Dear Colleagues – A very warm, healthy and blessed day to all.
I hope you – and your families and friends – are staying safe amidst this COVID-19 pandemic. The relaxation in the lockdown has started making stuttering beginning in several parts of the country, and as usual, our crisis response team is ahead of the game. They have been advising us with their strategy to deal with the “Unlock 3.0” based on the circulars issued by the government authorities. We have to trust our team as they are doing their best to keep us safe every day and follow the instructions to the fullest.
I want to remind you that the novel coronavirus is still out there. The situation is still frustrating because many people are getting sick every day, have suffered traumas, and are losing lives. COVID–19 has also eroded the economic value, besides causing disease and uncertainties throughout the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones, wherever they might be. With the hope that all this will get over soon, I quote an ancient Sanskrit prayer, “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramaya” which means, Wishing everyone happiness and wishing everyone a disease-free life.
Friends, this is my last communication for a while. It is time for a break to reflect. We have got two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. It is time for me to listen more to our people than to talk. This is what I plan to do in the weeks to come. Over the next couple of months, you will get more opportunities to interact and ask more questions. It is important to remain connected during this limited travel period and while working from home. Our senior leadership, human resources, and crisis response teams will keep you updated on the process and timeline of returning to the office. This will, without doubt, be combined with an approach that is even more flexible than in the past.
As I prepare to gather my thoughts, I am reminded by the words of the beautiful verse, “Verily, along with every hardship is relief”. Thank you so much for your understanding that I am taking a break from writing weekly communication, but not from thinking about you, talking to you, and dealing with our people’s safety and well-being. Let’s get ready for the journey ahead with the faith we’ve got the incredible team with the right values to make this world a beautiful place to live.
Stay Safe and Stay Strong!
July 20, 2020
Dear Friends and Family of Octaware,
I hope you and your loved ones are well at home, keeping safe and in good health. Being at home is tough, and sometimes a little lonely. With that comes a feeling of isolation as time becomes “sludgy” and weekdays blur with the weekends. Having a support system is essential to our wellbeing. We at Octaware, are deeply committed to the wellbeing of all our employees and the communities around us.
Although we are all motivated to make the most out of the current “Lockdown” situation with learning and development, I request you to use the remaining weeks of lockdown to reflect what really matters to us individually and collectively in our life. The reflection process helps us deepen our understanding and make our intuitive experience communicated with others. It gives us the chance to step back and look at what our life and work mean to our communities and us. Self-reflection starts with asking questions to yourself. You gain a deeper understanding of your feelings, abilities, limitations, and motivating factors by asking yourself important questions. When you understand critical facets of yourself, you will respond better to changing conditions and challenging circumstances. If we use this time for reflection, we’ll come out stronger and better.
Friends, Let us continue our contribution towards a stronger, more sustainable world through our professional activities and our core values. Let me conclude with sincere gratitude to our true heroes who are doing an exceptional job keeping us all safe. I’m so looking forward to this being over so we can get back to normal again, but in the meantime, stay home, stay healthy, and stay safe and I hope to see you soon!!
July 13, 2020
My Dear Fellow Octawarians,
I hope you and your family are keeping safe during these unprecedented times. We all have been dealing with fear, panic, confusion, and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. As per the recent media news, lockdowns have eased in many countries. Businesses across India have started reopening, our crisis response team (CRT) have been busy on Unlock 2.0 initiatives, and we have had a fantastic first quarter ended June 30th. The road ahead will be long, and it will be especially important to follow the safety and health guidelines for ourselves and our dear ones around us.
We now have a strong understanding of how our company is doing in an atmosphere of complete Lockdown, and this insight gives us a great faith. We have learned that the more difficult the situation, and the greater the uncertainty in anticipating the future, the higher the client’s need for the best IT consulting and enterprise solution. It is imperative that Octaware continues to meet the increasing expectation of customers. We are about to begin on an in-depth review of our capital market strategy. We expect greater strength and motivation from each of you, not simply by working harder but also working smarter. There are opportunities for working smarter. We need to ask hard questions and challenge ourselves. What do we prioritize and how? What else can we do to add value for our customers, and where will we see the growth opportunities? These questions would help us prepare for the post-COVID financial market. This brings me back to the initiative of our CEO, Mr. Anwer Bagdadi, to help individuals achieve their dreams. I am confident that our team will benefit immensely from this opportunity to unleash their potential. I am so grateful for his extraordinary and relentless leadership in steering the company through these exceptional times.
I am also pleased to see how everyone has adopted the new normal by their positive energy and commitment. I continue to be impressed by the respect, love, and affection our team has for each other, which was clearly demonstrated during this week’s e-huddle. We are fortunate to have such an excellent team in our organization, who is determined to contribute to the organizational growth and build a world-class culture. Thank you so much for your contribution and dedication to business continuity and for supporting each other through this unique journey.
Stay safe, stay active, and healthy!
July 9, 2020
Our Beloved Octaware Colleagues,
I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe during these challenging times. It’s been a few months since our planet was introduced to a calamity, unlike anything that we have seen in modern history. The coronavirus crisis has left no one untouched. We know these are challenging times for all of us. However, these challenges only have reinforced our resolve to continue working towards our vision – “To serve, add value and create growth for individuals, businesses, and societies”. Since day one, our top priorities have been to ensure employees’ safety and well-being while maintaining business continuity.
As we continue to adjust to what has become “new normal”, I am sure many of us had used the new normal to learn things we never had time for when our routine was a daily rush to the office and back. The learning culture of ours has helped Octaware organically grow and is key to our success. This culture has been the foundation of our mindset and core values. Everyone we meet and talk has something to teach us. I was inspired by the business skills of the hawker I met over the weekend. Without an MBA degree, these hawkers have learned the business the hard way. He taught me how valuable “Planning” was for delivering the product on time to his client by starting to work an hour before to manage water logging in the heavy rain. Another big lesson I learned was “customer satisfaction” when his kid delivered the fruit to each client at their doorstep – ‘making the product available to customers when and where they need it’. The world is full of such wonderful people around us who teach a lot more than what we could learn from our own. These are our heroes and gurus, teaching us the valuable things in our professional and personal lives. Last week we also observed Guru Purnima on 5th July. On this auspicious day, we are grateful to all our teachers and gurus who have been instrumental in making us to be who we are today.
Throughout this lockdown time, let’s commit to learning regularly and help shape the community we live in for a better future. These are challenging times, but we will get through them. I request that everyone take precautions to remain safe and healthy.
Stay Home, Stay Safe, And Keep Learning!
June 29, 2020
Dear Octaware Family Members,
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.
These are trying and most unprecedented times of the century and something the world has not faced in decades. Most of us read this from home, rather than our office. We have not seen colleagues, friends, or even relatives and family face to face. Although introducing new ways of interacting is essential to protect our societies’ safety, doing so can bring moments of frustration and isolation. I want you to know that the leadership team at Octaware are here with you regardless of where we are located or how we are working today. Our Crisis Response Team (CRT), realizing the very dynamic situation of this pandemic, is carefully evaluating Unlock 2.0, determining the measures to help mitigate any potential impact, and developing contingency plans in place. You will get to hear from our CRT team and receive regular updates across our various communications channels. Our prime focus remains the health and safety of our employees.
In the amidst of the crisis, I am excited by the many outstanding achievements of our company in the first quarter that ended on 30th June 2020. We opened a new office in Bengaluru, announced appraisals and encashment of leaves, and achieved 100% sales target of the quarter. I am sincerely thankful to our CEO and the leadership team for making employees’ satisfaction and performance a priority to drive the business growth during this exceptional period.
In my last communication, I wrote about the fact that the “new normal” won’t be business as usual after the pandemic. The global situation regarding COVID-19 is evolving rapidly, with some areas of the city seeing their infection rates decrease, while other regions are approaching pandemic peak. Whatever is our location, the fact is that we are all living through a time of stress and pain. Many of us are working through the challenge of how best to take care of our children, elderly parents, friends, neighbors, and their safety. While this pandemic has enforced us into a challenging new reality, I firmly believe we will emerge with a different new perspective in our lives, including how we work, learn, and care for each other. Together we will get through this and continue our broader mission to serve, add value, and create growth for the individuals, businesses, and societies. This strong purpose will help us push through these incredibly challenging times.
Stay safe, be optimistic, and keep the faith!
June 1, 2020
Dear Octaware Colleagues – A very healthy and blessed day to everyone!
There are few things in our lifetimes that are truly exceptional but one of them is going through a global pandemic. Over the past three months, initial concerns about COVID-19’s possible effects have given way to an incredible understanding of how a health epidemic can impact our society, our business, and our economy. I wish that all of you are safe and healthy, as are your loved ones.
As the Lockdown slowly begins to ease and cities gradually prepare to unlock, our Crisis Response Team (CRT) is closely monitoring government announcements regarding travel restrictions, economic activities, and business openings. The end of the lockdown will not be a return to the previous “normal”, but to a “new normal”. Although we will continue to work from our homes for by the end of June 2020, our CRT team is working to build an “Office Relaunch Plan” and internal procedures so that office can reopen safely and with all guidelines met. Being strategic about our relaunch plans during this time is a crucial step in setting ourselves up for the safety of our employees and the continuity of our business. While reopening the workplace after lockdown is vital to the well-being of the business, the first and foremost thing that comes to our priority is the well-being of our colleagues. Kindly be assured that the leadership team is committed to the health, safety, and well-being of our employees.
I would like to take a moment to recognize your hard work, adaptability, and resilience in meeting the challenge and fulfilling the commitments to our client during these challenging times. I am humbled by the numerous acts of kindness and the spirit which I witnessed in each one of you, the spirit of commitment, dedication, and above all to work together as one team and family. This trying time has brought out the best in so many of our Octaware family members and together we are getting a lot done. I hope that the spirit generated during the lockdown will last beyond the current pandemic and will continue to exist forever.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones and stay safe!
May 18, 2020
Dear Octaware Colleagues,
I hope you and your family are at home, safe and healthy during these unparalleled times.
We are living through unprecedented times and COVID-19 is changing everything about life and work. Because of these major disturbances, it is important for all of us to display empathy in each and every experience – for our families, our colleagues and ourselves. Empathy is the cornerstone of Emotional Quotient (EQ). EQ matters as much as IQ when it comes to happiness and achievement in life.
Emotional Quotient is the ability to understand and manage our own emotions, and those of the people around us. EQ is commonly defined by two attributes. First, Self-awareness – We recognize our own emotions and how they affect our thoughts and behavior which eventually describes our character. Second, Social-awareness – Our ability to understand other people’s emotions, needs and concerns, pick up on emotional indications, and recognize the dynamics of power within a group/organization. During this challenging times, self-care is important for us, it is important for our colleagues, too. We’re all in this together, so be empathetic to the needs of your colleagues. This pandemic will be over soon and our lives will return to normal but our families, colleagues, and loved ones will remember how we acted and supported each other. This is our opportunity to create a legacy of grace and empathy.
We at Octaware are working in close cooperation with government agencies to monitor developments and to take company-wide precaution where needed. I want you to know that we are moving forward in this time of uncertainty with a strategy of preparedness, effective execution and togetherness. I am sure that if all of us together contribute our part we will make it through these difficult times. In closing, I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for your hard work, support, and commitment amidst all this uncertainty. Thank you for all your contributions that made Octaware what it is today!
Wishing you and your family a very happy and blessed Eid. EID Mubarak!
May 11, 2020
Dear beloved Octaware colleagues –
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.
No doubt this pandemic has presented new challenges for all of us, it is important that we remain calm, show solidarity, and stand by one another in this extraordinary time. Spiritual power helps in analyzing tough situations, finding solutions, and keeping stay calm. Social Quotient (SQ) is a measure that looks at the spiritual acumen of a person and is just as important as IQ. SQ develops the character of an individual so that one can seek the purpose of life.
SQ is equally important in business organizations to ground themselves in their purpose – that is, to intensely focus the core question: Why do we exist? Our company’s shared vision “To serve, add value, and create growth for individuals, businesses, and societies” guides our purpose and differentiates our business from others. We strongly believe in serving society and adding value to the people of our society through our corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. CSR is core to our business philosophy to make a significant difference in society and improve the overall quality of life. The CSR philosophy of our organization is well aligned with the principles of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we are fully committed to the United Nation’s 2030 agenda.
This year, we made steady strides towards the four goals outlined in the UN SDGs strategy. On SDG 03 – Good Health and Well-Being, we successfully completed breast cancer awareness and diagnosis projects for women in the slum of Mumbai. On SDG 04 – Quality Education, we continued to sponsor the special education to autistic children through our NGO partner RIDA Foundation. On SDG 08 – Decent Work and Economic Growth, we launched a technology business incubator at an institute in Mumbai to promote innovation and employment through our subsidiary GoBizLAB – Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development. To achieve SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities, In addition to continuing support to National Association of Blind – Employment and Training to create the employment for visually impaired in IT industry, we also conceptualized a technical skilling and employability program for women with disabilities in the area of IT and Healthcare to generate a home-based employment and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Friends, Building an organization on the foundation of the strong purpose is most important to Octaware. The company was created to serve a higher purpose. Tough times come and go, but the purpose remains constant. While running a purpose-led organization, our priority is the health, safety and, well-being of our employees. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to everyone working for and with Octaware during this time and helping us to achieve the purpose of our existence.
I wish you and your families continued good health during these difficult times. Be Safe and stay blessed!!
May 4, 2020
Dear Colleagues – A very blessed and healthy day to everyone.
The COVID-19 situation is evolving and affecting thousands of people and their families. This is an unprecedented time for all of us, and the situation is changing every day impacting our lives as well as the global economy. Our thoughts, hearts, and prayers are with the families who are personally impacted. We sincerely hope that you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe during these challenging times.
As the lockdown is further extended to contain the spread of COVID-19, this unprecedented situation creates both problems and opportunities. It is up to us, from an organizational and personal perspective to make the best use of hours at home and discover how we can turn lockdown into an opportunity. This is the best time to invest in ourselves to enrich and augment our knowledge and our ability to apply those knowledge. Intelligent Quotient (IQ) refers to the acquisition of knowledge and skills. IQ is a common denominator to everything we do in our lives, therefore increasing IQ is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Acquiring and possessing knowledge is also highly encouraged by the Holy Books as shared during the last e-huddle event with the example from Bhagavad Gita and Al-Quran.
Friends, we always had time constraints to read or learn, the COVID-19 lockdown is the best time for us to invest in learning new knowledge and skills. This is the moment for additional effort, for going that extra mile. I fully understand all of us are busy managing challenging work, personal and family situations at this moment. Your tough decision in investment in new learning will make a huge difference to your personal and professional growth, our company, and to our society.
As they say “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do!”. Although we all are going through a “tough time” together, it’s important to remember that this crisis won’t last forever. Sooner or later, everything will come back to normal. Being strong and tough ourselves will get us through this situation. So, stay strong, stay positive, and stay safe!
April 27, 2020
A Blessed Day to our beloved Octaware Family
I hope you and your family are doing well in these times.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues around the globe, telecommuting and work from home have become the new normal. However, work-from-home made us work longer hours than those in the office. The social isolation due to COVID-19 led to increased consequences of stress and fear, and in some cases developing burnout syndrome. It may be a great time to reflect on the self-development 4Qs theory and importance of PQ – Physical Quotient, IQ – Intellectual Quotient, EQ – Emotional Quotient, and SQ – Social Quotient in our daily lives to better deal with the current pandemic situations. In the present scenario of lockdown, the first quadrant Physical Quotient (PQ) matters more. The psychologists have defined four sub-elements of PQ which are Fitness, Eating habits, Quality sleep, and Leisure time.
First, Fitness – It is important to keep us active in this time of social distancing. Physical exercise at home can improve our mental health by lowering stress. There are YouTube workouts to learn some exercise while we’re social distancing. Our HR team is working on the idea of Social DisYoga, online meditation, and e-gym partnership. Second, Eating habits – With working from home becoming a norm, we have been experiencing irregular eating habits leading to unhealthy outcomes. Let’s not skip our lunch break. Thankfully, our HR team is deliberating on virtual coffees and e-lunches program to ensure we nourish ourselves away from our routine. Next, Quality sleep – Good sleep is important to emotional wellness and mental health. Excess screen time due to working from home has a harmful impact on our sleep. As per health experts advise, a good full night of sleep also plays an important role in building our immune systems. So, let’s take care of our sleep hygiene. Last, Leisure time – Research has shown that individuals who work on strengthening social relationships during leisure time are happier than others. A few minutes a day of conversation, just to chat and socialize with our colleagues and loved ones could help to boost our mental wellbeing.
Friends, I would request to earnestly invest into our self-development and work on improving physical quotients. This would go a long way towards ensuring our wellness and protecting our health. Our leadership team is doing everything necessary to keep our employees and their families safe and healthy, despite the many difficulties, both technical and personal. I would personally like to thank them for their commitment and dedication. I also would like to thank all remarkable people at Octaware who strive to serve our employees and customers with their professionalism, forward-thinking attitude, and kind heart.
Please take care of yourself and your loved ones during this unprecedented time. Stay home and Stay Safe.
April 20, 2020
A blessed day to all our beloved Octaware colleagues.
Monday 20th April 2020 was a remarkable day in the history of Octaware. The first time ever we met each and every one of our family members over a virtual get-together well thought out by our human resource (HR) department. My deepest thank to honorable family members of the Octaware community, respected parents and beloved children for joining us at our weekly e-huddle event. They are our strength. We only exist because of the love, support, and prayers of our family members. Our achievement is due to the hard work of our exceptional team who are inspired by them and their sacrifices. I am sincerely thankful to our HR team to organize this live get-together with our extended family members.
The lockdown due to COVID-19 is a challenging time and we are doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our employees and their families on topmost priority. We are observing a spike in society worrying not just about the pandemic but also its indirect effects on an individual’s life and family. To help our employees and their families keep up with their safety and health, our Crisis Response Team has launched two new projects. First, Octaware has partnered with Central Hospital, Mumbai providing 24X7 doctors on call for medical consultation and pandemic guidance to deal with expected or unexpected events. Second, the company has engaged an NLP Certified counsellor and Landmark graduate life coach to offer e-counselling services to help our employees better manage any psychological issues that could impact them. Our objective is to help you have a healthy physical and mental well-being.
As I shared at our e-huddle event, the leadership team is prioritizing the measures in response to changing circumstances and absolutely committed to the safety and wellness of our employees and their families. In the meantime, let’s stay safe together and help others stay safe too during the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak.
April 13, 2020
Greetings Dear Octaware family members,
I hope that you and your families are safe.
The COVID-19 situation has evolved further and our government has taken impactful measures to ensure the safety of citizens by extending the lockdown till 30th April 2020. As COVID-19 continues to impact the global community, I want to personally update you on the measures Octaware is taking to ensure the safety of our employees and business continuity for our global customers.
First and foremost, I would like to sincerely thank each one of you for what you have been doing to weather this COVID-19 crisis and to get our company to cope with this pandemic situation. Your commitment makes all the difference. Due to our unique corporate culture, we refer to Octaware as our extended family. A challenging moment like this is the time to live family values. I earnestly and humbly request all of you to lend helping hand and support each other. Our personal caring and help can make a lot of difference to our colleagues and their families – it will make us a stronger and even more resilient community in the long term.
No one knows for sure how the COVID-19 crisis is going to fold. However, what we do know is that organizations that respond quickly and decisively will reduce the impact on employees and business continuity. In response to the current extreme circumstances, we’ve created a “COVID-19 Crisis Strategy” developed out of “Leadership in a Time of Crisis” course of Stanford University that will help our leadership team to navigate the challenges ahead, prioritize health, safety and wellbeing of our employees and manage the virtual working environment to keep our business moving forward.
I want to assure you that Octaware as an organization and myself in individual capacity will be with you every step of the way to overcome this unique challenge. As always, I encourage you to reach out to the leadership team directly with any questions or suggestions you may have.
April 06, 2020
Greetings Dear Octaware family members,
I hope everyone is safe and healthy at home.
In these extraordinary times, we are experiencing together and being part of a historic battle fought against an epidemic disease. As the situation in COVID-19 continues to develop, the medical fraternity and scientific researchers are at the forefront of this war. We are doing everything we can to support our frontline fighters and deeply grateful for all they are doing to keep us safe.
Staying at home and fighting this pandemic is equally tough. It’s natural that some of our team members might get exhausted over this situation. I encourage everyone to ensure regular ongoing communication, be connected, and support each other. The leadership team at Octaware is always available to help you and discuss any concerns you may have during one-on-one meetings.
Our first priority is the safety and health of our employees and we are taking all measures to ensure the protection of our staffs and seamless business continuity.
Please remain safe, healthy and stay connected.
March 30, 2020
Dear Friends – A very blessed day to everyone.
I hope all is well with you and your family.
As we know, COVID-19 is changing our everyday lives. In this turbulent time, our absolute priority is the safety and wellbeing of our employees in India and overseas. I request all of you to do whatever you can to protect one another and stay safe. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our colleagues who have been working tirelessly to ensure our people are safe and our business operations are up and running.
As a socially responsible company, we have also started working with government agencies to make a profound impact on this epidemic situation. I am proud of our dedicated team and leadership of how hard everyone was working together over the last week, including weekends to contribute towards finding technological solutions that will manage the possible spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
In this time of unfolding crisis, please stay in touch with each other and remain a close Octaware family. We are committed to the health and safety of our employees and ensuring business continuity for the customers we serve.
Thank you so much for your effort and your commitment!