As a work-from-home Digital-Factory-styled company, PRODT connects on a camera-on, NSA (no-strings-attached) Zoom session every fortnight. The theme of these sessions vary from playing online multiplayer games like Pictionary or Dumb Charades to movie reviews to light-hearted conversations. Our objective is to connect our staff with the organisation and vice versa. I encourage all my team members to spend this time with the organisation irrespective of how their week/fortnight went. We try not to judge each other as our personal sides are reflected in these meetings.
The meeting on 14th August 2021 was extremely different as Jyotsana, our HR lead, came up with a seemingly unassuming topic to speak about our childhood and our favourite memory. I expected it to be a casual/carefree atmosphere and it indeed was that for most of us. We reflected on how we were as children with some interesting and funny incidents along the way. Although some were able to narrate incidents with clarity and some could not, I felt this was an important step where our team members began to express and learn the art of expression. The more we express, the more we will find ways to improve.
One of our team members reflected that he was not blessed with a great childhood as he was forced to leave school and work as a kid to meet basic needs of his family. Vimal achieved this with a lot of ease and he showed zero negativity about his childhood. Today, with PRODT he has found and grown new wings and he has thanked me for the opportunity. I was aware of his past however his narrative was extremely moving and that led me to write up this short blog. We have all gone through highs and lows in our childhood and I have read a lot of material that talks about how what we are today (our abilities, mindset and well being) is a reflection of our experiences of our childhood. Vimal spent around 10 years as an office boy in a bank running errands. He earned everything that he is today and he also made decisions for every aspect of his life. WOW, this should be a real confidence booster. He has gone through hardships, but he is indeed a leader in the making.
Vimal was referred to me through my cousin as banks were closing down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. I required someone to maintain the company books. My simple breakdown of what I wanted to ask him was clear as he has been with money and numbers for 10 years and he would understand form filling and compliances. I also asked him questions to validate this. My analysis was fair, he came out with flying colours. I also suggested that he do a desk job instead of a job which required moving around. It was important to mention that it will take him conscious effort to learn to sit at a place with concentration. Finally, I felt that accounts would require some English skills and he was not all that great. We started simple English lessons for him.
It has been a year and Vimal is managing company books, generating invoices, family books, GST payments, payroll computation and tax computation. He also writes follow-up Emails for all ageing ARs and keeps things tight. All this with applying baseline Agile principles, democratic execution, daily SCRUM, fuelling passion, allowing some mistakes to be made and allowing to correct those, thus giving him an environment and a coach. There is a lot left to be achieved as we are in an early part of Vimal’s professional career. He also feels that he is changing for the better and I am delighted to have Vimal as part of our team and on the path of transformation. In addition, I also feel blessed that I could contribute to someone's life journey.
I also reflected on my childhood and narrated a few of my funny incidents. While I was writing this blog, I felt that I was blessed to have great parents, well-wishers, and experiences without which I would not have experienced the joy of transformation. This is one of the ways for me to acknowledge all those who supported me and lifted me when the chips were down. Tasmay Shri Guruvay Namah. I bow down to all people and experiences that have made me what I am today. I am proud of what I am today.
At PRODT we are trying to build a culture that is reflecting, caring, and transforming in all aspects. The journey is not easy and the culture is difficult to develop during this pandemic, however value can only be created only if challenges exist. I am trying to build this company with a transformative impact to each stakeholder in PRODT and starting with ourselves and then as an organisation, therefore to our clients in the end.
We need all the blessings and luck to endure this journey!