My very first step in the world of Corporate, and I am already late by twenty minutes. Running across the road to the petrol pump with my friend (cum co-intern) and his bike that needs food to function, and my stomach that has not been fueled up yet.
The day surely did not start as I had narrated in my fairytale. But that’s life; predictable is its unpredictability. Unprecedented was the fact that this internship had a bittersweet flavor, considering the entire strenuous procedure that made it a bigger achievement for me. Nevertheless, I was well aware that it indeed is a big accelerator in my career path.
Huffing and puffing I make it to The Lalit, the place where our induction was scheduled; the place where it all began. I am welcomed by some curious and some old faces and am immediately ushered to the breakfast area. I hadn’t missed anything (including the delicious South Indian meal) and was pepped up to make up for the initial absence. I peep into the induction hall only to find my nametag placed right in the front row. Time for full attention and concentration; mental note made. I grab a cup of cappuccino and rush to my seat only to find two bags placed on my chair. One has some amazing personalized goodies, while the other has all the products of my company, my company Piramal. Around forty-five faces from all over the country look anxiously at our coordinator for the day. Full of life and enthusiasm, she wishes us good morning. However the nervous bunch of us reply meekly. She decides to raise the bar by making us stand and jive to the tunes of YMCA. We keep following her till all the steps are learnt by heart by us. Then she invites some interns to take the lead and does not stop herself from playing the songs that we would want to hear after a drunk night in Colaba. Everyone turns hysterical watching everyone else do crazy steps. Mission accomplished, the ice was broken. Then we all take our seats and the “Seva Geet” is played. What seemed like another prayer to me when I read the induction itinerary was actually a worship song, worshipping the society we work in, and giving it back to them in every possible way. It increased my respect for the company by ten folds.
There was a huge round of applause only to be followed by our first overwhelming panel from one of the businesses of the conglomerate. We get introduced to the company and more importantly we are brought in line to understand the importance of Knowledge, Action, Care and Impact, the four pillars of this consortium.
“If people are not laughing at your dreams, your dreams are not big enough.” The Vision 2020 dream of our Chairman, which seemed impossible to me before this induction, looked absolutely achievable when all the businesses gradually showed us how they were clear about their role in this Vision. The supreme values were constantly hammered in our head and the route to become successful became clearer. One of the six Piramal Success Factors (PSF), ‘Think Big”, clearly manifested in the vision the company shall achieve.
We couldn’t resist asking the team about the major decision of selling off one of the primary businesses to another competitive firm a few years back, for which we were told that for them delivering the best to the customer preceded profitability and they could foresee that the competitive firm had the resources to take the product to new heights thereby deliver better results to customers. This truly highlighted their second PSF, “Serve Customer”. It also made us realize that the ability to see in the future and emotional detachment from business are key factors for a business to flourish.
This was followed by a delicious lunch session where I ensured I make up for all the times I had to skip lunch due to MBA. This is where we all interns circled together and started talking. The morning indeed had served its purpose. We were looking forward to the next half of the day and it did not let us down. The minute we entered the room, all that we heard was ‘Fire in the Mountain; run, run, run’ and instantly all interns started looking for their counterparts in the number so announced. We had clear winners for the same. After which we welcomed the next panel by jiving all around the hall. The next team focused on a simple concept- in Piramal, every child is taught, A for Apple, B for Ball and C for Collaboration. This company firmly believes that unity and not rat race can help the society grow. With its immense mergers and acquisitions, the conglomerate has collaborated tamed a successful inorganic growth and by its processes it ensures that even the stakeholders demonstrate the same. Collaboration was shown in true spirits by the way everyone from the different companies worked together to give us this enriching experience, making it one of the most important PSFs.
After another session of one of the business units, we break for tea where it struck me that the woman I had been talking to during the lunch was the lead of one of the departments. I hadn’t for once felt that she is of a higher authority, and considering the culture of addressing peers by their names and not showing pseudo respect made me realize the level of humility in this company. I understood how they display this PSF through their action. They truly portray doing well and doing good in everything they do, thereby living upto their motto.
The next session laid deep emphasis on making commitments and delivering them. We got to see how one of the companies had committed to a mammoth goal and had superseded it with a CAGR of 40% in a market that was facing recession. This PSF was passed down to the work the employee does and how all their units work together as a force to live by the values of the company. This extremely enlightening session left a deep impact on me. I couldn’t stop myself from asking the umpteenth number of questions about the company I had always deliberated upon. I was answered very patiently and I got clarity on a lot of fields.
Towards the end, I go speak to one of the members from the team to understand my project charter better. I am stunned to find that my HRIT project has a direct impact on more than ten thousand employees across globe. This trust of the company on my ability made me realize that they believe in their decisions and truly empower the employee and develop them to be future leaders. Their sixth PSF.
Feeling enlightened I go back home peacefully, looking forward to the next day and at the same time feeling blessed for the mammoth opportunities that lay in front of me. My first day indeed was better than the ones in the fairytale.