Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Winged Formation...!

Its 12:15 PM IST, 11th October 2008 and here I am at Reliance Industries' Nagothane Site with my Dad. My Dad has been posted here to head the construction of a colossal (to me anything bigger than my cubicle is BIG !) Gas Power Plant for Reliance Industries with a mission to meet Western India's ever increasing demand electricity (wish we shut off our ACs atleast sometime). And for me - watching site activities sure is an experience of a kind - a fantastic one indeed ! During my 4 year association with IT industry - here's how I processed various aspects of life:
  • Fun - pushing things (products/services they say) out of my cubicle in a quicker and efficient fashion. And yes those eventful team outings !
  • Seriousness - When a bunch of people get together in a Meeting Room and talk about strategies, goals and lots of numbers and metrics.
  • Euphoria - Product Launches or Conducting Orientation Sessions / Training Programmes for new recruits or experienced professionals. Spotting that fire (intense desire to prove themselves in professional world) in new joinees was breathtaking indeed.
  • TeamWork - So many of us co-ordinating on Web Messenger to get a code snippet perfect - with proper exception handling, near zero memory leaks and bug free execution.

And here everything seems so different when compared to my myopic view of the world as listed above! Never before have I spotted so many people working together, pushing steadily forward with full zeal towards meeting a common objective. Considering the weather conditions - (its scorching hot here and yes there's no Air-Conditioner too ;)) and absence of otherwise omnipresent Soft Drinks / Food Outlets - this is certainly an exhibit of true team work. As I walked past the Rock Blasting Area (they do that to construct foundations of Turbines, Boilers etc), I asked my Dad a dozen of questions seeking explanations for how so many diverse people (who aren't that educated too) work together, whats their motivation (certainly money isn't), how the synchronisation is achieved....and so forth. Well, as anticipated he smiled back and said lets go for a walk around the plant area and promised that we'll talk about it at the end of the day. Here's what I observed during the next 4 hours:

The Only Area with a Shade was this Boxed Movable Meeting Room
  • Abundance Of Greetings - Everyone here genuinely likes and respects their team members as evident from their way of exchanging greetings.
  • Willingness to Go Extra Mile - The idea of grasping opportunities right in time is drilled deep in the minds of workforce. My Dad suggested positioning an extra beam for tensile strenth of a column post the usual column reinforcement operations and to my utter surprise one of the guys responded "Sir, Why Wait - lets do that right away?". And I was wondering why they don't have spreadsheets to track minute by minute progress of people.
  • Frequent Boost Up Dozes- Many of the plant construction operations require extreme physical exertion (I was so shaken observing a guy doing some metal fixing well below the ground level) and what these guys know is every move can't be perfect. Sometime discouragement sets in inspite of a day's hard work but together they still pat each others back saying "Good Going...Good Going! " and move on at even faster pace the very next day.
  • Being in Control - When faced with technical challenges, few amongst them are real quick to take charge and rest of them provide their full support to face it right on.
  • Family to Support - Every person who works here knows that their families know that they are working towards a huge goal and I know (from personal exp) that challenges become so easy when you have support of your loved ones !
  • Quick Thinking - Ofcourse their are distinguised engineers here who are expert at conjuring up quick associations (and improvise existing Plant Drawings at the same time) of how a plant structure say Boiler Casing would look like if you do A as against B.

One things is for sure - I am quite moved by this visit and am certainly very thankful to my Dad for arranging for my visit. Oh and yes, we headed back home my Dad quietly said (may be it was intentional:)) : "Our unique ability to choose how we respond to and process any event that happens to us can make us either a "great" or a "not-so-great" person ! - Think about it" I sure will Dad :D

>> My Google Gears will push a few more posts that I wrote while in India - life should get back to its normal self then :)


Dhruva said...

nice post !! .... reminds me of my vocational industrial training days in bokaro steel plant (SAIL) .. my dad showing me around the steel plant, blast furnace etc (he used to work there and love the steel plant culture and everything)

i have also been fascinated in recent times about energy outlook and policies in India, and where is it going ... see this post ..

ps - we have many things in common man !! :)

Chinmay said...

Hey @Dhruva !

Thanks for d nice 'n' crisp fbk ! Just went thru'ur illustrative post abt Energy trends 'n' future in India...I too believe that nuclear energy has remained an untapped resource since independence and if utilised properly can power Indian Industries, Homes, Villages and Nation!

And yes-we must really catchup sometime soon - I read recently that like minded people get well together :D

Dhruva said...

Haha :) .. sure, we'll catch up once you come back to US... give me a call or i will give you a call .... btw, stop by sometime if you happen to be in philly area!! .. maybe come on weekend, and stay overnight. (if you come by my place that way you can meet your bhabhijee too :) ) .. so, plan out something.