We celebrate our ‘Annual Day' every year which highlights a theme that helps in creating the focus and alignment for the next year
NIIT’s growth is the derivative of the growth of each member in the company. The company takes on itself the duty to foster careers by creating opportunities that demand learning, thinking and innovation from each NIITian. Being a service organization, every individual at NIIT requires people skills for effective business interaction. Therefore, they aim to create a place where people learn how to interact with people. “NIIT is People” is not only part of NIIT’s vision document, but is also the voice of NIITians, expressed through their comments. Pride in the company’s business, reaching out to the community, a good working environment, approachable and caring management, supportive colleagues, learning platforms, and perks and benefits, are initiatives that keep NIITians happy and engaged. P. Rajendran, Director & COO and Shampi Venkatesh, Chief People Officer share NIIT’s journey of emerging as a great workplace.
What makes NIIT a great workplace and what is its business implication?
P. Rajendran: The most important thing is that we are in a service industry where it is all about people. We have to nurture a place where people learn how to interact with people. The key is how one can create an environment where you are not changing people. People come and work in this organization by choice, people will also leave by choice; so how do you ensure that the people’s choice is to stay.
HR is integral to our business and has been since day one. All four of us, Pawar, Vijay, myself and Arvind of NIIT Technologies, led the HR function at some point. (NIIT Technologies became an independent organization in 2004, after it was hived off from NIIT Ltd).
We celebrate our ‘Annual Day’ every year which highlights a theme that helps in creating the focus and alignment for the next year. Since the early days in 1981, when the company was making just about couple of crores of rupees, we were already doing education, corporate training, software development and consulting. We then thought how we could put all this together to take the next big leap and involve everybody in the company to achieve the same. That is when the ‘Annual Day’ had the theme ‘The Big Bang’. Likewise, every year has symbolized something to be achieved together as a team. We believe that each person who works in NIIT is important and has added a brick to NIIT’s growth. Last year, the theme was ‘NIITians first’ which focused on NIIT’s care for NIITians and this year’s theme to ‘Be the first choice’ highlights customer focus.
What are the key ingredients that make NIIT a great workplace?
Shampi Venkatesh: I think, what makes NIIT a great workplace is that there is tremendous amount of passion which is backed by a lot of emphasis on processes. There is affinity at the workplace and NIIT is like an extended family for all NIITians. We participate in people’s lives and follow an open door policy. Everyone is addressed on a first-name basis, and there is no boss, no sir or madam at NIIT. This sense of connect is something that trickles down from the top leadership team. On our annual day function, our Directors welcome every NIITian as they walk in. It is a ritual, which I think speaks volumes of the kind of importance they give to the NIITians in general.