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One volunteer: Dan Iversen, Market Development Director EMEA, Xylem

“Now I know we are really solving water, and working for a better world.”

“It was very touching to see the children and teachers’ reactions,” Dan remembered. “We all were humble, and aware of the fact that the experience was extraordinary.” That’s significant, he asserted. “We are pioneers here. In this market, nobody else is doing such a program. Why is it better than five-star trips? Because this is the right thing to do! It represents a benefit to the world. We are helping people in need. It is totally in line with Xylem’s core values, and this will let our customers know that we are making a difference.

How would you describe the Waterdrop initiative?

Waterdrop is a loyalty program where our customers are rewarded to be loyal, in a way that will give them the opportunity to make a difference around the world, bringing clean water to people in need.

In your own words, describe the Waterdrop pilot trip experience.

It was one of the biggest experiences in my life, I will never forget it. It was very emotional to see children and teachers’ reactions. To see how customers reacted, and we were humble, and aware of the fact that this experience was strong and powerful.

What did you expect to experience before the pilot trip started? And what was your first impression when you finally arrived? How did you feel?

Didn’t expect that we would get such influenced, I thought I would be more on the surface. We got emotional in a way I couldn’t imagine. Also the way we interacted with the local people, and how much this meant to them. I could see it in their eyes they were super happy, and we respected each other. This was not a normal customer trip!!

Tell us a little bit about your experience building the towers and working with the children.

It was very funny, both us and children were OK with it! They helped us a lot. We all wanted to do more, water towers were almost already prepared, we could have done much more. Our team was top performing! Training classes were amazing, it was very emotional, something like 50 children between 5 and 10 years and they were so happy, having fun together with us. I thought it was difficult, no common language, you don’t know them… but it was a lot easier than I expected.

What were the major challenges you encountered and overcame during the trip? (i.e., heat, sanitary conditions, tiredness, etc.)

Heat and the food. They made food for us, the quality was OK and we didn’t want to disappoint them by not eating it even if I was reluctant, but it had a much higher bacteria flora compared to our food and I got sick when I got back home. We need to prepare ourselves for that.

What’s your single most valuable moment or experience from the trip?

When we came into the school and when we left it. You could see the children were heavy when we arrived, and then after the tower was built they were so happy.

How was the relationship building and teamwork with the other participants?

It was funny, we came in 3 groups, DE and FR didn’t speak English, but in the end we did communicate a lot and we built strong relationships both between Xylem guys and the customers. We experienced strong emotions together and you find out that life is more than business and pumps.

Now that some time has passed since your Waterdrop volunteer trip, has anything changed in your life? What is your favourite memory?

I am more proud of being a Xylem employee; I am more emotionally tied to the company. Before it was the place where I used to work, but now I know we are REALLY solving water, I am more emotionally tied.

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience that we didn’t ask?

I hope we all understand that we have something that is truly unique here: we can truly make a difference in the world and increase our business. I hope that everybody understands this.

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One volunteer: Manfred Jodat, Engineer, Hansa-Planung, Germany

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One volunteer: Terence Curzon, Principal Mechanical Engineer, AECOM, U.K.

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