They may be striking deals for self or on behalf of their companies on foreign soil, sharing dinner lunches and dinners with top executives at five-star settings, but the experience is far from satisfying the taste buds of home-food-craving Indians.
A survey by Regus India, a global premium office space provider, puts home food third in ranking among the top three things Indian business travellers miss during their official trips. Family and home sickness are the other two things that figure ahead of ghar ka khana.
According to the study, when travelling abroad for business, respondents said that after family (68%) and their home (38%), they are most likely to be hit by a bout of nostalgia over home cooking (25%), rather than savouring foreign cuisine.
One in five respondents (17%) also longs to speak in his mother tongue, highlighting that some home comforts really are irreplaceable.
According to industry insiders and travel agents, majority of Indian travellers do not enjoy food while travelling abroad. "This is the reason why Indian cooks accompanying travellers during foreign trips are in great demand" said Iqbal Mulla, president of Travel Agents Association of India.
The other interesting facets revealed during the survey are that 14 per cent of Indians miss their local weather than the global average of 8 per cent. Similarly, a fifth of respondents (22%) are less willing than they were ten years ago to separate from their home comforts and travel for business. Likewise, Generation X, is most likely to have young children and therefore most likely to miss their families.
Commenting on the results, Sahil Verma, chief operating officer of Regus India said, "Face-to-face meetings have often been a key part of business as people need to see the expressions and body language of those they are talking to, but workers also find that over the years their priorities change. New technologies that allow workers to hold video conferences are becoming more and more common and employees are rightly starting to demand that these be offered as an alternative to travel."