need from the market, and tourists are definitely welcome. We did some shopping and bargaining with several colorful characters and walked out with a few nice items to remember the trip by. It is named after Sir Stuart Saunders Hogg who was an advocate for the building of the market while serving in many British governmental roles.

Favorite Food. So Far.

George Rafeedie Business MeetingIf you’ve been to an Indian restaurant anywhere in the world, you’ve probably seen or had Butter Chicken or Murgh makhani. It’s a great dish of chicken in a wonderful and ingredient-filled sauce typically eaten over rice. As is the case most of the time, dishes seem to jump out a bit more when you are eating them in the country of origin. We’ve had it twice so far in Dehli and Kolkata and look forward to it again soon.


For people who grew up in India, the “street food” is a favorite. For various reasons, Westerners like myself probably should stay away from the street food. However, it is fun watching it being prepared, sold and eaten all over the place. Maybe I’ll have to break down and try something before I leave!


Another great dish includes kabobs of chicken or lamb covered in all kinds of spices. When we were in Dehli we had great Kabobs at one of the city’s famous restaurants, Bukhara.


Home cooked lightly fried prawns, lamb and chicken patties as light appetizers and deep-fried mashed potato patties round out my list.


But I can’t leave out the fact that the Chinese cuisine in Kolkata is excellent. We dined last night at the Taj Bengal Hotel’s, Chinoisorrie, with Sanjeev’s brother, Bicky, pictured above.


More on food later from me and Sanjeev.


George Rafeedie Marketing BusinessAt one point Kolkata was the capital of the British Empire’s presence in India. It was also the intellectual and cultural center of India for many decades. However, when the British decided to move the capital do Dehli, and with the decline of industry, Kolkata went on a steady decline up to the modern day. Here is more in-depth information on Kolkata.


Sanjeev’s parents, Gopal and Neena, pictured above, have lived in Kolkata together since the 1950s.

Chicago to Delhi to Kolkata

P2190031If you have been following our Twitter updates, you know we are now in Kolkata. We were only in Delhi for one day, but it was a great visit. Our hosts were incredibly hospitable and what I was able to see of the city made me realize how historic this part of the world is. We were able to visit The Red Fort, India Gate and The Parliament Buildings. Plus, we had lunch at a place that was one of Bill Clinton’s favorites when he visited as president in 2000 – Bukhara at the ITC Hotel.


We are now in Kolkata for the weekend to visit Sanjeev’s family. We just had a great dinner with his parents and brother, and we look forward to a weekend of relaxation, site seeing (and some work) as we prepare for our trip to visit our partners in Bangalore on Monday and Tuesday.


SANJEEV: As we sit in the airport contemplating our 15 hour flight across the world, I am thinking about a past that is so much a part of my future. I return to the streets I grew up in, with George, introducing him to the food I ate and loved, and the people that are family. This journey should be interesting as we mix business and pleasure and indoctrinate George in the ways of India.

Send us your thoughts and questions

We have a great opportunity while in India to get a first-hand view of our partners' operations and how they work with agencies around the world, including in North America. Next Monday night, we will be seeing how the team in Bangalore works seamlessly with an agency in Canada on various print design production projects. While we are there, we have a few questions that we want answered and a few things we want to see in action.   We would love to answer any questions you may have on the process, challenges, opportunities and other things that may cross your mind when thinking about global creative resources. So please e-mail us at or leave a comment on this site....

Continue Reading