Tag Archives: employer branding

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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.

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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?

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Mindfire Premier League 2014

We all know that everybody loves a good game of cricket. The game is so deeply ingrained in the psyche of Indians in particular that almost everybody is drawn into it. Amateurs and professionals alike, they play it everywhere. Be it in the nook and corner of a street, an open playground, in the close confines of a room, in the virtual world on a computer screen or the well maintained turf in a stadium, the game is omnipresent. It is this cricketing spirit of its people that Mindfire respects and encourages as well.


Mindfire Premier League trophies
Want to know how? Then here you go. For all its employees who practically eat, sleep, watch and play cricket, Mindfire Solutions’ Bhubaneswar office organizes a homegrown version of IPL every year. A tradition that started in the year 2008 and famously known amongst the Mindfireans as Mindfire Premier League, this is a much awaited event for both players and spectators alike. Although the event is mostly held in the month of February, the preparations for the D-Day start off more than a month in advance.

This year saw three teams viz. Lions, Cheetahs and Panthers fighting for glory at the Kalinga Stadium cricket ground on February 8.

Match details:
There were three qualifier matches of twelve overs each. The match details are as follows:

Qualifier match 1: The first match was between Lions and Cheetahs. The Lions won the match and chose to field first. At the expense of 4 wickets the Cheetahs scored 93 runs. Sudhansu Panda from team Cheetahs scored 31 runs which helped his team immensely. The Lions conceded defeat by scoring a total of 87 runs at the loss of 3 wickets.

Qualifier match 2: The winner of the first qualifier match i.e . the Cheetahs were to meet the Panthers in the second qualifier match. On winning the toss, the Cheetahs allowed the Panthers to bat first. The Panthers could only manage to score 63 runs at the expense of 8 wickets. The Cheetahs easily achieved the target within 9.4 overs. Sudhansu Panda was again a star player by taking 4 wickets in this match.

Qualifier match 3: The penultimate match was between the losers of the first and second qualifier matches i.e. the Lions and the Panthers. The Panthers did a remarkable job of clocking 122 runs at the expense of 3 wickets. A major contribution towards this score was by Susangeet who played his best innings of 37 runs. The Lions were going through trying times put their best foot forward. Kaushik, the captain of Lions joined with Mainak to open the innings and the duo scored a flawless 56 runs before he gave his wicket away, a soft dismissal. A visibly injured Mainak showed great character and stayed till the end to ensure that Lions won the match to qualify for the finals.

The Finals: The invincible Cheetahs who had become the favorite MPL team by then played the finals against the Lions. Mainak and Satyaprakash from the team Lions contributed greatly to a decent score of 94 runs. The Cheetahs who had won the toss and decided to chase won the match in 9 overs and 10 wickets. Sudhansu Panda proved to be the star yet again by scoring an undefeatable 60 runs and was greatly supported by Kshirodra who scored 32 runs.

The Cheetahs proved to be an invincible team and won the Mindfire Premier League hands down. Undoubtedly, Sudhansu Panda walked away with many laurels which included three Man of the Match, Best Batsman of MPL-2014, Best Bowler of MPL-2014 and the Man of the Series awards.Indeed this winner took it all.

 

It would be unfair if we do not give kudos to the MPL core team for organizing a splendid cricketing session for us spectators thereby transforming an otherwise dull Saturday into a fun-filled one. The entertainment made sure our day was well spent. Last but not the least, thank you Mindfire Solutions for keeping the cricketing spirit alive!