The journey of three years, Happy Birthday Techdivine
It was March 2009. An inviting odour came from the kitchen as the freshly steamed veggies and hot curry with Paranthas rolled out coupled with a delicious sabzi and what looked like freshly chopped salad dressing on a plate.
I was at the dinner table with few of my cousins as we dined and discussed everyday routine, varied, amusing and interesting things that were happening in all of their lives. I strangely, had nothing to say…..
After a scrumptious dinner and lot of chit-chat and fun they all left for their homes and I was at the patio of the building. There was some restlessness and some uneasy feeling from within. I had a good paying job, wonderful academic credentials and so to speak a nice and relaxed life. But after the discussions today with my cousins and few family friends who had joined me and my family for dinner, I realized that my job was taking every ounce of my life. There were no breaks, no holidays and no free time so to speak. Worst of all, no learning or growth. That was doubled with tremendously poor work culture and a lifestyle that consumed 80% of all employee time in inter-office politics rather than productive work contribution. As these thoughts rolled out, I realized that this day, today was the first time I had taken a holiday in ten months and that too due to excessive mental fatigue. In the past ten months my work had taken me across 23 cities across 4 states in India. There was lot of restlessness.
As I was walking on the terrace, I saw a big mirror that was carelessly cast aside in one of the corners of the patio. I moved towards it and my physiognomy told me that there was more than mere mental fatigue on my face. There was a complete sense of dissatisfaction and understanding that there would be no growth in an environment as such. I kept pondering over the various meetings, clients, my past work experience of around 8 years that had trained, taught and molded me into a man of strong work ethics and high discipline. Even the brands that I had worked with before this job were not only professional, but an amazing learning experience. Both that were completely lacking at the current place of my work. No wonder, there was so much mental fatigue.
Just then at about 10pm, I got a call from my boss screaming and shouting on my day off that too, a leave that was taken after a gap of ten months of straight work consuming 12-14 hours every day for six days a week. He went on and on rambling about some task that his secretary was to take care of and due to her convenient millionth day holiday tomorrow, would be pushed back again and how he needed me to call the said individuals and coordinate and get the task done. I did not respond or say anything. The phone call at that moment was as though it was an apparition of ill omen.
The work that I was doing off-late was not challenging, neither was it recompensed ever with a pat on the back or even a gesture or a mere sign or prospect for future growth. I had 8 years of rich experience PRIOR to this job and that too with some wonderful clients and brands across the world. Now, how I somehow landed up at this place, is probably left at best for a symbologist to decipher. It was that day that I decided that I would start something on my own. I had the necessary academic credentials, rich corporate past work experiences of at least good eight accountable years prior to this job and a very strong will.
I came back home, drafted “Vision for my company”, “Mission for my company” and guidelines for work ethics.
There are many points that were listed down as part of this epic moment for me. Here are just a few of those that were written down by me among the first eight work ethics & company policies –
1. You do not need to come to work at a physical location if –
- The work you are doing can be done from home too
- There is no task that requires you to be physically present at the office
- Your commuting time cuts down on your productive time (Especially in a city like Mumbai, where traffic conjures up your life’s half energy)
2. Any and all discussions that may even remotely stem to “inter-office” politics to be avoided at all costs. Nothing other than work or professional learning gets discussed and every discussion, personal or work to be put into an email or in written with each other. (I have realized that once you start to putting things down in paper or in writing, you tend to cut down time pass content, noisy chatter and so many things that take up your rather productive time. Because this is when you realize, that such clutter of superfluous discussions can only cause harm especially if its not benefiting anyone, including yourself)
3. Clients Goals are the only and top priority. We are not here to entertain and it’s a strict ‘No-nonsense’ environment that we will create. A fun environment, nevertheless, with real freedom to express oneself and contribute to the positives of the overall company and self-growth. We are not reporting to clients, but working with them as a team. (This policy has been majorly responsible for us being able to contribute so many ideas, value-adds, innovative marketing and brand strategies, high ROI for our clients over the years)
4. We are here to build brands, not a business or amuse guests and visitors that need a spotlight on their head every time they step out of their house. We are here to build an Organization. “Business are created dime a dozen, organizations are seldom built” (My favourite line)
5. Employees are free to learn and add any skill they want (even outside their professional need) even during work hours if their task for the day is already completed.
6. No one will be called up on phone unless it’s something that can really be not discussed on email.
7. No one needs to work beyond their work time allotted (that for me meant either that the person was not performing or competent OR that he /she was being given more tasks than they should be given, which also was not right)
8. No one will be called for work or sent emails for URGENT tasks after their scheduled work time. Plan the tasks in advance and plan it well with proper time and clear understanding of deadlines.
There were many more added, edited over the years, but these were the first few. After this I continued and typed out my resignation letter at the company where I was working. It took a total of 2-3 months more before I had resigned from my job, but luckily for me, I had brands waiting for me to contribute…. And I loved it.
It was then on March 1st, 2010 (It was on HOLI day) that we officially moved into an office with a team of 5-6 professionals specialized in design and development and its been exactly three years today since the wonderful journey began.
There have been so many professional and personal learning experiences that I went through during these three years that made me realize that it would have taken me at least additional 10 years of work experience to gain what I had gained in these three years.
“In the last three years, we have catered successfully to 30 BRANDS from 15 different industries across 4 countries. I loved every single moment of it. The pressures kept on mounting, but my team members and without a doubt, some really wonderful client brand partners made it worthwhile.”
Today, I can honestly say, that the decision I took the other night at the patio of my building was the right one. I do not know what the future holds, but I can proudly say, that through our company services, in the last three years, we have added tremendous value to various Corporate brands with innovative digital marketing, social media and brand management strategies that have resulted in higher brand reach, more quality leads and in many cases, even actual high ROI of sales conversions too.
As a business, we have socially been responsible, always been high on ethics and whenever we could, either me as an individual or with my team members, we have contributed any and all of our resources to add some real-value to those less privileged in the society.
During these first three years of my business, I can proudly say today, that I have bought my first new house in Mumbai, got my first car, grew both professionally and personally and can more pompously say that none of my team members at my company, who have either changed jobs or shifted to another location or pursued higher studies have ever disliked being here even for a single moment. And, how do I know that? Because they have always got their space when they needed it, be it for family time, health or even professional growth roadmap which was chalked down by them and me sitting together at the office or using skype call. We have hardly had clients that have disliked us or our work, well, there may be one or two but I can honestly say, we have hit the bull’s eye on customer satisfaction at over 95% in these three years.
I sincerely know I am still at the infancy stage of business and that I am just a toddler in the world of legends and icons. Especially when there are mentors like Mr.Dhirajlal Ambani (he will always live in our hearts,inspiring billions around the world), Mr.Narayana Moorthy who are real the real reasons behind people like me even getting the idea of starting on our own.
I usually never celebrate my Birthday, that’s the reason, I thought, I will take this opportunity today to celebrate TECHDIVINE’s birthday today of turning three!
It’s hopefully going to be a long journey ahead with curves, bumps, highs and lows and I hope that with all your good wishes, I make it through and am able to build an Organization that actually adds value to the society in general, adds value to those working with us and keeps innovating.
Thank you for these amazing action packed three years.
Here’s wishing TECHDIVINE CREATIVE SERVICES a very HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY!
“SUCCESS is not a number…..it’s a journey”
Have a nice day.
Founder & CEO
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