|Five years ago Lalitha Gopalakrishnan; a senior recruiter from Wipro, narrated a story. The story of how Wipro helps transform lives of the students across the country by offering them; jobs and earn while you learn programmes like WASE and WiSTA. She was trying to hire for a marketing position and very fortunately I was the candidate she was talking to; for the open position. Honestly, I have never heard a recruiter speak with such conviction about a job profile. Confidence is what Sells and her confidence was completely bought in.
Since then, I met four different stake holders in Wipro, which includes Debmalyo Banerjee, Pradeep Deshpande, Vaibhav Dalal and Priti Rajora who discussed with me about the role over a period of 2 months before I landed myself with the job in the Talent Acquisition marketing team. More than a job, it involved a lot of moral and social responsibility to identify deserving talent for the organization and I truly enjoyed every bit of it.
What I have learned over the years is what I would like to share with you, in my final note being part of Wipro. Experience of a student who probably comes from the rural part of India, with a poor socio-economic background is very different from a student, who might have probably landed an admission in an IIT or an IIM. There is absolutely no comparison and hence in my view recruitment cannot be standardized. Kudos to the TA Team. They are doing one of the most critical and difficult job for all of us.
Once I met a young girl, as part of a recruitment drive in Marian College, Kuttikkanam which is a remote hill station in Kerala. Her father was a tailor, who had lost his fingers in an unforeseen incident in a textile mill and her mother was a cancer patient. Despite of all odds with no means for a proper livelihood, she made it to the WASE Programme clearing Wipro’s rigorous recruitment process. I don’t remember her name, I haven’t met her since then and I may not even recognize her if I cross roads with her in the same campus. However her story has touched me deeply and have helped me transform to whatever I am today. The fight that she had put forth was tougher than an IIT JEE or a CAT examination which today is an unfortunate benchmark for deserving talent. Trust me folks, this is just one of the stories. There are several other stories which have deeply inspired me.
I realized that, the story that Lalitha had told me once was 100% true. As a marketer I realized that telling stories which the masses believe in; is the best marketing story that one could say. As a result, Campus Arena became a social learning network – a fresher talent community that we have got today. I am sure under all your able leadership this platform would take wings and fly higher.
The road trips from Delhi to Mathura, Indore to Bhopal, Delhi to Pilani or from Kolkata to Haldia, Kolkata to Kharagpur, Bangalore to Calicut, Rajmundry to Bheemavaram in west Godavari; the delicious tiger prawns and little break for tea on the road side shops and all those good time spent along with colleagues for recruitment drives are memoirs to cherish for life long.
I am thankful to Lalitha for having told me a true story. Along with her I would like to Thank Deb, Pradeep, Vaibhav, Priti, Rajeev Mendiratta, Rajeev Kumar Singh, Vishy (Viswanathan Venkata subramanian), Tojo and the entire TA team for having given me an opportunity to work for Wipro.
In my stint with CSP, after about 3 years with the campus team, a bigger challenge awaited me in the form of multiple stakeholders but for a very small and nimble marketing function to manage all of them. It took me about 6 months to get wired in with the business, to understand what is happening and in which account. Around then, MWC 2015 happened and for all the good, I was able to meet and greet and give faces to the names in one go. Lucky me!
Under the able leadership of Anil Jain, Vishy (Viswanathan Ramaswamy), Sharada Nandakumar and the former CE of GMT; Ayan Mukerji – I disenthralled myself from certain pre-conceived notions. This enabled me to tell stories to some of our largest accounts. I learned that telling stories to a few selective customers (B2I) were very different from presenting the overall brand story to the masses. Since then Account based marketing, client visits or even customer advisory boards started looking simpler and better. Opportunity to lead MWC 2016 during my longest notice period ever in life; comes to me as a great honour and pride. It was indeed a privilege to have been able to work with such a dynamic team.
In summary, I learned to:
· Inspire people through speeches, probably because I was able to travel and speak in various colleges across India – Thanks to Wipro
· Short tempered man learned to have lot more patience
· Stake Holder management – working with C level
· Recruitment marketing and recruitment
· Creating online talent communities
· Training through the Wipro Learning Champion Programme
This is truly a great Learning Organization and one of the social listening project that we did a few years ago supports this fact with data. Trust me, there is much more to take away, than what I could scribble in here.
This does not mean that over the years, I have only had all good experiences. It just means that I am learning to carry forward only the good ones.
This is my story. Just one among 1, 70,000 such stories in Wipro. If all of them come together it becomes a very powerful one. The story that I believe in and will continue to believe in. With great power comes great responsibility and I wish all of you a successful career ahead to be able to live through the responsibility and live up to your own expectations.
The idea of writing this detailed note struck me when a few good colleagues gifted me a book written by Seth Godin – “All Marketers are Liars Tell Stories” as part of a farewell lunch that they threw on me. Having said that all of the above said; “Is a big fat lie”. However I leave it to the readers to believe what you really want to believe in.
For an emotional man like me who have believed in the Wipro Story, there is sadness in the air; a lump in my throat as I say this, but I got to go; to make another humble beginning – A marketing firm by the name AJ&VG Consulting. If you believe that, I can tell impactful stories, you may hire me as a consultant.