by Antje Pfahl
Good to publish..!
I got inspired by Harry’s Blog, on Product management, and thought, I must write my first blog and Be the ONE! Its my first month of interacting with new people, making new friends, and I find the energy and vibrancy of this place is amazing. I come from a divergent kind of companies, first Buongiorno and then Comviva, both fulfilling assignments and I was blessed to work with some wonderful people. If Buongiorno was my playground on leadership, then Comviva is where I sharpened this art.
I believe, today’s digital natives, need nothing more than leadership. Chaos is today’s new order. Challenges & opportunities keep knocking on every door, window but our ability to grab them continues due to remain dull. We have to make a “Choice” of our opportunities. In life my friends, it’s not the knocking opportunities that matter, but the decisions of “choices” we make. And to make decisions on these choices, what you need is leadership! Continue Reading →
Fun never ends at One97; and with a team of ever-ready enthusiasts here, we believe in leaving no stone unturned. Like every year, One97 celebrated Diwali across all locations in full swing. All offices were aglow with lights, diyas and beautiful rangolis that added a lot of sparkle to the festive fervor. Diwali carnival, floor decoration contests and a series of fun-filled events kept the show going with great gusto. The evening was filled with foot-tapping music and lip-smacking delicacies, and gave everyone enough reasons to be together. We have the experiences of few of the Ones in One97 who’ve joined us recently.
The fervent energy, the pepped enthusiasm, the mounting jubilation, speaks aloud about our culture. For us, such celebrations are the key to maintaining healthy work-fun balance, and we firmly believe- “Together, we shall surely make the difference!”
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Ask anybody at One97, and chances are that they know Gaman. From being an enthusiastic engineer to an equally astute sportsman leading One97 to its many sporting victories, to dancing an energetic Bhangra on stage – make enough reasons for people to know him.
While at work, Gaman is “building engineering products, doing the architectural planning for requirements, seeing what hardware, softwares and databases are required, designing the technical workflow, estimating the resource size and devising the technical product overview.”
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by Sangeetha Iyer
When you think about someone who is effervescent and multi-talented at One97, the one person that comes to mind seamlessly without a strain or doubt is Smita Rajan who has worked for almost six years here.
Smita started her exciting voyage with her share of many trials and triumphs in her twenty-year media career that has seen the highest highs in One97. “I have had a fantastic ride here and from under 100 employees we have grown close 1000 now. But the warmth which I found then has continued. I have worked in different teams; my role has also changed over the years, but this warmth has helped me to understand this workplace so much more.”
Having been in the company for a while now, Smita understands her role very well and mentors many a new young people sometimes even inadvertently for their benefit and for the company’s welfare as well. “One of the things that comes automatically because of my being a woman and mother is maternal skills that allow me to help my colleagues and sometimes new employees feel at home in their new work environment.”
Talking about her journey with One97, Smita continues, “I was recruited for scripts and voice user interface. Later I got a taste of mobile content and a chance to dabble in video content, which was very exciting for me after my TV production experience. All through this I also multi-tasked with mobile marketing function, which today is my primary role. My trajectory in the company shows how One97 lets its employees choose their path, which I am sure leads to a better performance.”
Hearing from Smita about her journey makes me think how passionate she is about her work and workplace and that both Smita and One97 have benefited immensely with this partnership. She says unflinchingly, “One97 is my second home as I spend my entire day here, but what has worked for me is their flexibility especially towards their women employees. Even when I was interviewed by Vijay, I remember mentioning that I have a young son and that being a single parent one needs to do many things. To this he replied, what really matters to the company is that we take ownership of our work.
“I feel blessed to be working here and have never had a problem with them. Touch wood, we have gelled beautifully. More importantly, I have never had to worry about my growth prospects, One97 has taken care of that among other things,” she says with a tinge of happiness.
Always open to new things, Smita has become part and parcel of almost every social activity in One97. She is as active and clued in as she was when she was a new entrant. “From organising in the first Annual Day function when I joined in 2006 to many enrichment activities later, I have loved being on organising and participating sides,” says Smita with a sparkle of conviction in her voice.
In fact she believes “the culture is so vibrant and transparent that it encourages employees to have fun at work and off with the One97 family. Personally, I love to go to work every day and I feel employees especially women are respected and taken care of.”
Without a doubt, Smita’s joie de vivre transcends beyond her work and spills into her personal life as well. And, what is special about her is she enjoys every moment of her life as though it was her last.
Apart from being the founder member of a group of musicians where they meet up regularly and jam through the night, she loves to dance and knows at least eight forms of dance. She is also part of a few writers’ networks and without her knowing continues to inspire many women in her circle. Ask her who her inspiration is and she says unhesitatingly, “One lady who has recently inspired me much is Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook COO, and I can’t deny the influence of Vijay who has been such a good captain for our ship.”
Being Smita has almost always meant being a 100% engaged employee despite her personal hiccups or anything else. She has trailblazed ahead striving for excellence always thus setting a benchmark for other people to follow.
by Sangeetha Iyer
August is the month which inspires different hues of patriotism in people not just because of Independence Day on the 15th, but also because we all need a reason and an excuse to have a sense of belongingness to India. And, more reasons in One97 to celebrate and enjoy a beautiful day of free India!
The day started off on a sunny note and a box full of little Indian flags was kept at the reception since morning and every employee was encouraged to take one and clip it on their shirts/tops or work stations. One97 family came dressed in ethnic fare and there was sweets distribution on all the floors.
Without a doubt, the most exciting events through the day were contests that saw through some amazing team spirit and great healthy rivalry among the employees. There was a Floor Decoration contest and the Basement won the first prize while the Ground Floor won the second prize. There was also a quiz contest that saw some good questions about Indian Independence and of course great participation as well.
Along with the contests, LCD at the reception played videos and songs through the day inspiring a patriotic fervour among the employees. The other competition was held by ViewFinder (One97 photography club) that invited self-shot pictures related to the theme of freedom and the best collection was displayed via LCD at the reception towards the evening.
Of course, the main attraction of the day was a theatrical stint by Bulbule, One97’s inhouse theatre group. The theme was “Paanchali Ka Parcham”, a visual representation of Mahabharata in today’s time with an underlying message that ‘one has to be independent in today’s world for everything, be it for safety or a person’s rights’ thus bringing out the essence of Independence Day. Their performance was riveting and magical.
The celebrations continued with the popular tradition of kite flying by hundreds of employees, thus reminding that this day marked the new era of deliverance and that we should always remember the true spirit of freedom and patriotism.
Finally, sweet memories were created with some mouth-watering delicacies such as jalebis, pakodas and lipsmacking masala tea
by Sangeetha Iyer
When you meet Nilesh Singh – the person who is responsible for sourcing the right kind of people for One97 – you would little wonder why. With his infectious charm and dedicated efforts, he uses the Social Media to its full glory and improves the human capital in the company.
Nilesh is one of the main reasons behind the innovative HR policies at One97 as well as being a strategic business contributor for the company. “In the three years that I have been here, it has been an exhilarating journey wherein I have had a chance to create many new things at HR and take ownership of them as well.
“Obviously, my main job has been to attract and find the right kind of talent and ensuring that they are in alignment with the culture here so that the vibrancy is maintained,” he says with a sparkle in his eyes.
Being well-versed with people skills, Nilesh has played an important role in shaping the people of One97. A humble and sincere person, he doesn’t take credit for what he has achieved but instead chooses to praise his team for identifying systems and processes compliant with the company in order to find the right talent.
He continues, “Yes, our methods of sourcing people are non-traditional and quite interactive. As a power user of the Social Networking Media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et al – these interfaces have resulted in many successful hirings at many levels especially the senior talent from the industry.”
For someone who is enthusiastic and ever ready to take any initiative at One97, it doesn’t come as a surprise when he talks about One97 as his ‘second home’. He happily echoes his thoughts when he says, “Whenever any employee is affected, my role starts and I jump into the action mode. We are a motivated bunch of people because we continually create and achieve the targets and have a sense of fulfilment at work most of the times.
“My typical day never really ends, thanks to the smart phones and Social Media. But spending so many hours at work gives me a happy feeling and the best part is working with Vijay Shekhar Sharma (MD of One97), one feels automatically so energised with the company’s vision,” he says with a sense of pride in his voice.
In fact, Nilesh believes “having a good discussion with people almost always helps in solving conflicts and things that need to be addressed immediately should be done without carrying any baggage. In many ways, that is also a mantra for innovation. Keeping an eye for things and having the zeal to solve issues automatically leads to innovation”.
Apart from being passionate about what he does, Nilesh says he never completely ‘switches off from work’ and makes the most of everything despite that. He absolutely adores spending time with his one and a half year old daughter.
And, it doesn’t end there. He is an active sportsman who loves swimming and has been a national swimmer also. And, of course, he loves to socialise with his friends – a trait which is a pivotal part of his everyday work.
To say the least, Nilesh has added a sense of vibrancy and effectiveness to the myriad things he and his team have created internally and externally vis-à-vis HR systems in One97. Like he mentions about One97, “This is a perfect place for all those who work not only for the sake of working but because they are having fun while doing their everyday work. All other minor and finer things can be fine-tuned, but taking pride in what we have achieved together as a One97 family is the key,” he finishes off with his trademark smile.
That is one of the things Nilesh loves about being at One97. If there is a thing he doesn’t understand at all, it is being proud and vain. He is humility personified and everything for him begins and ends with striving for excellence for One97.