12th December, 2025
Yesterday was great in Shanghai. Today, I landed straight into office from the flight. Here I am, with another diary entry. The date today is 12th December 2025. Need I say it is very cold in Delhi. After a very long time, Delhi winters are giving me a chill down the spine! Thanks to Odd/Even rule (that one could drive only odd numbered cars on odd days and even on the even days) that was implemented that we see lesser smog in Delhi. Most cars now come with only the natural gas option, which again is a boon to the environment. In many companies, employees have been encouraged to contribute to ‘greening’ in some form or the other. We will also have an award category for employees and managers in our company around contribution to the environment. Last year, we ran a contest and many employees felt strongly enough about this issue for it to be taken note of by top management.
Today, we tried out a new simulation for our geographically diverse teams for team building program. It was good fun and quite a new experience. The simulation incorporated all the sensory data from all the participants, creating rich and immersive experience. Wearing the game suit, people could “touch” virtual environments in a more natural way. It was like a bulletproof vest or a light armor which looked very cool too! Each section of the suit had a small motor in it, not unlike the one that makes a mobile phone vibrate to signal incoming messages. In addition to this, there are small accelerometers embedded in the suit’s arms. The vibrations provide a sense of touch when a virtual object hits that part of the body, and the accelerometers help orient the suit’s limbs in space.
“Toxic Waste”, as the simulation was called, was rated 9/10 by the participants. Based on this awesome rating, we are most likely to include it in future programs as well, designed for team building. This is the 50th simulation that we have in our training library. Most of our training is now virtual and simulation based. Two hour slots, no travel and with great operability, allows for ease of use and handling.
Here’s what happens in the game-- After a dangerous chemical spill, several containers pose a risk within a contaminated zone. Using a complex system of suspended ropes and pulleys the team works together to extract the containers from the zone. This game required a high level of co-ordination and communication between participants as all of them, but one group was blindfolded. Remember, the whole activity was done virtually, wearing the virtual reality suit and virtual reality headset.
There was another important task for the day. I signed off the weekly payroll, medical and benefits payments for employees so they would hit the bank early morning tomorrow. No paper work, I got all the data in our data room on the big screen, with analytics which gave me variances and trends week by week, and employee group by employee group. In case I need to go into any specific employee payments, I can do that by a click of a few buttons. The data is uploaded automatically and checked by a separate security server, so when I see it, it’s more a cursory glance than anything. Employees across the world either input data or upload scanned documents for attendance, expenses and claims through their handhelds and it all gets uploaded, verified and ready for payment by the time it comes to me. No human interface. We just do manual audits once a year to check on any system flaws. Actually when someone joins, that is the only time HR actually has to do a manual entry. The rest of the lifecycle processes are taken care of by almost no manual interface. All systems and HR processes are inter-connected, so analytics and decision making is seamless. It has been such a great relief to get rid of all the paperwork and unnecessary bureaucracy over the last ten years. Even the government does not ask for filing and statutory reports on paper anymore!
My role in making sure that we keep upgrading all our systems and processes is now almost the most critical part of my job. If any of our processes fall behind on automation and productivity, it directly impacts our talent acquisition, management and engagement. So 2 hours, end of every Friday is just thinking and planning time.
At 5 pm, most people had left for the weekend. I stayed back for a while as I had to pay a few pending bills. I scanned the bills, authenticated with fingerprint and iris which confirmed a match to my biometric details in a database, all of which is linked to my bank account. Transaction complete!
After finishing my errands, I met a friend in Connaught Place for dinner. We met after a very long time. She has come from the States only last week. I was so astonished when she showed me a large tattoo she got done somewhere in Africa. People have been inking decorative marks on their skin for thousands of years, as part of cultural traditions or as personal adornment. But a new spin on this old art form brought tattoos to life like never before. The tattoo she has got done is a combination of animation and a technique called projection mapping that creates magical tapestries of light movement that flow, slither and march over a person’s body in real time. And by the way, the African countries seem to have been the pioneers in this new technology.
It was a lovely night. We enjoyed dinner on the rooftop of a beautiful restaurant, on a chilly Delhi December night.
After dinner, I headed back home. Now as usual, I’m wearing my DODO smart watch and am off to sleep!