Vidya Heble: A year of living excitingly

10 Sep,2012

By Vidya Heble

 

It is a little like moving from a big city to a smaller urbanopolis. Going from working in a large organization, to throwing in your lot with a start-up. For one thing, at a big organization there are several things one takes for granted – such as, for instance, infrastructure, logistics, administration, and the all-important cafeteria facilities. In a small organization, these activities are concentrated in a very small team, and often everyone pitches in.

 

On the flip side, when you walk into the office at the small organization, it’s like walking into one’s own space. Not a big, sometimes impersonal cubicle farm. There’s no need for a trip to the cafeteria. Instead, one hears the typical whistle of the tea-boy (who doesn’t take long to figure out everyone’s individual preferences) and brings chai to one’s desk. At MxMIndia, we have a special bell that we ring when we hear the whistle, and this lets the tea-boy know that the cup of pick-me-up is wanted in Number 13. Once upon a time, this used to be the bell that summoned the copy boy. If you know what a copy boy is, you can have a glass of chai as a reward.

 

Because we all pull together, it goes without saying that if someone needs a hand, there are several to help, right there. In the start-up, everyone is a friend.

To take a slightly more serious tack, one crucial difference between a big organization and a small one is that in the latter, everyone pulls together. There is no room for slacking, and no safety-net to catch any superfluity. It’s a small boat, and everyone’s oar matters. This, to me, is an advantage because it keeps us keen. Sure, we sit around shooting the breeze now and then, but I think that on the whole our use of time is more efficient.

 

And because we all pull together, it goes without saying that if someone needs a hand, there are several to help, right there. In the start-up, everyone is a friend.

But it is precisely because there is no safety-net, that it’s been an exciting time. Getting the story, ensuring it is accurate, telling it well… we do it all in a sort of measured frenzy, and though we have moments when we think we’re going to fall short, it somehow all comes together.

 

Cliff-hanging, often. Satisfying, always. It’s been a great year and we don’t want the rollercoaster to stop.

 

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