Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Pramati Day!

The year-end brings with it a season of joy and giving. In keeping with this spirit, Pramati Technologies, Bangalore , invited the undergraduate students of the Dream School Foundation for a tour of their office premises and to be a part of their Christmas celebrations.

As the students gathered at the entrance of the World Trade Center, the excitement was palpable. Passing through Fort Knox like security, we headed up the elevator. Nestled on the 15th floor, the plush office of Pramati was a reflection of it's core value-- innovation . We were warmly received by Shobha, the HR manager and her associates. As they were ushered in, little did the students expect what they were going to be privy to -- a product launch! Taking the floor, Mr.Praveen, VP products, spoke passionately about the new product and its features. The students listened intently, understanding the value of innovation and learning the art of presentation. After a high energy interactive session, where the team at Pramati posed questions and reviewed the product, it was time for some fun! What better way to add excitement to the festivities than a game of secret Santa! After days of playing cat and mouse, it was time to reveal the secret Santa. As people exchanged gifts amidst laughter and cheers, the students saw that work can also be fun. After gifts, it was time for some cake. As everyone sunk their teeth into some delicious cake and snacks, Pramati’s small group of carolers added zing and warmth to the atmosphere with joyful Christmas carols.

Spirits high, the students headed towards a conference room, where they were addressed by Mr. Giri, VP  Engineering Services. Following an icebreaker, where the students introduced themselves, the conversation touched upon various topics, from latest technology to their aspirations. Giving them sound advice, Mr. Giri spoke of the importance of goal setting and encouraged them to think out-of-the-box. The students were then taken through the various stages in software development, by a team member, Bhavya. From ideation to delivery, all the thought and hard work that goes in made them realize that product development is no child’s play. They were later addressed by Mr.Chetan, VP Human Resources. Talking about valuable life lessons, he told them to be confident and emphasized on the importance of believing in oneself.  Inspired by his words and encouraged by his warmth, Afreen, a BCA student, stood up to share a few things about herself, and was promptly rewarded with a packet of chocolates by Mr. Chetan!

Moving away from the usual, the team at Pramati decided to give the students a taste of a 'typical day in a software company’, through a fun activity. This creative task, designed and led by Srivatsan, who also volunteers and mentors at DSF, divided the students into four teams – requirements, design, testing and delivery. The task was simple-- the requirements team had to gather specifications of the product, the design team had to design it accordingly, the testing team had to check for bugs and finally, the delivery team had to ensure it was delivered to the client on time. The client, Srivatsan, had a simple requirement – an aircraft. As the team at Pramati watched with much amusement, what followed was absolute chaos! The room was abuzz with activity, as the students ran back and forth trying to gather information, conveying it to the other teams, drawing whatever they could from the information received and cross checking it among themselves. Amidst laughter, giggles and excited chatter, the students finally had a product to deliver. After overshooting the stipulated delivery time significantly, the sheepish students delivered, what a team member at Pramati rightly described as, 'the skeleton of a whale’! With no wheels or body and better still, no seat for the pilot, the final product had everyone in splits. As everyone joined in on the laughter, it drove home a very important point-- no idea ‘takes off’ without good communication and team work.

As the day drew to a close, it was time to say bye. A usually reticent Naveen, went forward to share his experience and he too was awarded a chocolate for his effort. The team bid us farewell with gifts, a souvenir to remind us of the wonderful day spent with them. Although it had been a long day, the students’ excitement hadn’t ebbed. Energized by the motivating speeches and the fun-filled task, they spoke excitedly about the day’s events, on the way back home. ‘I have never addressed a group my age, let alone people senior to me, but listening to Mr. Chetan speak, I decided to give it a shot’ said an inspired Naveen. ‘I had no idea what goes on in a software company… we learnt a lot’, shared Shwetha. ‘The task was fun and we enjoyed every bit of it’ Vidya gushed. All in all, it was a great day and true to their tag line, Pramati definitely inspired and brought many ‘ideas to life’ for the students.