Tag Archives: employee happiness

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Death ends life but not the relationship!

Ever thought what it feels like to live another person’s dream? We at Mindfire Solutions do!

Yes, we have been doing it every year since 2011 and hope to continue the tradition forever. And on that day we organize the Debasish Das Memorial IT Quiz popularly known as DDM IT Quiz, a tribute to Late Debasish Das, a brilliant team lead, an amicable colleague and an amazing person. It was his dream originally to organize a mega IT quiz event that would attract the quizzing enthusiasts from technical and management institutes from all over Odisha and may be later arrange it on a Pan-India scale. But before he could do something about it, we lost him to a fatal road accident on 12th Jan 2010.

We started out in the year 2011 with quite a bit of trepidation but were overwhelmed with the response that we received (120 teams registered for the event that year). This strengthened our conviction and ever since then we have been organizing the Quiz every year for the last four years. Each year the event gets bigger and better and attracts more quizzers than the last.

This year we had warm-up online quiz contests on Facebook with the lucky winners winning exciting prizes such as t-shirts, pen drives and watches. In order to sensitize the public, on 2nd March 2014 we organized a flash mob based on the theme of road safety at Bhawani Mall, Bhubaneswar. We are the first corporate in Odisha to organize a flash mob for promoting our event and instilling awareness about road safety in the public. Come to think of it, after all it was a road accident that snuffed the life out of our colleague. There was also a “quote a quote” competition on Facebook on 5th March, 2014. We received a lot of replies and the lucky winner (the one whose quotes got the maximum number of likes) won an iPod.

The D-Day:
The event was held on 9th March, 2014 at Pal Heights, Bhubaneswar. More than 300 teams had registered to participate in the event. Gradually the number of participants at the venue swelled in numbers defying the sultry hot climate that is currently setting in the region. But obviously only the top eight teams made it to the stage after the preliminary elimination round. This event was hosted by Greycaps (http://www.greycaps.com/) and Quizmaster Lloyd Saldanha did an excellent job by keeping the participants and the audience virtually on the edge of their seats. In this event there were prizes worth Rs 100000 to be won. There were exciting audience prizes as well which were picked up by a quiz-keen audience.

The Winners:
This intellectually stimulating quizzing session ended with the team from KIIT, Bhubaneswar as the winners. Omkar Amrutanshu and Loy Larvin Rao looked every bit the achievers as they received the prize of Rs 50,000 from Chinmoy Panda, CEO, Mindfire Solutions. He also gave away prizes of Rs 30,000 to the first runners up, Chinmaya Dehury and Sheikh Wasim Sajjad, members of the team from NIT, Rourkela and Rs 20,000 to Saransh Mohapatra and Jyoti Prakash Panda, members of the team from Silicon Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar who were the second runners up.

At the close of the day when we returned to our homes content with the way the entire event was organized, it was difficult not to let that stray thought enter our minds. That one single wish: if only Debasish was alive today he could see his dream turn to reality. In this case it’s true that death has ended his life, but the relationship that he shared with us will be cherished forever. And it is those memories that will provide the zeal to organize yet another DDM IT quiz next year, only much more bigger and better.

theres_free_lunch

Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

Today as I dug into my plate of piping hot chicken biryani and let the rich aroma of multiple spices fill my nostrils, I realized one thing. It’s true, many authors have written volumes on the fact that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAAFL) but then they haven’t worked at Mindfire Solutions. I am sure they haven’t coz if they had then they would have known that lunch is actually FREE at Mindfire Solutions!

Biryani for lunch at Mindfire
First of all let’s know a bit about the concept of free lunch. This term is quite popular in economics textbook and finds its origin in the saloons of United States where it was a tradition to provide free lunch to customers who bought at least one drink. Most of the times the food was high in salt which compelled the buyer to buy more drinks later on. Hence the term TANSTAAFL has economic implications in the sense that even if it appears free there is a hidden cost to the person or the society.

A you read further you will realize that for the free lunch served at all the three centers of Mindfire Solutions (viz. Delhi, Bhubaneswar and Bangalore), it only wishes for employee satisfaction in return. A brilliant idea to perk up employee enthusiasm, free lunch is an initiative to let them do their thing (i.e. custom software development) without having to bother what’s for cook for lunch that day. Mindfire Solutions has a diverse population of software professionals who hail from different parts of India. And we all know that neither cooking is everyone’s cup of tea or searching for eat-outs in the middle of the day, every day, is a good idea to many. So to ensure a hassle free life and in turn better attention towards work (that’s always there!), Mindfire Solutions offers all its employees the option to sign up for the free lunch program.

The next thought that comes into mind is that, if it is free then the food may not be of great quality. Well let me assure you (trust me, I m extremely fussy about my food) that the food is of decent quality and tastes good as well. The caterers are strictly chosen, tried and tested so that any lapses can be forestalled. Caterers are dismissed almost immediately if there are any issues found with regards to taste or quality. Also the spread of items is not the same everyday and is changed regularly to bring in more variety to everyday food.
What started as a mad rush for food initially (because people found it hard to believe it is true) has tempered down a lot since the past couple of weeks. People are more organized now and there is hardly any ruckus in the cafeteria. However there are some rules that Mindfire lays down as well. The first and foremost rule is that wastage of food is a criminal offence that has to be avoided at all costs. Also as long as one eats at the cafeteria, one gets food for free. But when people sign up and do not inform that they will not be eating on a particular day within a specified deadline leading to food getting wasted, well, in that case they will have to pay. The free lunch is not included in any one’s individual CTC as it is an organizational initiative. Also if someone chooses not to avail the free lunch facility, it is not reimbursed either monetarily or through Sodexo coupons. So it is a case of “either you have it or you don’t” coz food is a matter of personal preferences.

Mindfire Solutions Cafeteria
Most employees I have interacted with have praised this initiative by Mindfire Solutions and thank the organization and its CEO to have released them from the drudgery of cooking lunch/finding a place for lunch every day! Gestures such as these are a reassurance and certainly leave an impression on the hearts of the employees. Isn’t it?