Thoughts reflecting the Verinite journey of 9 years!

My Verinite journey

It all started with a car backseat conversation with Ashish while working for one of the top multinational organizations in the IT services. We had just achieved a huge financial milestone for our Indian client which other teams with US and European clients were dreaming to achieve. That day a small seed was implanted in my mind for believing in the fact that we could do something similar that too independently. A lot of planning happened over the next few years and the year 2011 was chosen as the year to start something on our own. We had even contemplated naming the organization Hamaika (meaning 11 in Basque language) to signify the year of incorporation. Finally, on the 1st of June 2011 the dream became a reality and Verinite came into existence.

Today we complete nine year of existence. And when I retrospect I realize that, no matter how much you plan, the journey will always throw up challenges which you never expected. But that is also the best part of the journey, because, the learnings you get from these challenges also teaches you to adapt to different situations. Finally, it all boils down to the culture which you inculcate within the organization and that helps you to sail through these challenges with ease.

I have tried to capture some of my learnings which have helped me to tackle a lot of situations during this journey.

  1. Focus on your core skills: In Verinite we have always followed the motto of “Inch wide and mile deep”. This aspect has helped us to be a tough competitor even against much larger organizations. The goals for each teams are aligned to continuously improve and add more depth to their key skills. During the initial days this was easy as the focus was on limited number of skills. However with time business started to expand and we kept adding newer skills. To ensure that our motto was not compromised, we adopted the strategy to start small and improve the skills continuously and consistently thus gaining the required depth.
  2. Nurture your relationships:We deeply value our relationships – be it our customers or our associates. In a challenging business environment it is easy to be professional and stop caring about the personal side. But a little bit of empathy greatly helps in creating a positive environment. Our culture pushes us to be empathetic in our business dealings. We celebrate each other’s success, we encourage during failures and we are a part of each other’s life’s important milestones. As such our associates have turned into our greatest brand ambassadors while our customers have become our biggest salesmen. On multiple occasions new customers have come knocking on our doors with projects because of some offline feedback they received from our existing customers.
  3. Learning when to say YES: One thing which I am very excited about is taking up new challenges. It builds up an excitement which drives most of us to give our best. The fear of unknown always holds us back. But when we overcome those fears we achieve newer heights. Over the time we have undertaken quite a few projects and initiatives which were completely new to us. When our clients needed us, we said ‘YES’. Our clients trusted us with their mission critical endeavours and we ensured that their trust was not broken. We encountered all the road blocks and delighted our clients with positive outrageous service.
  4. Learning when to say NO:A lot of organizations get carried away while improving their sales and acquiring new clients. To push business many organizations breach the line of ethics. After all who cares if business thrives? Not in Verinite. One of the core culture in Verinite is Integrity (the name itself denotes infinite integrity). We have said ‘NO’ multiple time when we were asked to compromise on our core culture. Our customers love us for this attitude and we walk with our heads held high.
  5. Be a lifetime learner:Life is all about change. And organizations that adapt to these changes tend to excel. And to embrace change organizations need people to learn and be a better version of themselves. In this fast paced life, it becomes difficult to introspect and identify areas of improvement. But the lifetime learners are the once who find time within this superfast journey to continuously and consistently improve themselves. We at Verinite encourage people to be lifetime learners. We have encountered a very unique situation in this life. Nature has thrown at us the COVID-19 challenge. The style of doing business is up for a change. A lot of focus will be on executing projects remotely. Organizations which learns the new way of doing business quickly will be on the path to success.
  6. Involve your people in decision making:Although it is said that running an organization democratically is difficult, I believe that it is time organizations start involving their people in making critical decisions. Initially it may be difficult to get a consensus and things might be pretty chaotic. But when practised multiple times, this becomes a part of organizations decision making process. With the involvement of people across the organization in this process, the entire organization is aligned towards a single goal and works as a team to achieve success. In Verinite, we have multiple leadership levels who help to build the vision statement for the organization and drive the teams towards one common goal.

There are innumerable other learnings which I got during this journey with Verinite. These are the top six learning which will remain with me for the rest of my life.

The year 2020 started for us with a detailed account planning session spanning across 2 days at an offsite location. The leaders from across Verinite were part of this session. We made a lot of important decisions – both short term and long term. The objectives were set for each one of us. One of the key objectives for me is to create our footprints in the products space. New year – new challenge. But, the approach for tackling these challenges are still built on the strong foundations of learnings that have been gathered during this journey with Verinite. Start small, adapt to changes and keep digging deep – the footprints will automatically get created.

My first experience at working from home on extensive basis: Do’s and Dont’s

A lot of people, including myself are enjoying the privilege of working from home. However this was not usual at the start of my career, when I was observing around some of my peers working from home, I used to wonder how would that experience be? Now after experiencing the WFH, I agree to the fact that Working from home is a great advantage as it gives flexibility to work from the most comfortable space i.e. your home. But along with flexibility there comes the responsibility too to complete the work sincerely and dedicatedly. I am going to pen down some of my thoughts on Do’s and Don’ts which will be helpful to people who are experiencing the WFH for first time.

With COVID-19 outbreak, most of the companies across a wide range of industries have enabled ‘work from home’ facility to their employees as a safety precautionary measure.  Such arrangement for employees to work from home definitely have improved their sense of belongingness, understanding that companies are taking care of their employees. From employer standpoint, we would be contributing towards wellbeing of the nature by reducing usage of electrical office utilities which do long term adverse effect on atmosphere around. This will contribute to some cost saving attribute on utilities and office space. Most importantly this would also reduce the travel time for all of the associates which they can use to be more productive plus they can give some more time to their families.

But to maximize the benefits of working remotely, it’s important to follow a few do’s and don’ts. In this blog it is categorized separately for Employees and Team Leads.

For Employees

Employees who work from home have to be organized and driven to stay on top of their projects. However, there are still concerns that working from home may lead to people working less, being less productive, or multitasking.

Dos-

  1. Communicate with your lead and peers: The only reason to be in continuous communication is to ensure that there should be less/no confusion and increased productivity.
  2. Find a Dedicated ‘work space’ for yourself: Have a dedicated desk or an organized work space in your home to avoid any kind of distractions. It could just be a silent room free of distractions like Television and other noises. Maintain ergonomic work conditions and sitting postures.
  3. Try to keep normal office hours: As much as possible try and maintain your normal working hours. This maintains continuity and structure, keeping you accessible to your clients, peers and team members.
  4. Set clear boundaries: Set a clear demarcation while you are working from home. Let your family members know that you are working from what time to what time, ask them not to distractions during the day, even though you are at home you are still on the task, just that the place of work has changed but focus and dedication needs to be same.
  5. Take regular breaks: Taking a break is just as important when working remotely as it is in the office. Stepping away from your screen for even a short-while can protect you from headaches, eyestrain and a back-aches. Have a more productive and useful break by opting for a healthy snack, or to squeeze in some exercise – preferably outdoors if you can. For an extra creative boost, try 10 minutes of mindfulness or meditation.

Don’ts –

  1. Don’t be disconnected from your team: For first timers it’s not easy to work from home, may it be for lack of discipline, or a lack of routine or missing your team members in person. Don’t get disconnected from your team. That’s the last thing one would want. Please keep in regular contact over phone, email and other office communication mediums as appropriate
  2. Don’t let the e-mails distract you: While it’s important to check your email throughout the day, be sure to focus on your emails and efficiently sort through and respond to them. Your daily work should not be driven by number of e-mail you send or receive but rather it’s just a way of communication for work being done.
  3. Don’t get distracted from non-work tasks: Ensure to focus on activities that are work-related. Don’t be on your social media apps, taking long personal calls, or spend hours chatting with friends unnecessarily. Be mindful of time, don’t waste it.
  4. Avoid delaying the tasks: Make sure you stay on top of project deadlines using your dedicated work calendar so that you don’t get behind. Follow the targets and ensure you meet set deadlines by your team / manager.
  5. Avoid excessive personal time outs: While personal time outs are important, ensure that we are not extending the break timings unnecessarily which might impact timely completion of our daily tasks.

For Leads.

Dos-

  1. Be mindful of first-time remote workers: Work from home can be challenging time for many employees, especially those who are working from home for the first time. Leads should have frequent communication with such team members and make sure they have the tools, means & knowhow of being effective while working remotely.
  2. Set timelines to your associates: All team members should be able to see who has been assigned to each task within a specific project. This helps them understand their own contribution to the overall project. Transparency to certain extent increases employee trust which is necessary to keep everybody engaged and focused on the goal. If you are allocating a specific number of hours for completing a task, make sure it is realistic. Sometimes this may demotivate if the deadlines are unrealistic.
  3. Have regular checkpoints: When working with remote resources it is important to have a clear understanding of all project activities to check progress and meet deadlines on time. Regular remote stand-ups meetings would prove valuable and also understanding in case if there are any challenges faced by associates in order to solve it in a timely manner.
  4. Appreciate your team’s efforts: Ensure to thank your team members and to let your team know what happened and the difference their efforts made. Different strategies of motivation works for different people so use wisely.
  5. End of Day Summary report: While working on multiple tasks simultaneously, there are chances that the resource may lose track of what they accomplished during the day. Also you might notice that some of your remote workers spend excess amount of time completing simpler tasks, it must be addressed aptly. Use the end-of-day summary report to get around these issues to ensure that time is utilized properly and work is delivered.

Data Privacy should be ensured: Working from home can potentially expose your project/critical data to get compromised if proper care is not taken, when employees use unsecured home computers or networks. Ensure to protect your data by making sure that any cloud-based file sharing and storage apps that employee uses must have appropriate standards of security measures. Set up of two-factor authentication to log in to your networks and use a virtual private network (VPN) for access to your company data.

Don’ts-

  1. Avoid micro management: Let’s align on a fact that no one likes to be micromanaged, and employees who are working remotely may feel you don’t trust them if you are always looking over their shoulders. Assign some tasks to the associates and make sure they have the necessary tools to action. Let them handle the details of how they plan to accomplish the deadlines.
  2. Don’t overlook performance: Simply as someone isn’t physically present in the office doesn’t mean that they’re not as dedicated or accomplished at their work. To be truly inclusive to people who prefer remote work, standardize the processes and milestones for career progression. Make sure the performance get measured effectively.
  3. Don’t be presence-driven – instead be result driven: Since the team is working remotely hence don’t track your resources over their presence on communicator or how promptly they respond to your emails. Instead do trust them and dependent on the outcome of their efforts.
    1. Don’t allow unbalanced overwork: If you observe that one of your resource is consistently logging extra hours, find out the cause and try to address it. You should also encourage them to take some personal time out as this will help him/her to be more productive in lesser time.
    2. NEVER cancel/deny for a one on one: Don’t cancel or deny the meeting invite from your team members. Incase if the timeslot does not suit your availability then propose with a new timeslot. This will help the resource to stay motivated and address their queries and concerns.

    To summarize, while we are working out of home during this pandemic, all employees must ensure to complete assigned tasks and activities before the due date by adhering to the set guidelines. This is the time to think creatively, work collaboratively, and be alert to the opportunities around us. Additionally, we need to take care of ourselves and having a proper work – life balance.

    With all this panic situation around, we still need to comfort ourselves and our dear ones. Being optimistic and always wanting to stay positive; let us understand that this is a phase and it will pass. We must remain focused on our goals and do our part correctly & everything

Verinite Premier League : Cricket ka MahaYuddh!

To succeed in any field, one requires agility of mind and body, which is also required in the corporate world. As sports and fitness assume greater importance in people’s lives, we can look to draw upon the values and behaviors learned on the sports field like single-minded focus, multi-dexterity, perfection, teamwork, calm demeanor, discipline and fair-play, and apply it to other areas of our lives, such as the workplace.

Sports is a powerful medium that can bring corporate employees together as a tight knit team. It also imparts the essential skills of teamwork, team spirit, leadership, time management, decision making, cooperation and good behavior.

Verinite and Games

Games and Sports have been an integral part of Verinite events. It helps to boost productivity and concentration level of employees. We play a lot of indoor as well as outdoor games including Football, Cricket, Chess, indoor team building activities etc. But when it comes to cricket, our cricket frenzy employees can’t wait to display their motor skills. And what better than a cricket tournament to make everyone feel upbeat and get the lost enthusiasm back at work?

Last month we organized most awaited Cricket tournament “Verinite Premier League”. This was second time the Cricket tournament was taking place.

Season 1:

Just to summarize the first season it was played between four teams Credit Crunchers, Wallet Warriors, Fearless Falcons and Revolvers. Format was simple for the first season that was Round Robin. Each team have to play three league stage matches and according the point tables first two teams will qualify for the Finals. As the league stage matches are over two teams which qualified for the finals were Wallet Warriors and Credit Crunchers. Credit crunchers lead by Ashish just lost their one match in the league stage apart from it they were consistent with their performance. Coming to Wallet Warriors lead by Ajay, the only team which was unbeaten throughout the tournament and were relentless with their performance.

Now the time for most awaited final match played between Credit Crunchers and Wallet Warriors. All the players were so excited to play the final match and to win the VPL season 1 Trophy. Unlike all the group stage matches this really was a nail biter. It was a neck to neck fight between both teams as they knew strengths and weaknesses of the opponent team. The result of the final came in such a way that every cricket fan want a final match to be” A last ball thriller”. With very less margin Winning team of VPL Season was Wallet Warriors!!!

Highlights of the first season were team coordination of Wallet Warriors and the never give up attitude shown by the runner up team Credit Crunchers they were up to the mark till the last ball. There were so many individual performers throughout the tournament but the enthusiasm shown by Surbhi was on another level. She has scored runs, took wickets, and affected a couple of runouts with her great presence of mind in the crunch situations.

Season 2:

In the second season we have made some changes in teams, format of the game etc. by analyzing the previous experience. Players have been distributed according to their skillset in each team maintaining the perfect balance between teams. This time one of the main changes was format of the game, the oldest form of the cricket that is Test Format. Wherein each team will get to play two innings per match. To add some flavour to this we have arranged this tournament day night.

Unlike the first season three teams were fighting for the Trophy this time which were Credit Champions, Wallet Warriors and Payment Phantoms Lead by Ashish, Ajay and Pradip respectively. All teams were excited to win the tournament and to hold the winning trophy.

The First match played between Payment Phantoms and Wallet Warriors was won Phantoms with a fair margin getting one step closer to the Final. Second match was between Credit Champions and Wallet Warriors. This was a must win game for Warriors B’coz they have lost their first match. Unfortunately their effort were not up to the mark and they lost the match to Champions. As points table stands Phantoms and Champions are qualified for the final match.

Now the time was for final match of the 2nd Season of VPL.

The final match was played under the lights. It was a perfect setup for the final clash. There was a neck to neck fight between Phantoms and Champions. Phantoms won the toss and decided to field first as they know they are good at chasing totals. Champions were playing sensible cricket as they know wickets in hand is the key for the big 1st inning total. But phantoms had different plans as they were playing with their strength which was their bowling. They restricted champions on the total on 27 runs in 1st inning. Now Phantoms came to bat with the mindset to cross the 1st inning total of champions by just rotating the strike. Once they passed the 27 run mark they started to target the bowlers to get a big lead. After the 1st inning of Phantoms scored 53 runs with the lead of 26 runs which were handy as per the playing conditions. It was the time for champions to get back on the track with their fierce batting lineup. They started targeting the bowlers and fielders taking perfect advantage of power-play and scored 44 runs in their quota of 10 overs. It was time for the final inning of the match where Phantoms required just 18 runs to with the title. By just rotating the strike and playing risk free shots they managed to chase the total with 3 wickets in hand. Winning team of the VPL season 2 is Payment Phantoms.

Lessons:

  1. Strengths:In sports, there is no misconception that every individual is going to be great at all positions. That’s why we assign roles, placing team members where they can be most effective. In cricket we place fielders having quick reactions and agility at important positions to restrict the opposite team. Every team creates their batting lineup according to the strength of batsmen analyzing on which position they’ll be more effective.
  2.  Concentration/Focus:We are living in a fast-paced world where we can get distracted easily by a lot of things every day. We can try everything but if we lack focus in our life, it is pretty impossible to get what we want.  As far as Cricket is concerned sledging is one of the main weapon your opponent can use to distract you that is the time your focus comes into play and where the result of the game will be determined.
  3.  Teamwork:The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars, but if they don’t play together, the team won’t be worth a dime. Payment Phantoms are the winners of VPL Season 2 because of their teamwork unlike other teams who had star players in their teams but they felt short in the teamwork.
  4.   Developing relationships in the workplace :Building trust is essential to developing team confidence and working with others effectively. By knowing and trusting your teammates, you increase opportunities for collaboration and gain confidence knowing that the team supports you even in risky situations. Building that trust requires honesty and integrity, caring, competence, and consistency in doing what you say you will do.

Intangible Potential of Employee Engagement !!

To win the Market place, you must first win the workplace.

The one who has penned this thought has understood the value of employee engagement. An engaged workforce will help the organization achieve great heights.

What is this concept of employee engagement? According to Wikipedia, Employee engagement is a fundamental concept in the effort to understand and describe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the nature of the relationship between an organization and its employees. In Simple words, it’s a measure to see what the employees feel about the organization, how they connect with the vision and goals of the company, how they perform their role and how satisfied and happy they are at the job. The workforce is the most important asset of the company. The companies which go extra mile on improving the working conditions for the employees, meet their aspirations and make them feel valued and respected become successful in the long run.

Employee engagement comes with a whole lot of benefits, Quantitative and Qualitative. Engaged and motivated staff are great performers, they directly impact the projects and win the clients. They are satisfied at their personal and professional lives. Most importantly engaged employees show high level of loyalty towards their company. As rightly pointed out by Sir Richard Branson – Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business.

So what is done at Verinite to have an engaged workforce?  Here’s the list.

When anyone joins a company, it’s the responsibility of the company to meet the aspirations of the new joinee. At Verinite, we understand the professional goals and expectations of the candidates. We strive to provide them the opportunities to showcase and develop their skills. They are sent to other work locations and are given a chance to communicate directly with the clients. They are representatives of Verinite on client location and are groomed to be partners in business. They are helped to develop their communication skills, soft skills and other necessary personality attributes. The prime objective of Verinite is to create all-rounders’ who are strong technically and have an impactful personality. This gives them a sense of achievement and there is a remarkable increase in their confidence. At each level in hierarchy, Verinite offers a lot of occasions for self-learning and development.

When the why is clear the how is easy. At Verinite, we practise open communication. We have transparency in policies, decisions and all companywide activities. We follow the policy of no cabins. The leaders are seated with the subordinates to promote open communication, transparency and respect.  The associates are well informed about the company goals for the year, revenue targets, quarterly progress on the strategies etc. The leaders of each department share a monthly update to all the staff across locations. This further fosters the sense of accountability and open communication. This is mainly practised to set an example for everyone to be responsible for their promises and actions. The associates are shown the bigger picture and explained the significance of their role in the company. When the associates are aware about the impact of their job in overall company’s success, they show more responsibility, focus and creativity in their job.  Their efforts are valued and recognised by quarterly and yearly awards for the best performers.

The chief purpose of the HR department is to build a connection with all the associates by gaining their trust and to prove it. The associates are asked for their feedback and suggestion for the improvement of the company. There are one on one interviews conducted with them to understand the grievances and problems. The company goes out of the way to understand and tries to solve the difficulties. We have flexibility of time, direct approach to the managers for quick solutions, the associates are also given sabbaticals to tackle their personal worries. The company has provisions for catering to the short term financial needs of the associates. Personal life is equally important and should be considered when there is low performance shown. When the company shows that concern, the employees feel cared and they reciprocate by being loyal to the organization. In the words of Simon Sinek – Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.

Verinite’s culture is the favourite topic among the Verinitians. We abide by ten values which the Verinitians have developed together. This exercise was performed in full spirit and enthusiasm. The associates were very keen in contributing their thoughts and opinions to form these 10 most important values. Integrity, Truthfulness, Respect, teamwork, constant improvements are few of them This exercise made the associates feel that their thoughts matter to the company and each of them is heard and understood.

Being Positive even when the going gets tough is a thought that binds us all. There are a lot of obstacles that we have to face to achieve our targets. Sometimes the decisions go wrong. Instead of playing the blame game, we accept the mistakes and think about the necessary actions to be taken to correct them. We learn our lessons from the failures. This positive attitude shown by the leadership percolates through the team, its encouraging and helps the team to work towards the goals with new found zeal. It shows the confidence of the managers towards the subordinates.

We celebrate everything. We have formed teams for organizing various events and festivals in the company. There are games, competitions and off course prizes!! These events add an element of fun. The essentials like team building, knowing your colleagues, co-worker bonding etc. are evolved unknowingly as a side effect of these events. The members of the organizing team get trained in managing resources, time and people. They become resourceful and creative. The participants learn to be attentive and competitive. Most important by-product of these events are the Memories. These memories create an emotional bond between colleagues, managers and subordinates. Even when the employees leave the company for better opportunities, they always remember the best times spent in Verinite and wish the best for the company.

A company is nothing but people. So the people are the most important asset. Their wellbeing, progress and growth will ensure the company’s success. We believe if we Treat employees like they make a difference, they will. Engaged employees show up and are involved, not only because they’re paid to be, but because they’re invested, emotionally or otherwise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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