Authentic Journeys helps companies like yours build effective India- US cross border and distributed teams. While a majority of clients are software companies, Authentic Journeys works with other business verticals to achieve their business goals through innovative, interactive and impactful managerial coaching and cross-cultural business training solutions.
|New Logo since 2020|
When did Authentic Journeys start?
Authentic Journeys started in Rochester, NY (USA) in 2009 and then in Kochi, India in 2011.
Who is the founder?
Jennifer Kumar is the founder and Managing Director. Check out her profile by scanning the LinkedIn QR code below.
Where is the office?
While Authentic Journeys has registered addresses in Kochi at Infopark (India) and Salt Lake City (USA), generally, Authentic Journeys is a virtual company. Jennifer and her team provide services to your teams over digital communication channels.
Is it an officially registered company?
Yes. Authentic Journeys is registered as Authentic Journeys Consultancy Private Limited in India and as Authentic Journeys LLC in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
How do you accept payments?
We accept payments in INR locally in India and USD in the US. In India, we accept bank transfers and payments through instamojo. In the US, we accept payments via bank transfers, Venmo, PayPal or others.
Are you available for training assignments in person?
Yes. We can discuss this on an assignment by assignment basis.
Does Authentic Journeys offer online sessions or webinars?
Yes, for individuals or small groups up to 5, Authentic Journeys has delivered training programs to other locales in India, the US and other countries such as Singapore and Canada. As of 2017, 95% of our programs are delivered virtually, live with Jennifer Kumar as a facilitator. This is actually the best platform to ready your development team that needs to improve their communication skills over virtual communication channels. We practice role plays and demos in the actual environment in which it happens, getting your team ready faster.
How long are the sessions (duration)?
Unlike face to face sessions, where we meet for a half day, full day or multiple days, online sessions take a bit longer to complete. But, that’s actually good news for a few reasons.
Here’s an example. Let’s say a typical full day session is 7 hours. We’d break this up into 1 or 1.5 hour sessions, conducting live facilitated virtual sessions once or twice a week. As each session comes to an end, participants are given activities to do until the next session. These activities are not only based on what we talk about in sessions, but are practical to help them with their job immediately. For instance, if we talk about how to open a meeting with clients, participants practice this in the session, then will apply this between sessions with their clients. When we meet in the next session, they talk about how it went and we talk about how to make it even better, taking it to the next level.
In some cases, we flip the classroom, so that participants do activities before the session. Jennifer will review the rework and deliver the session based ONLY on the needs of what that group needs to learn and improve rather then the entire content which may not be relevant to each person.
Do you teach IELTS or TOEFL?
We can custom tailor a 10 hour program for you once you take a practice exam. The exam score will help us to understand what areas of the test to focus on with you. We also offer general Conversational and Spoken English classes tailored to your need. See more here.
What skill or experience levels are participants of your training programs?
While a majority of participants hold Master’s Degrees and have more than 7 years experience in their field, participants range in experience from recent college graduates to seasoned professionals with over 35 years’ experience, including CEOs. Some of the most common job titles of participants include:
Global Program Manager
How many professionals have benefited from the programs through Authentic Journeys?
As of 2020, Authentic Journeys has worked with more than 50 companies in India and the US ranging from small startups with less than 20 people to large Indian companies with thousands of employees and multiple locations to multinational corporations (MNCs) with thousands of employees worldwide. Authentic Journeys has helped almost 3,500 business and career professionals gain culture and business acumen through the range of programs offered.
Which are some of the companies you have worked with?
View the page on case studies to see an abbreviated client list and success stories.
How can I take your training programs?
Individual – If you are an individual, we offer private individualized sessions. These sessions range from 1 to 20 hours and are tailored on your specific requirement.
Company/Team – Team Leads, Managers and Human Resource Professionals can contact us to discuss training options. Once a suitable program is chosen or created based on a training needs assessment (TNA), participants are selected to attend sessions which take place at the Authentic Journeys’ office, at your company location or at an off-site location arranged by your company or team.
Our US and India teams have faced problems that we can’t solve, do you offer mediation?
Yes. Authentic Journeys offers mediation within and between teams. We broach cross-cultural business problems and act as an impartial investigator collecting perspectives from both sides to help bridge culture gaps, increase understanding and improve productivity in offshore and onsite teams.
My team in India work with Americans but will not go to the US. Do we still need your training?
More than 80% of those who benefited from Authentic Journeys training programs work with Americans on offshore, co-located, dispersed teams. These professionals have not and may not ever go to the US. These professionals interact with Americans through email and over the phone in regular status update meetings and other virtual interactions, such as video conference calls and webinars. As long as an Indian professional or their team works with Americans, cross-cultural training benefits the business as well as overall professional development of the participants. Cross-cultural training helps distributed teams work more effectively across global borders, and within the borders of their own country, state or city. Cross-cultural training helps to bridge understanding in diverse or even homogeneous groups as no two people think alike!
I am an American that has been hired to be a trainer in India. Can you help me?
Yes, I can help you in personalized, paid coaching sessions. Authentic Journeys helps professionals that have come to India to train in the corporate space get acquainted with Indian corporate mannerisms, working as a freelancer, how to negotiate and set proposals with Indian companies, expectations on time management, student or participant engagement strategies and other techniques for a successful short or long term assignment.
What does the name Authentic Journeys mean?
Authentic Journeys is a name that was chosen with a purpose in mind. While, yes, some can confuse it with a travel agency, Authentic Journeys is not a relocation service., though it doesWe help with expat business training for professionals going to the US. The meaning of Authentic Journeys does lie in travel and self-discovery, however. When we work with other nationalities,s in diverse global business situations or settle abroad (the journey), we may feel that the new ways of thinking or behaving conflict with our beliefs, values or ways of behaving (being authentic). Hence, culture shock or culture change impacts our ability to balance who we are and who we may have to become when adapting to a new culture. This is our Authentic Journey. Authentic Journeys, as a company, believes we can find a balance between cultures without having to should not have to compromise our culture or values to adapt to another that culture, but to find a balance between both cultures. This balance is different for different people, hence the Authentic Journey is unique for each person, even people in the same company, team, or family.
I read on your site there is something called the ‘Small Talk Newsletter.’ What is this and can I get it?
The small talk newsletter is issued a few days to a week before most major American holidays. It provides context about the holiday and tips for small talk with US colleagues. This newsletter is particularly helpful for expats, international assignees and offshore team members working with US clients or colleagues. As of 2015, there are about 500 subscribers to this newsletter. Subscribers get access by choosing training packages that avail of this service or purchase it separately. If interested, contact us to find out more.
Do you have any client testimonials to share?
“When it comes to US business, the first name that comes to my mind is Jennifer. She is my mentor, coach and guide for empowering me to bridge the US – India cultural gap. Back in 2014, I have had a very painful event in my career where I lost a US client due to my lack of understanding of this cultural mismatch. I had the client team visiting and I thought I played the roles really well..of course…according to Indian standards. But when the client shied away, I was purplexed and dejected. I did not know what went wrong and spend a lot of sleepless nights pondering this over. I then connected to my peers and they suggested that I meet Jennifer. One great thing about Jennifer is her in-born talent of not judging people and accepting them as they are. Jennifer after listening to my story of the lost deal just knew what could have gone wrong and inducted me to her real-life practical sessions on US Business Culture. Oh man! that was an eye opener. Since then I didn’t have to look back and could close deals one after another with the US clients.
Before the incident, I thought the sessions on culture was just a mumbo-jumbo with a lot of hype around it. I am now a living example of how Authentic Journeys and Jennifer created a paradigm shift. She is really genuine and accommodates serious learners. Since then our journey has had a definite meaning and I will always remain grateful to her for my transformation.
Authentic Journeys, I would say is The Cultural Translator for Indo-US Businesses. Small details that goes unnoticed might create a great divide and will drive the clients from the US away. Having said that, it is NOT to say that US companies don’t know that they are in a new country and the cultural differences definitely exist. In spite of that many meetings go astray. Jennifer and Authentic Journeys have taken pains to list down the do’s and don’ts for US visitors to India. I would strongly recommend businesses that aspire to build a base in India or US connect with Authentic Journeys Representatives.
Ensuring the true spirit of cross cultural translation is what Authentic Journeys advocates. This is not easy. A more deeper level of understanding of both the cultures is required to ensure that the transition is perfect. Every communication verbal or non-verbal becomes important in business. Starting from a handshake which is otherwise perceived as harmless to the first 14 seconds of personality scanning (mirror neuron connection) decides the future of the business relationships. Authentic Journeys connects with both the cultures and translates the meaning of their verbal/non-verbal maps. Sometimes Authentic Journeys has to step into the role of a behavior coach as well. Jennifer is highly qualified and experienced to take this feat forward. I wish all the very best to Jennifer and Authentic Journeys for the wonderful work that they are doing now. Please continue to inspire more businesses.” ~Jinesh Narayanakutty
How can I get in touch with you?