Here’s the email i sent out to my team today
Happy Foundation Day
Four years of Zindagi
February, 06 2021
Zindagi completes 4 years today. I’m joyous and proud to see what we’ve accomplished in our first four years, and excited at what lies ahead.
I look back at the last 4 years with gratitude to God for Zindagi’s success, and:
- For having given me the courage to start this company,
- And the strength to bear the defeats, disappointments, trials and tribulations that accompany entrepreneurship
- And for the tenacity to carry on and consistently deliver world class solutions to our customers as we help them in their digital transformation journey.
Amongst you – there are some who were there when we started, some who joined us along the way, and some who had left, but returned to contribute with the skills and experiences they gathered working for reputed organisations during their time away. I thank each and every one of you for your contribution in Zindagi’s growth. I congratulate all of you on Zindagi’s 4th anniversary, and thank you for your continued focus towards customer satisfaction and excellence in services delivery.
2020: Corona Virus V/s Zindagi Technologies
I won’t mince words when i say this – the pandemic and it’s associated lockdown was a throat punch to our progress. Around me, I saw businesses closing down, employees getting laid off, salaries being cut, and a general uncertainty amongst the IT workforce.
For me, personally, this was the biggest test thus far of my character as a leader, and my ability to act under pressure. Customers were refusing payment for services delivered, and vendors / suppliers / landlords weren’t willing to discount their invoices. Work came to a standstill and new business wasn’t in sight. My topline goals for the financial year became impossible to achieve.
I came to office the day when lockdown restrictions were lifted in New Delhi. I vividly remember how Nehru Place looked looked like the abandoned backdrop of New York City shown in the post apocalyptic action thriller “I am legend”. Cars abandoned in the middle of the road, deserted barricades, roads littered with trash.
I had a choice to make that day – either downsize the company, or to rally everyone of you and hustle as though everything is normal. I chose the latter. As you all know – the pandemic didn’t cause us to take measures like pay cuts, delayed salaries or laying off anyone. If fact, thanks to the contribution of each one of you – we continued our efforts to support our customers so that their operations didn’t stop due to the global crisis:
- During peak COVID times (A time where Cartons carrying Cisco switches were being quarantined for weeks outside the DC) – we ensured that the GST Network Data Center’s network fabric was augmented to handle 10x network traffic making it scale for the next few years.
- When the lockdown had resulted in bringing the state bureaucratic machinery to a standstill and the term “Zoom Bombing” was being used in the same breath as “Video Conferencing”, We deployed a secure, on premises video collaboration solution for NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corporation) so as to facilitate the communication and decision making of state officials.
- When a large IT services company found it’s operations and service delivery floundering, Zindagi played a pivotal role by working 24×7 and deploying secure remote access SSL VPN services so that a workforce of more than 1,50,000 employees remained productive.
A company is as strong as its culture. Zindagi’s culture has a bedrock in the following tenets:
- Customer Satisfaction: We exist because of our customers. Excellence in service delivery HAS to be our “North Star” goal.
- Technical Superiority: The solutions we deliver should shine when juxtaposed to resilience disciplines such as availability, scalability, security, reliability, etc
- Trusting the process: Every single thing in our business needs a process. I believe the more I can put my team (and myself) in a position to clearly understand what that process is, and how success will be measured, the faster and more effectively we will be able to scale. We are architects, consultants, creatives. Our skill is PDI (Planning, Design and Implementation). The proof of the process is results. Follow the process – results WILL follow.
- Camaraderie and Esprit De Corps: The strength of the team is every individual member. The strength of each member is the team. Our culture is of camaraderie, respect and teamwork.
- Extreme Ownership: Each one of us is responsible for our actions, accountable for their result and carries ownership of our mistakes.
What Lies Ahead
There really wasn’t a strategy when I founded Zindagi – just the belief that if we could put together a team of great people – we could combine our technical knowledge, automation skills, industry experience and a process oriented approach to deliver solutions that help meet our customers’ business and technical goals.
“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’
I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland
My vision for the future of Zindagi has the following objectives:
- Zindagi to become a trusted advisor for our customers who can migrate, right-size, and manage their workloads in Public and Hybrid Cloud platforms so they can capitalize on the cloud benefits, focus resources on revenue-generating initiatives, and offload their biggest cost center — namely inefficient IT.
- Focus on a strong performance management system which rewards good performance, helps improve productivity, and facilitates a path towards meeting the personal and professional goals of our workforce.
- Strengthen the PMO (Project Management Office) and continue efforts to drive processes into everything that we do.
- Deliver on Project Octagon and other Data Center and cloud projects in the pipeline.
- Work on getting international projects for Cloud Managed Services
- Continue to focus on employee engagement so that Zindagi becomes a great place to work where everyone is heard, everyone has clarity on their growth path, the good work done by you all is appreciated, and we all have fun along the way.
“‘If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.”
I believe I live a fulfilling life being CEO of Zindagi. I wake up every day knowing that what my team does is making a difference in taking this Country forward towards progress.
I look forward to moving into the new office. As some of you might know, we’ll soon be shifting into a new workspace which is more than double the size of the current one so as to accommodate the growing Zindagi team.
My mantra for the future is Growth and Scale. I plan for Zindagi to reach new heights of success and to cover a larger market.
“You’re on mute!”
“You’re on mute” – in the Webex / Zoom world that COVID created – those were the most common words that people on video conference calls either said or heard a lot in the last 12 months. Well, I don’t wish for us to be mute anymore – I plan to focus efforts on sales and marketing, for businesses around the world to know about our ability and skills, and how we can help them in their digital transformation journey.
From each one of you – I ask that you make Excellence a habit. Invest time in learning new skills. Become the strongest advocates of our customers. Manage your time effectively. Schedule your tasks. Own your work. Do not be reactive, but proactively identify problems and mend them. Develop solutions that you are proud of for years to come. Develop strong working relationships both internally and externally. Ensure quality in your work. Focus on documentation. Ensure the flow of effective communication to all stakeholders.
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
Wishing us all a year of health, happiness and prosperity.
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