Ways and Importance of Building an Inclusive and Diverse Workforce!

You don’t get Harmony when everybody sings the same note.

The same analogy can be used for the culture of a company. A company is made up of different people from different regions, cultures, religions, age and backgrounds. When these diversities are mixed, a wonderful combination is made. Diversity is beautiful, it’s fun and its informative.

At Verinite, though being a small family, we have colleagues from all parts of India. These colleagues bring their own flavours, habits, history, customs and importantly FOOD. Verinite enjoys the best combination of this blend. This reflects very well in the company culture, the rules and regulations, the various company-wide events and celebrations.

We as a family make sure to celebrate all major festivals of our country. All Indians know the main festivals, customs and traditions of the 29 states. But when we at Verinite celebrate such festivals in office, we come to know the history, the reason of the tradition, the origin of the festivals. These are very interesting facts to understand about any region. During these celebrations, the colleagues from that region come up with innovative ideas to make the audience understand why and what is done on that particular occasion. These events broaden the outlook and mind of an individual and are very essential for personality development. We have also seen associates adapt to each other’s cultures. They learn each other’s languages.

One distinctive feature of one of the Potluck event was interchange of cultures. A person from north India trying to inculcate the tradition of south India. Preparing a dish and getting dressed in their attire. It was a delightful scene of unity in diversity and adaptability.

One very important aspect of Verinite’s culture is that no one feels like a stranger. Any new entrant is always welcomed with warmth. The main thread that binds the Verinitians together is of mutual respect. No one is ever judged on the way one looks, one’s habits or anything else that’s not alike. Everyone is accepted and respected for their uniqueness. This helps all the associates feel like one big family. This open and positive environment encourages work efficiency and team spirit.

Another way to look at diversity is also the ratio of Men and Women at Workplace. Its essential to have a ratio where in there are nearly equal number of Men and Women in office. Not only it helps women empowerment but it’s extremely important to have a women point of view in certain discussions related to resources or projects. Men and Women together make the best combination to find out any solution to any problem. Both are naturally different and have different instincts. They complement each other’s qualities and abilities. This Nature’s offering should be utilised at the workplace.

At Verinite, there are different committees and teams for projects or any events. Over the years we experienced that the things get done in a better way when men and women both are involved in the discussion. So we encourage a lot of women during recruitment. We have women at the leadership level who are indispensable in decision making. This diversity of gender is very interesting and inspiring.

During the annual events at Verinite, we experience another form of Diversity which exists in the company. And that’s of Talent. Each Verinitian is skilled in his own way. Few are champions in various forms of Sports, some in forms of Art like painting, dancing, singing, creative art, event management and others. During recruitment, the HR department always enquires about hobbies, extracurricular activities and achievements. These points are keys to understand what kind of capabilities and set of mind the candidate will bring to the table. These varied personalities make a wonderful union of talents which Verinite generously utilises during the fun activities of the year and all types of annual events. This get together of discrete abilities in itself is a learning and exciting experience for all.

The leaders help the team to work on new projects and new roles. Diversity of work is the USP of Verinite. For. Eg, If an associate is specialised in Quality assurance, he may be given an opportunity to work as a business analyst on the next assignment. We have associates who are looked up to as a role model due their vast and diverse experience of working in Verinite for many years. They are the most valued members of our Verinite Family. They are the pillars of Verinite’s success. They carry the same attitude forward and help their team develop in multiple capacities.

Speaking of work, our associates enjoy one more type of Diversity, changing work locations internationally. They require to travel and stay in another country for ongoing projects. It’s very common in Verinite that one resource needs to travel to 2 to 3 countries within a year for work. The experience of working at client locations has its own perks. On the weekends they explore the city they are currently located at. They make new friends of other nationalities. It’s exemplary to have visited countries other than our own. As an individual, one realises that the world is so big and beautiful. There is so much to see, to learn and do in life. Travel makes one modest, one sees what a tiny space one occupies in this vast world. It adds adventure to life. Travelling turns our associates into storytellers. Every time they are back in the HQ, they tell their travel and work stories and yes it’s a custom at Verinite to bring chocolates for the rest of the team. 🙂

All these diversities make up the very positive and unique culture of Verinite. A great culture which provides the context for people to deliver their best work.

What Made You Happy in 2018 !

The last year has been full of surprises. While contemplating about what made me happy last year, I was curious to know how the year was for my colleagues. I found some inspiring stories in the discussion with them.

Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Last year there were a lot of fresh graduates added to our team. 2018 marked the beginning of their careers and the path to being independent. Last year was very special for Sagar, as his family finally allowed him to work outside their family business. He was very keen to be a self made man and this gave him the opportunity. Vivek, Nutan, Mansi, Shraddha , Neha  and Nikhil  were thrilled to work on a project for the very first time in their life. It was a year of learning and dealing with new challenges. Being freshers , they had to study a lot about the company and the project they were working on. While expressing their views, I could notice a lot of excitement and enthusiasm in them.  Few of them had moved to the city for the first time, they had a adventurous year travelling and exploring new places across the city.

Shraddha was ecstatic while sharing her experience of receiving a medal by the hands of the Chief Minister of her state. All and all it was a year of new beginnings for these young faces.

Surbhi also had a fresh start with her career when she got a job after a long gap. She was away from work to give time to her family and her son. She had a fulfilling year looking at her son grow and perform better in school and a new beginning in her career.  I could feel how contended she was with her life experiences.

A Person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.  When my colleague Deepika was appreciated and encouraged by her mentor Ashish, she could outperform herself. She was confident to handle a client meet all by herself and be successful. That incident was the most memorable one for her in 2018. Just like that she always encourages her subordinates and they perform better.

Best Employee of the Year, Imran was elated when his name was announced for 2018 Verinite awards. He was working at an international location when the award ceremony was held at the headquarters in India.  He felt overwhelmed when Verinite technologies made special arrangements for him to fly to India so that he can receive his trophy in person. He was all smiles for the entire year!!

Sneha has completed 3 years in the organization, received 2 spot awards and a   star team award. This encouraged her to do better and she landed herself a project to lead. She also got an onsite opportunity , the first of her life to travel out of the country. These experiences have immensely contributed in the positive changes in her personality and confidence. She could see that when she was achieving so much in her profession, it had a great positive impact on her personal life. She indeed had a great 2018.

It is said that we don’t grow when the things are easy, we grow when we face challenges. Sai Sruthi had her hands full when she got to work on 5 different projects. Each with different types of skills needed. She struggled and successfully completed the projects and bagged a lead position.

Sankhdeep also faced a challenge when he had made a resolution at the start of the year, to control his temper. By the end of the year he realized it was a completely irrational resolution. Controlling his temper was not in his hands, he should rather focus on how he reacts on certain situations due to his anger. As a result he learned an important lesson that he needs to make sure his reactions do not hurt the feelings of people who matter the most to him and the unimportant people do not deserve a reaction at all.

Nelson Mandela Says it always seems impossible until it’s done… Abhishek always thought loosing 10 kgs was a distant dream until he made up his mind. With strict discipline he worked on his health and lost the burden. He is now 10 kgs lighter and happier!!

Hitesh is very optimistic for the upcoming 2019, the reason, 2018 being very eventful for him and his family. Due to his new job he had to change homes in 2 different cities and finally settle in Pune. He had to make sure that his son gets admission in a good school in the midyear and also settle his family in the new city. He again had to travel out of the country alone for a project. He had to manage offshore team as well. In spite of so many things happening simultaneously in different fronts of life, he managed and put things in right places. . He feels grateful to God for giving him strength to get through this stressful situation. With these experiences he is now is confident to face the new challenges of the coming year.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy … this is a saying we have been hearing since childhood. It is when we start to work, that we understand the true meaning of it. Prasanna also felt the need for a break and time to relax with his family. In the last year he went for a vacation with them to the beautiful and peaceful Bali, Malaysia and Singapore. This gave him some quality time with his loved ones and a chance to unwind from the busy schedule. Those were the best memories for him.  He feels all happy and reenergized to resume his routine.

This year has given different experiences to all my friends in different walks of life. But all of them are happy and satisfied with how the year went by. They are ready to face the New Year with zeal and zest hoping to fulfill their life dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

How Ajay Leads from the Top?

Before Verinite

I started my career with one of the Top 5 IT companies in India. Being good at studies, helped me to get one of the top engineering college of my city. The advantages of studying in top colleges are that they provide campus placements and you get the job even before you finish your studies. So, I got an offer and moved to Hyderabad to pursue my career. Initial 3-4 months I went through the training. During free time I used to play table-tennis, carrom-board. After 4 months I got my first project and relocated to Chennai. It was a small project for 9 months. That was the first time in my life where I used to get official work and was responsible to deliver that on time. I was not up to the mark with my work delivery and was not even enjoying what I was doing. After finishing my Chennai project, I was relocated to Pune for a bigger project carrying a baggage that I was not enjoying my work because I was not liking it. So I figured out different ways to like my work. During the next 2.5 years I got to learn different aspects of the technology I was working, thanks to my lead. I wouldn’t say I had sound knowledge of the system I was working on, but good enough to implement and showcase it at next level. And by the time when I realized that I was not getting the opportunity to showcase what I have acquired in last 3.5 years I decided to switch.

Joining a Small Start-Up “Verinite”

The most obvious reason I joined Verinite is because of that –

I will be given more opportunities, more responsibilities, will be having lot of things to do and I would get a chance of working directly with the true inventors and learning from them. However, joining Verinite wasn’t an easy decision. When I was serving notice period with my previous company I had 2 more offers from top IT companies. So, choosing Verinite which was just 2-year-old company with not even 10 employees was a hard choice to make. My friends had already made up their decision that I was making a wrong decision by joining Verinite and refusing offers from the giants. I always believed in self-belief and can-do spirit which helps me to overcome any adversity. At the same time, you have to take the calculated risk. When you are doing something big, obviously you are scared, but you have to conquer your fear to discover the hidden hero within you. Since Verinite was a startup there was very limited information available about company by that time. But as they say, the good work never gets unnoticed. I had managed to get good reviews about Ashish from one of my lead who had past experience of working with Ashish. So, I decided to join Verinite.

The Initial Months

When I joined Verinite I was the 9th employee. The small team of 9 employees were sitting in an office space of max 26 employees with 1 conference room. It used to look like a small 1 BHK to me. We didn’t have any separate department structure at that time. Ashish himself on boarded me and had a company walkthrough and shared his aspirations with me. The initial few days were just going by understanding the process through project documents. We used to have team lunch on every Friday. I was the first mid-level experience hire for Verinite, so within few weeks I got the opportunity to mentor freshers. I also got the opportunity to work on the different systems which I had not worked in last 3.5 years. In the initial months of being part of Verinite I learned to be frugal. The same guy had to learn how to design, code or write the company blogs along with helping on the business development presentation or the recruitment process. I was happy to be a part of a team that was trying to make other people’s lives easier, more fun, and more manageable. In the startup world, it’s all about creating more and consuming less.

Evolving the Story Since Then Till Now

After spending initial 2-3 month at offshore, I got the opportunity to work at onsite interacting with clients, got a chance to know the people from different geographies, their culture and their technical views and the operating method. I began to adapt with environment and then there was no way looking back. I was now working with different countries in every 6 months. Also got a chance to lead the team and delivered the projects. I was developing as person too. Working in onsite is responsible job which taught me to keep me calm and focus on the critical situations and achieve the ultimate objective. I started my career as a test analyst with Verinite and within 5 years it evolved to Test Lead and the Project Manager. I handled the projects which includes end to end implementation, platform upgrade and platform changes. This gives me chance to understand the complete process and end to end flow. My project team during these years included freshers which I enjoyed working with and at the same time contributing to organization by building a strong base. The only thing which I missed in these 5 years is attending Annual Functions and the chance to meet everyone’s family which was not possible due to my onsite assignments.

The Results

With the initial objective of disrupting the market when Verinite was founded, I think after initial 5 years we have achieved that and now it is the time for the sustainability. We have now shown our presence in most of the countries of South East Asia and Middle East. Our relations with clients results into the long term projects and expanding the team sizes as well. The good work we did to our existing clients helped us to get the references for the new ones. Verinite has now became a familiar name in Indian markets and we were able to grab couple of marquee Indian banks in our list. The same set of friends which once had made a remark that I was making a wrong move by joining the startup were now approaching Verinite for interviews. There are few lessons I learned throughout this journey which I would like to mention –

  1. It’s good to have dreams but it’s always better to have goals
  2. Do what you like or like what you do
  3. Have the courage to take the calculated risk at certain point of time in life
  4. Self-belief, trust, caring and sharing, can do spirit
Where Do We Go From Here?

Currently there are many innovations and changes going on through the financial services industry. This will result in creation of interesting business. Verinite is looking forward to take advantage and play a key role as part of these changes. We are on our toes of disrupting markets, and changing our methods to enable faster market penetration and improving the customer experience.

Our domain-based, end-to-end technology solutions and relationship based approach, have distinguished us from our competitors and we are now taking steps to ensure our long-term sustainability. The intent would now be to deepen each relationship at the same time focusing inroads in other geographies also.

We are also looking forward to streamline and institutionalizing the best practices/processes which will immensely help us as we steer towards most important transition of becoming 100 people company in next 12 months.

Positive Influence of Freshers in the Workplace!!!

All companies wish for focused and talented employees. A fresher comes with these skills and much more! This week we had our first batch of 2018 new recruits joining Team Verinite!

Whilst we were going through the onboarding and induction process it struck me that when I was in college, in the late 90s, campus recruitments were common only to business schools. Fresh graduates from regular colleges were not fortunate enough to be absorbed by organizations as fresh interns. Well! As on date, the scenario stands completely altered! Graduates are largely hired by companies during the campus selection. Companies are favouring new talent over experienced pros!

Recruiting fresh workforce right out of college has its own advantages. Let’s analyse the factors that contribute towards its popularity.
• Higher Diligence:
Graduates are at the starting point of their careers. Being at the initial stage, they are more conscientious to the working norms and tend to pay attention towards every minor aspect of work. After a certain point of time, the older and experienced workforce tends to take things easy and become lackadaisical in their approach towards work. The young interns display a higher drive and yearning to project their talent and skills. Their eagerness to carve a niche for themselves in the professional domain can help the organization get work accomplished in abundance.
 Novel Perspectives:
Fresh interns haven’t yet experienced the monotonous industry drill. They have not dwelt too deep into the professional world. Therefore, their views, ideas, and perspectives will be novel and definitely varied from the present ones. New ideas and methodologies can be implemented in your organization that could surely prove beneficial to the business.
• Flawless Uptake:
A fresh graduate is like fresh dough. You can mould them the way you please! Fresh talent showcases higher willingness to learn and adapt accordingly. They are quick with the uptake and are enthusiastic learners. They will be willing to tow your line as they desire to prove their eligibility for the profile. These characteristics can be utilized effectively towards the benefit of the organization.
• Technologically Savvy:
The younger generation is certainly savvy with the latest technological innovations. Fresh updates can help the company empower themselves towards perfection. Employees working in the same organization for a long time tend to get caught up with stereotypes and are rather rigid with their work style. They believe their approach is the finest and are averse to change. Newcomers usher a fresh and more innovative approach to work. This promises more productivity and helps keeping pace with the latest trends in business.
 Passionate towards Work:
Being passionate about one’s work is the biggest asset of any employee. Young employees enjoy their work and are willing to work overtime to accomplish professional goals. They analyse their responsibilities to the deepest level and comprehend the requisites well.
• Good Pack of Listeners:
Newcomers are good listeners and followers. They rarely question as the aim is to gain experience in the industry rather than defying norms. Hiring such eager and abiding employees would be definitely profitable.
• Healthy Work Relationships:
The younger generation is more optimistic towards learning and building harmonious work relationships. They accept people with an open mind as their sole ambition is to excel in their roles and develop their careers.
The growth of any organization largely depends on innovative initiatives and enthusiasm towards work. As a matter of natural instinct, first trials always involve more sincerity. The same goes for young employees. The first job means adhering to policies with utmost sincerity.

Their endeavours to develop traditional standards with their updated know-how are a good sign for any company.
Having said that, one cannot overlook certain disadvantages of having fresh workforce on roll! Some of these include wavering interests, lack of training and professionalism, and compatibility issues. There’s always a flip side to every situation. But the positives of this one certainly outnumbers the negatives. Nevertheless, the decision is rather crucial so choose with prudence!

Verinite has a pool of young talent which brings lots of energy and exuberance to accomplish things. All are eager to learn and exhibit their skills and talent in order to achieve success and step towards corporate success.

Smile and the World smiles with you

Every day is a different experience, though it may be a normal day at work. We spend a lot of time at our work place and that’s why we also call it at times “Our second home”. Some people are quick to respond, some need to be pushed and some respond after the deadline. In a day in our work life there are so many events that take place throughout the day that put a smile on our face. When I asked my colleagues in the company what was the reason for their smile at work last year, I got a lot of responses. Reading their reasons got a smile and my face as well. So, why not share it with you as well!!
According to me, the success of an organization depends on how happy the employees are at work be it a big or a small organization.

Kuldeep P, said “Received Certification of Appreciation from client”, “Travelled with family onsite and he also got more time to spend with his family”

Nitin S said, “I smile with great satisfaction when client manager or management are happy with my work”

Imran K said “We got an invite for Verinite’s Annual Party, which was a much needed break and trip to refresh ourselves after being at the client site for a long time.” He also mentioned he got to meet most of the colleagues offshore and that memory always brings a smile on his face. Imran’s reason for smile became even bigger after receiving the “Employee of the Quarter” award.

Neha S said, “Sociable and smiling coworkers, colleagues, bosses and HR. Thursday games that make everyone more bonded. It brings a smile on my face and relaxed brain cells leaving my stress behind. Short breaks with close friends. Sweets shared by my colleagues (especially chocolates), people try to grab more and more …..

Trupti G said, her biggest reason to smile was, completing 3 years in Verinite!! Leading a team, confirming 2 members. For the first time interviewing freshers. When she was at the client location, she single handedly completed the project and got appreciated by the client another big reason for her smile

Anirudha U said the main reason behind his smile was, “ the decision made by Verinite to send me at client side and now they have given me an opportunity to work at another client location”.

Prajakta G said that, “Completing two years in Verinite”, “Thursday games most of all fighting between teams that made me laugh out loud” and yes calling each other with funny names gets a big smile on my face.

Nidhila D, has been working at the client site since her day of joining, “When client treats us one among them, lunch treat, Saturday group lunch on all weekend supports, evening snack sharing, chitchats, Ferraro Chocolate Box as Diwali gift, New year lunch etc… Sitting in client location and missing all the fun, outings at Verinite Pune office…these small happy moments are to cherish and smile”.

Khushal C said the reason for his MILLION DOLLAR SMILE was, “On the very first day of Joining having dinner with Ashish Katkar MD of Verinite. When he got his first Leave approved. Thursday games, outings and celebrations!!

Debasis M, said there were many reasons for my smile :
1. I went to on a client visit and Client greeted me saying “Welcome Home“
2. A team member completely engrossed in work suddenly jumped from the seat and started celebrating, when a critical project task got completed successfully. The spontaneity of the act implied the team member’s attachment with the project / tasks.
3. One team member requested for leave for couple of days due to some personal work but the team member had some pending tasks in queue. The entire team requested me to approve that leave and promised that they would spend extra hours to complete those pending tasks. They actually did.

Deepika S, “the one and only big reason I smiled last year at work place is only because of my mentor. I feel happy to work closely with a person who unconditionally teaches me not professionally but personally too. I always strive to learn at this stage of my career and due to him I am learning each and every day with new things . He has given me opportunities, challenges and responsibilities that make me feel happy to work. Feels privileged to closely work with a mentor who is not only good at professional things but also the main aspect, good human being with good heart ”.

Sneha P said, the biggest reason of her smile was getting nominated for the “Employee of the Quarter Award”.

Preeti D said, “When I got selected in Verinite and got my offer. Attending first day of office. Working under Deepika who always encourages me to work and never lets me down, she always makes me feel good and special. Each day in office from my date of joining has been special and made me smile”.

Reasons are many, some are big and some are small
but they definitely bring a smile for all
Life is too short, so the time we have, let’s keep smiling
and spread the smile across.
Share the reason of your smile and you never know,
you may be making up a day for another person
who may have been a bit low

VERINITE INNOVATION CHALLENGE!! – A COMPETITION TO DISCOVER NEW IDEAS TO DEAL WITH A PESTERING PROBLEM PREVALENT IN CORPORATE INDUSTRY TODAY!

Background:

As part of employee engagement, interaction and team building activities, Verinite yet again came up with fantastic event which ended September month on high note and left all verinitians spell bounding with the level of innovativeness shared during entire event. Massive efforts invested by technology staff as well equally supported by HR/operations and sales/marketing teams were finally paid off as their toiling and execution made this a huge event –  on ground as well over the internet world.

Teams:

From the beginning of fiscal, Verinite staff is divided in 4 equal teams – Equal in terms of veterans (the Verinite think tanks), geeks (nerd coders) and fresh bloods (fresh joinees) to have healthy competitions throughout the year!! Barring “Miracle workers” which were the organizing team, the rest 3 teams (“The Mavericks”, “The rising stars” and “New Paradigm”) were all gung-ho and well prepared for the competition.

The Challenge:

It was month of Engineering and innovations and hence the event was no more different. The event was Verinite Innovation Challenge (#VeriniteInnovationChallenge)!! Off lately, it is been observed that lot of candidates accept offers from organizations but never turn up and join them. They intimate and change their decision just before the joining date. This causes huge loss of time and effort for recruitment team. Keeping this in mind the #VeriniteInnovationChallenge was based on real problem faced by corporate industry. We were looking to innovate and present a full-proof concept/prototype/solution to deal with this problem which is grappling corporate industry today!

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Judge Panel and Solutions to challenge:

All the participating teams toiled hard for a month to carve their concept in reality and impress judges to win the challenge Title. Judges were open to receive and hear any NON-Technical as well Technical approach to the solution. Eventually, on the D-day teams opened the Pandora of their innovativeness and presented across their ideas in front of core judging panel which included Ashish Katkar (Managing Director and Co-founder at Verinite, @ashishakatkar), Sankhadeep Chakraborty (Head of Engineering at Verinite, @TweetSankha), Debasis Mohanty (Head of Delivery at Verinite, @debnipun) and Aparna Jha (Manager – Human Resource and Operations at Verinite, @aparna151987). Each team was presenting their final solution through their team lead and to keep this competition alive and healthy, other competitors were allowed to ask queries in between. This tested each team`s patience as well preparedness as they have to answer all the valid queries to keep viewers and audience happy as well keep an eye on watch to not run out of time and share across entire data they prepared for a month. But all teams came up with flying colors – good and clean, which shows their commitment, adaptability and high level of professionalism!!

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We were LIVE every moment:

On the other hand, Sales and marketing team were spot-on to capture this entire event and made it live over the social channels. They created the initial thrust required and piqued interest amongst Verinite followers on LinkedIn as well on Twitter to spread the word and involve more and more people for the event. On the #VeriniteInnovationChallenge day, it was all Twitter who made the difference between a normal and so called well executed Live Twitter event. With Verinite twitting all updates every single minute as and when they happen, followers were engaged as well participating in challenge while shooting myriad questions on-the-go!!

Although, Title went to the takers, we saw fantastic but healthy fight building among the judges who were supporting the best ideas on the floor!! It showed true sportsmanship as well as judges lived up to the job they were assigned for. The Panel eventually agreed for cohesiveness and hence the best and deserving team along idea went home with gold!!

Special thanks to Akansha (@akansha_bhati) for live tweeting and Ankita (@AnkitaMerukar) for capturing notes to build up this blog!!

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