The recent incident with Paul Henry on TV NZ's Breakfast program and his subsequent "resignation" reminds me of my trip to India. I had the opportunity to speak to the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) in Bangalore and Hyderabad. During this time, I also spoke to SKS Microfinance which recently went public.

My first contact with Indian bureaucracy was in Bombay airport at the immigration when I applied for my visa-on-arrival which has been granted to all holders of New Zealand passports. This applies to visitors arriving into India for tourism purposes only.

For some funny reason, the immigration officers (and it took 3 of them to deal with me!) said that I didn't look like a tourist! Didn't realise that you had to have legs to be a tourist! I thought I didn't look like a security threat yet it took them 5 hours to finally give me that stamp in my passport. It was even more ridiculous that I had to go outside the terminal to pay the visa fees, without a passport because the other guy held on to it... well, technically I had already entered the country illegally, haven't I?

When I transferred to the domestic airport, the security people told me to get out of my chair and put that through the X-ray machine, after which they asked me what was in the tyres and I said......"Air". DUH!

Look, do I REALLY look like a security threat???

India was a complete culture shock from what I am used to in New Zealand. I was hosted in a really nice hotel with beautiful grounds but right outside its doors was poverty I had never seen before in any of the Asian countries I had visited for speaking engagements. The gap between the rich and the poor is HUGE! I spoke to an audience (the rich) that was looking for Tony's brand of inspiration and motivation to do better in life yet there were so many people living on the side of the roads, just metres away, in little tents that are their home, their beds, their kitchen and their toilet. Many were families with little kids, existing rather than living and it was a heartbreaking sight.

I enjoyed my time with the groups that I presented to. The Indians were warm and very enthusiastic and they all wanted to know about New Zealand!! Unfortunately, the streets were not accessible for me so I stayed mostly in the hotel where I had really great Indian food without the prospect of Delhi-Belly!

I wouldn't mind going back to India at some stage. The Taj Mahal is a world wonder that I would like to see in my lifetime. I hope I don't meet the same immigration officer though!