Corporate Adventure Event: SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

SBI Life Corporate Meet/Conference

This was the year 2014 and month October, I carried out an Adventure Event in Namdapa National Park, Arunachal Pradesh, for SBI Life Insurance Co Ltd.

Not for too long but at least for a considerable time I lived in the corporate world. I better understand what a meet/conference or an event does mean for the corporate. During my tenure in the corporate I always felt a kind of repulsion whenever we got the call for a meet or conference. That meet or conference could never be able to attract or persuade me whatever might be the stars tagged with it. 

My Thought

I always thought that there were number of other ways to convey the corporate messages to its employees, to make them achievers and to get the best out of them. Before realizing your employees’ potentialities whether they can make it or not, first make themselves realize about their own potentialities and capabilities.

How can someone realize his/her own capabilities? When he/she is exposed to hardship at both mental and physical level, not by compulsion of duties but by thrills and excitements of something new and unusual, when the mind challenges its own physical strength. That is what I feel and believe.

Activity cum campsite area

The Meet- as I Planned

My plan was exactly the same for SBI life Ins. Co.; throw and put them in a complete unknown, unseen and unexpected beauty of nature, where they would be exposed to both mental and physical tests. And let them experience the thrill and excitement of the unknown, unseen and unexpected.

Make them breath the air not of the conditioner of star hotel or resort but the air coming down from the high hills and blowing over  the blue river with the wild fragrance. Let them speak with not the microphones in their grip, but allow them to shout from the hearts with widely open hands. Allow them to  be a child even for a day out of all business, let them sleep not within the sophisticated walls and decorated roofs, but in the open space and with breezing music of the wind.  Let them see the sunrise over the corner of the hills, allow them realize their stamina that they can still swim, climb, run and throw…

They had to walk up for lunch and dinner


View of nao-dihing river

Finding the Location- Namdapha

Before putting my plan in front of my client I made an extensive survey in Nampong, Arunachal Pradesh and upto the “Lake of No Return” in Myanmar and Deban in Namdapha National Park (Changlang District). Finally I choose Deban, not inside the Namdapha National Park, but on the bank of the Nao-dihing River on the other side of the Namdapha Jungle Camp

After everything finalized, I detailed to the SBI Life Insurance authority about the location and also the basic preparation they need to consider; like to be in sporty get up and sporty mind. As per the program they needed to reach Deban (Miao)) on 25th October by the noon or afternoon, overnight in Deban and next day morning trekking, elephant safari,   boating, swimming etc.

Rowing the raft in Namdapha

with Tine Mena

Namsai-Dirak Gate

Since we needed to make a lot of arrangements at the location, we moved one day ahead of the program.  I had already collected the entry permits for everyone from the Field Director of Namdapha National Park, Mio office and informed the official that we would enter not via Mio but via Dirak entry gate, Lohit District and through Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary.

ILP and Trouble

ILP (inner line permit) to Lohit District is instantly issued at Dirak Gate, and that what I knew and experienced till date.  But this time at Dirak Gate, we were told that ILP would be issued from Dibrugarh, which is some 118 km away from there and there is no more issuance of instant ILP at the gate. An unfriendly atmosphere was waving at the Dirak Gate as a lot people were caught in trouble for the sudden change of the rule. The security person allowed me to go and meet the Deputy Commissioner of Lohit district with the promise that I would come back to the gate and let them know what I got.

Office of DC

Reaching the DC office in Namsai  I sought an appointment. I explained our purpose to DC (Deputy Commissioner) and told that we were 30 people who would be coming the next day from different parts of Assam and if they  were  not allowed to enter there would  be no other way but to go back. And also showed him the entry passes for everyone issued from Mia Forest office. The DC told me that the passes were to enter Namdapha National Park, Changlang District and he was responsible only for his own Lohit District; how could he allow us. 

But he called his PA thinking for a while and asked him to prepare entry pass for every one of us listed. Thanked him, got much relief with a little effort. After almost 3 hours we got the prepared permits. Now I had one more task- that was to come back again the later day from Deban to Dirak Gate (100km) to receive my clients as ILP was with me. 

25th October 2014:

Receiving the Team

After breakfast I reached Dirak gate by around 10 AM and waited for the SBI Life Insurance team.  At around 12 noon I got the call from my client that the national highway was blocked by a mob in Kakopather area, Assam and the situation was unrest. Almost 2 hours late they could reach Dirak Gate.

We were already late, we should move soon, but there was something unseen that perhaps planned to make the entire episode more thrilling than I planned. We needed to wait for almost 1  hour for one of their car for no  major reason  at zero point from where the  Kamlang forest begins.  From there the  forest is nearly 47  km in length that we needed to cover and in 2 and a  half hours.  

Precautionary Notes

Before heading our drive inside the Kamlang Sanctuary  I put few points to everyone that-

1. Everyone needs to be very careful in driving as the roads was broken in many places, potholes, sharp rocks always ready to puncture the tyre. 

2. There was a bridge swiped away by the hilly flood last summer and we were supposed to drive by the side of it.

3. At two places there were huge uprooted trees fell from the top of the hill over the road like the inclined arm of a triangle and the road there had no shoulder on the other side and is steep down, there were little space to cross the vehicle.

4. At few places there were landslides.

5. We would be driving our cars over water stream or river at Kampai, where there was an iron hanging bridge.

6.  And most importantly there was a RCC Bridge at a sharp descending turn whose half of the entrance was no more as if someone had eaten up the 25% of a slice bread from one corner. For the slightest distraction that bridge might lead any car to the depth of the hills straight down.  

Driving in Kamlang Forest 

We switched on the ignitions. The road was a narrow one and suitable for one way. By the time darkness already gulped the Kamlang forest. My car was on the lead and wherever I felt the need of an extra caution I stopped and signaled them to safely cross. In the darkness the swiped away bridge was looked ghostly as we passed by it over the boulders. We could only see the lonely thin broken and torn road as if the jungle was squeezing it from the both sides. Small branches were lashing at the body of the cars from the sides.


Driving over Stream

After about 40-45 minutes we reached Kampai, where we needed to cross the river. Yes, for the people from the city to drive over a river (how small might be it) amidst a hilly jungle and that too in darkness, is definitely a great NO. I asked everyone to come out of the cars to lessen the load of the vehicles, so that any damage by the underwater rocks could be avoided.
They get off the car and felt amazed to feel the cold whistling sound of wind; the touch of the crystal clear river water and its flowing noises with the rocks that made everyone shout the ‘WOO….’ All the troubles that had happened to us so far were the conspiracy of the unknown only to make our drive more thrilled.


From there on wards I was requested to drive one of their cars. Now I am on the wheel and they were three. Throughout the drive I detailed about the road and about the people of the place as much as I knew. They expressed their feelings the way they experience the drive in darkness through the lengthy jungle distance which they never ever thought of. Yeah obviously they had the Goosebumps.  


Camp Deban

It generally takes two and half hours to reach our destination, but this time we took one extra hour and after passing through nearly 2 km long wild banana forest we reached our destination ‘Camp Deban’ where dinner was arranged for them. 

Everything was kept ready for them, it was their time how they wish to enjoy. Even having a long tiresome drive they sang, danced, shouted, enjoyed to the fullest with their own ways they could.

Walk to Sleep

After the dinner we guided them to their sleeping places. They had no ideas about it. With torches we guided them through small bushes and grassland, a descending slope, 15 minutes walk over boulders and sand to the tents; although that was a very little walk at night, after going through the last hours experiences they felt too tired. 

The night was awesome, the moon was playing hide and seek through clouds, and air was blowing with whistling sound from the top of the hills. Nao-dihing river was creating the symphony, when the cicadas were busy in making their never ending long pitch of sound. 


Good Night

We kept our tents pitched for them from small to big ones and alloted them properly since there were ladies too. On good night wish and I asked them to sleep tight and relax and just gave a brief geography about their bed rooms’ surroundings. Yes, their tents were on the bed of the Nao- Dihing, and it was the sub Himalayan Patkai range hills around them. They were tired and we too, but there were four who did not even wish to sleep and enjoyed the night till around 2 am sitting under the sky in the lap of the river making gossips.


Next Morning

Our staff made them awake with black tea and biscuits in the early morning. Coming out of the tents, stretching the body they could not stop the child inside them witnessing the heavenly surrounding. I could see their eyes, glow of the faces and smiles on their lips. 

good morning


serving morning black tea


At breakfast I spoke what next; a short trekking, elephant safari, boating and swimming. Trekking was no longer viable for them as they already had it walking over the rocks and boulders, sand, ascending and descending the slope, to and fro their so called bedrooms. Staff of the forest dept informed us about the unavailability of elephant. We started enjoying the boating on the crystal green river. 

fun in rowing


the team with Tine Mena Everester


The color  of the water was so appealing that the first one could not resist to jump into the river to swim, then after few minutes the second, then the third, and  within a few minutes everyone (except three) get wet on the river to swim or to play. Some of them even did not know how to swim, but it was the call of the beautiful nature, so lets try…and they were there, trying to learn swimming. Even, the ladies were not the silent spectators. They choose a preferred distance and yes they too drenched themselves with the river. 

A short life spent cheerfully by everyone with all the routines forgotten and now the time for lunch. We had to request them again and again for the lunch, because they were lost in the beauty of the nature. 

Swimming in Nao-dihing


SBI team with me(in red t-shirt) 


My Learning

After having a complete “khamti traditional” cuisine, time to pack the luggages and back to business. 

I planned an unusual “offsite meet” but the obstacles on the previous day made it ‘extraordinary’. Every difficulty gave us something new to enjoy. Truly, difficulty is the beginning of a beautiful end. And that was my learning from this Event.
Courtesy- Mr. Khyanjeet Gogoi, Miss Tine Mena, Miss Ena Menjo, Mrs Antina Maunglang and the staff.

Dear Friends, thanks for reading. Your suggestions and views for improvement are highly appreciated. Do comment in the below box and share among other readers if you found it eligible to share.


Dipmoina Dowarah 

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