Appendicitis and After...
'Day Zero' is when Corporate India descends down on the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B) for campus interviews, to pick the best of brains from a whirlpool of talent in this prestigious institution. It's also an 'exit route' for hundreds of eager students. It's judgment day and probably their longest day after 2 years of toil. It isn't the landing of allied forces on Normandy and neither is it a kitty party, rest assured. It ain't funny. This is serious business.
And on 'Day Zero', our man Kunal falls ill. Appendicitis. And he says, "It was actually very funny. God couldn't have chosen a better time." Oh boy! Kunal makes that sound rather casual, but if you were to ask us for a parallel as to how he actually felt, well, it was as if his luck was stuck deep down in a pot full of crap (pardon the usage). He's probably a handful of few who walk out of such institutions not placed. But then, the guy is as cool as a cucumber and harvest season isn't over yet. Through friends he managed to get his CV to land at the right desk, by which time his luck had unstuck itself from you know what, and three months ago he was 'more than happy to join Digital.'
Kunal is from Delhi. Born, brought up, school, college - everything from Delhi. Didn't we mention he graduated in Economics from St. Stephens College, Delhi? We did now. At IIM-B he specialized "largely in finance, a little bit of strategy and now I'm in marketing, so I guess it's a perfect fit," he says. "Without having any technical background, or a marketing background, I'm doing marketing in a software firm," he adds with a nonchalant shrug. At Digital, he's with the marketing team and handles sales operations, which basically involves keeping track of about 25 sales guys across the world selling software. What they are doing, how much business is coming in and how much is likely to come in, in the next two quarters. That involves generating 15-20 reports every week and which are updated every week.
Why did he choose Digital? Kunal explains, "I'm not the conventional management graduate. The important thing was Bangalore. I wanted to be in Bangalore because it has lovely weather. I didn't want to be in a very competitive industry or environment. Things like a 9-5 job, 5 days a week appealed to me." And so far, he really loves what he's doing. Kunal enjoys the routine at Digital. He gets in to office at about 9 in the morning and is busy till 6.30-7 in the evening. "Work on Friday is till late evening to make sure I don't have to come on the weekends," says Kunal. He wasn't so fascinated working for FMCG companies. "It never appealed to me."
Weekends are sacrosanct. Saturdays are for catching up with friends, maybe a movie, go out for dinner, or chores such as opening, closing bank accounts, getting the car serviced and stuff like that. And Sundays? Well, even if the roof were about to cave in, Kunal wouldn't take his eyes off the TV. And miss out on Michael Schumacher winning the Formula One race? "I haven't missed one (Formula One race) for 5 years," adds Kunal. Collapsing roofs are rare occurrences; it's the frequent power shutdowns that'll have Kunal tearing his hair.
Overall, Kunal is happy what he is, taking things as they come. And he looks happy in Digital. He likes Bangalore. But it's a bit laid-back unlike, say, Delhi? "I'm laid back too. I love the way no one is in a hurry here." He says he has no girlfriends, though. "Trying very hard. No such luck so far, but still looking." Most handsome bachelors say that. But we tend to believe Kunal. He'll probably say, "What? Trade Formula One race for a date out? You must be insane." Now you know why he finds girls difficult to come by. And it's too much of a risk shooting arrows in the workplace. "No, no, no! I wouldn't want a lover's tiff to end up getting sacked." Even on the sly? "No, no, no!"
He agrees that the appendicitis did make a difference. "They made life very exciting." Posterity would be inspired if he were to preserve those appendixes in a bottle as a good luck charm.
Note: This story was written when the company was known as 'DIGITAL'.