Koichi Fukunishi / Marubeni India Private Ltd.
Located in northern India—the largest democratic country in the world with a population of 1.2 billion—Delhi is the nation’s capital, which has enjoyed continued remarkable economic development in recent years.
When it comes to India, I think for a lot of us, the images that come to mind are of crowds of people, nothing but curry for cuisine, people wearing turbans, and the like—all of which are correct.
With respect to turbans, however, they are religious garments worn by Sikhs—no more than about 2% of the population. It may be that the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the political arena in recent years and the image of the villain pro wrestling character of yesteryear, Tiger Jeet Singh, created the impression of "Indians = turbans," but in fact there are surprisingly few chances to see them.
Delhi is divided into the city that was developed by the British about 100 years ago—New Delhi—and the ancient city that came to be known as Old Delhi. Old Delhi is congested, bustling, and chaotic, and employees on assignment in India have nearly no chance of setting foot in the city.
New Delhi, on the other hand, has subways, and they even opened a Starbucks coffee shop in the city last year. With strict building height regulations and abundant greenery, the skies feel expansive when compared with the major cities in Asian countries that bristle with skyscrapers, and the atmosphere is relaxed.
Ruins are scattered throughout the city, and although they are unfortunately not properly managed and thus are not suitable for tourism, Humayun's Tomb--which became the model for the design of the Taj Mahal--as well as the Qutab Minar, the tallest minaret in the world, are both designated World Heritage Sites, and they are properly managed.
In spite of being exposed to wind and rain for 1,500 years, the Qutab Minar has an iron pillar inside that is not the slightest bit rusted, which is a modern-day mystery, and anyone can easily view this iron pillar up close.
There are dedicated expressways to the Taj Mahal—often cited as one of the places in the world that people want to visit once in their lifetimes--and the trip takes about two hours one-way from Delhi.
Be sure to take the opportunity to include a weekend stay during your business trip so that you can experience the culture and history at these sites. Of course the authentic Indian curry is superb (I have eaten enough for a lifetime, so I don't need any more).
Marubeni Group magazine "M-SPIRIT" VOL.77 (September, 2013)