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.