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Bizom Journeys: Syed Asim

A bit over 6 years ago on the 5th of May, Syed walked into a Bizom different from the one we see today, as a Customer Delight Executive. It’s safe to say that he was unaware of the fact that he had found a second home amongst people crazy enough to change the world!

Be that as it may, the ones that are driven enough to make it need no external motivators (though it certainly helps)! Such has been the case with Syed, who has lived the journey and has gone from Executive to Leader, and even after half a dozen years; is consistently one of the best performers in his team.

Reflecting on the last 6 years at Bizom, he feels that he has always had a clear career path ahead of him from the time he came in. Over the years, he has made himself available to customers at all times while also building a great rapport with people within the organization. He has also donned the hat of a mentor and has shaped plenty of minds in the CCD team. 

When it comes to his involvement in Bizom, Syed has gone to the extent of even sitting with developers and fixing problems right at the grassroots. Today, he knows Bizom like the back of his hand and can understand software problems just by listening to what developers have to say. He credits his leaders for this and goes on to say that he has been able to grow within the organization because he has always had the freedom to experiment, and has known what his professional progression would look like.

This being said, no growth story is complete without a set of challenges faced (and overcome), and it has been no different for Syed. If it isn’t clear enough from the fact that someone from CCD fixed tech problems, challenges were in abundance during his initial days at Bizom. But, like a true-blue Bizom team member, Syed has managed to get past them by successfully implementing the one thing that lies in all of our hearts – Algorithmic Jugaad.

One such instance, Syed recalls, is when our then largest CMRR client required software that would ensure that their employees were marking their attendance at the brand’s outlets. At a time when such software was not available at Bizom, Syed came up with a plan whose beauty lay in its simplicity. He, with the help of his team, simply tracked the user’s location (at the time of marking attendance) to the outlet’s location. As long as both locations came back with the same coordinates, the users were safe. If not, Syed’s team could track the discrepancy and report it to the client. 

The result? Over 5,000 users went live! Well, if that isn’t Algorithmic Jugaad personified!

Syed’s biggest asset has always been his humble nature and the ability to get the job done. He doesn’t in the least hesitate to acknowledge and appreciate his ‘gurus’ – Srinidhi, Sadha, Bhupi, Anoop, Abhishek, Archita, and Lalit for his success at Bizom and (no surprises ahead) is looking to take things up a notch in the next quarter by adding more fuel to the company’s growth! 

If he were to pick the thing he loves most about Bizom, Syed says it’d have to be the organization’s culture and leadership – hands down! He goes on to say that the leadership has a habit of placing trust in their employees and allowing them to learn and grow, while also ensuring that they are encouraged to dream bigger.

Here’s to wishing Syed the best of luck, along with many more years of dreaming, learning, and growing with Bizom!

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Humans of Bizom: Srinidhi Shastry

They say that curiosity, doubled with the will to persevere against all odds, is something that takes people places. Such is the case with one of our very own – Srinidhi Shastry, Head of SME Sales at Mobisy.

A typical introvert hailing from Krimanjeshwara, Udupi, Srinidhi has come full circle by going from the “shy guy”, as he calls it, to the Regional Sales Head for a company that works with over 500 brands! A professional journey for which he wholeheartedly credits his parents, leads & colleagues.

Srinidhi walked into Mobisy in 2013 – a time when the company barely had 20 people. And this too, was at a time when professionals preferred the better-known employers because start-ups were looked at as risky career investments. Initially, neither did he have a great understanding of what a start-up is nor did he know what supply-chain was, but when he read up about them, he was inclined to be a part of both. He recalls how he was overwhelmed by challenges such as the long work hours, clients delaying payments, language barriers (the clients preferred speaking in Hindi), as well as performing multiple functions – all things good or bad, depending on your opinion, that come with working in an early stage start-up.

Just to bring in some perspective, Srinidhi was a part of the team (in 2014) when Bizom’s Monthly Recurring Revenue was roughly 1/1000th of what it is today. The time period also marked the start of digitization when it came to retail and supply chain, and those were certainly some tough times. So much that Srinidhi has even had days where he found himself waiting outside clients’ offices for over 4 hours, just to secure a small deal of Rs. 60,000. Fortunately, that isn’t a problem that exists anymore because the shoe is now on the other foot – clients now ask for Bizom!

Having spent many a late night in office working till 3 AM, Srinidhi also reminisces about the camaraderie shared with his fellow teammates – when they spent the rest of the time playing table tennis and carrom, and eventually sleeping in the office itself.

Brought in for Support & Testing, Srinidhi ensured that he didn’t let his role define him. It is the path that he chose that shaped him into the professional and the leader he is today. Apart from what he was initially brought on for, Srinidhi has actively been a part of Bizom’s product development, Delivery Management, Customer Handling as well as Sales, where he has gone on to be the Regional Head. Today, Srinidhi says that the challenges he faced at Mobisy have enabled him to foresee any slip-ups that might happen and fix things beforehand.

At the same time, leadership is also something that Srinidhi has grown into. Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, he believes that growth happens when we surround ourselves with good people – a true Algorithmic Jugaad that Mobisy has always followed. He looks forward to contributing towards making great memories with his team, while at the same time motivating them and positively contributing to their professional development.

His advice to those that are just starting out – To be open to new professional experiences whenever the opportunity arises and have a genuine learning mindset, for growth to follow. At the same time, he says that you may have to accept some tough love that comes your way from customers or even your leaders and colleagues. But taking it in the right spirit will always help.

“Considering that the world around us is changing so quickly, I don’t like making long-term plans but prefer to stay agile”, says Srinidhi when asked about his goals for the future. However, he does add that he would love for his team to grow and come up with amazing things for our SME clients over the next 3-5 years. The icing on the cake for him would be to see his clients go public!

Over the years, Srinidhi has grown with Bizom and has played an integral role in scaling existing teams in the organisation. A modest group of 20+ in 2013 has now become a solid 250+, and the numbers continue to rise. As the Bizom family continues to grow, he hopes to see more such stories arising from youngsters in the organisation.

Algorithmic Jugaad Folklore – West Sales Team

Written by Smitesh Save

It was towards the end of 2015 when we had a new implementation for a client in the commodity vertical. Things went well, and we kicked off with the implementation, setup, masters collections, etc. However, for enterprise clients or those of a new vertical, it’s never too straightforward. 

A few days before the go-live was scheduled to take place, the Sales Head had a new requirement. The requirement meant that the field team would have to take orders in kilograms and units. While we were well aware that Bizom never supported the ‘kg’ unit, the client was particular about it and wasn’t comfortable going ahead without it.

For a business like Bizom, not going live for a long period is a huge risk, and in such an outcome, we stand to lose clients. What’s worse is that word gets around quickly, and the business also tends to get a negative image in the industry.

Coming back to the matter at hand, we now needed to develop support for the kilogram unit in a very short period. It, of course, required all hands on deck, and we began to brainstorm. Upon doing so, we found a few key points that played a crucial role in our next steps:

  1. Usage of Case for conversion of units to kilograms
  2. Challenges and impact of using case
  3. Our Go-Live plan
  4. Our Phase 2 DMS Go-Live

Using these points as a frame of reference for what we needed to work on, we had our work cut out for us. Eventually, we came up with a few solutions to help the users. 

We used cases to add in the quantity with case conversion into the kilogram unit, but of course, it wasn’t to be that easy. This option would only serve as a solution for values above 1kg. Not only was this a problem, but to have to explain this to the client without a solution was another challenge.

We instinctively decided to train users to punch in orders in kilograms only for SKUs above 1kg, while the other SKUs would be in units. We then trained MIS to properly maintain the product master.

Finally, upon researching how orders work in commodities, we were ready with our configuration. We had a plan of what could be sustainably supported, and what couldn’t be. We also had a solid plan of how we were going to present this to our client.

In the final demo session with the client, we explained to them in detail how things would work, and how this would help the users. Orders for SKUs with heavier products would be supplied in kilograms, while orders for SKUs with light products (such as pouches, sachets, etc.) would be delivered in packets or boxes. Things went well for us, with the client giving us the thumbs up for our Go-Live. 

However, this was not the end, as we also had the Go-Live for their DMS. The same workaround, if used, could lead to a mess in transactional data. But now that the client was out of churn risk, we took the time to do our research, figured out the business use, and worked on development and execution plans, and how to customize it to Bizom. I would say that this was our ‘Algorithm’ in Algorithmic Jugaad.

After multiple discussions, we rolled out features wherein Bizom could support the kilogram unit, and also other units like the liter. Ever since then, these have been available in all transactions and configuration schemes.

Underdogs: Step Up

In a professional career, we are often put in situations that are far too challenging for us to cope up with. Our skills and experiences are nowhere near enough for coping up with situations. These are exactly the times for us to grow up and be noticed on global stages. When everyone and everything around you fails, it gives underdogs the opportunity to showcase to the world what they are made of and create new legends! Let me tell you a story you possibly already know.

The year was 2002, I was in the UK first hand experiencing an Indian cricket team’s tour of England named “Indian Summer” by British media. The tour started with a one-day tri-series between India, Sri Lanka, and England. After a few boring group matches came the final between England and India. India was expected to win the match easily but England batted first and put up above par score of ~325 at more than 6 runs an over. In 2002, anything beyond 300 was considered an absolutely winning score. 

At the halftime mark, no one gave India a chance. During the Indian batting, Sehwag and Ganguly scored 100 odd runs quickly in less than 15 overs to make us believe India could win. Then followed the familiar collapse. India lost 5 wickets including those of Ganguly, Sehwag, Tendulkar, and Dravid for 30 odd runs in the next 10 overs. We all lost hope, switched off our TVs, and got back to our work. But it was not done yet, a young wiry player from Kanpur called Mohammed Kaif was at the crease with Yuvraj Singh. 

At that time Kaif was known more for his fielding than his batting. Kaif steered the innings to victory with composure and self-confidence far beyond his experience. This was also the match when Ganguly went shirtless on the Balcony of Lord’s. I remember one instance of the match vividly. Yuvraj Singh was hitting boundaries for fun and Kaif was more measured and was rotating the strike with singles. At one point Kaif played a couple of dot balls. Yuvraj as a senior player came up the crease animated and told Kaif to just tap the ball and take a single. Kaif sent the next ball for Six as if to tell Yuvraj and the world that he is in the team as a batsman due to his talent and no one can treat him like a “junior”. 

Do watch the highlights here. That win ensured Kaif’s place in the Indian ODI team at least for 2-3 years to follow. 

The irony is that Kaif would have never gotten a chance to do such heroic stuff if top-order Indian batsmen would have done their job in that match to take us closer to victory. We remember Kaif because more celebrated batsmen failed so miserably, giving almost a Mission Impossible to a young inexperienced lower-order batsman. The reason why Kaif is such a hero is that odds were stacked against him so much.

Coming back to Bizom – I have seen many such challenging situations. Important feature releases and deadlines in R&D, important closures and go-lives in sales, enterprise onboarding in CCD, audits in finance, events in marketing, and so on. There are times when our more experienced heroes are not able to contribute due to some or other issues. Every time such a thing happens, more often than not, we have had a “Kaif” (in other words – a young rookie) standing up to make the team win and thus birthing a new hero at Bizom.

A large reason for that, I would say, is the way we operate. We believe in making entrepreneurial hires. Fundamentally, these are people who come in and hit the ground running. They’re capable of taking charge of their responsibilities from day one and go above and beyond their role descriptions without the need for handholding or constant reminders. (To know more on what exactly we look for at Bizom, I think this job posting that I had written does justice)

We also believe in challenging our people, especially our youngsters, with tasks that professionals with their experience wouldn’t normally get an opportunity to work on. What this essentially does, is that it propels the rate at which these young professionals learn, and at the same time teaches them how to handle such situations with ease as they go further in their careers.

Not to mention, it also prepares them for leadership positions earlier in their careers. Case in point? Many of the leaders at Bizom, such as Debayan Das, Shalaka Kothawle, and Noman Waghu (to name a few) are some of our very young leaders.

Part of growing up in a career and stepping up in a team is to take every such crisis as an opportunity to showcase your talents and skills to the world and make your team win! Will you take the next opportunity?

Lots of love,

Lalit

12th Oct 2021

Algorithmic Jugaad Folklore: The Invincibles

Each team at Bizom has various troubling situations where Algorithmic Jugaad has come to the rescue. This story addresses one such instance with our Invincibles team, who are in charge of handling all the new accounts and making our go-lives happen.

The Invincibles

Vikas from the team takes us through everything that happened, and how they eventually got past that troubled situation

“A customer had a requirement in the second half of 2020, wherein they needed two separate Stock Keeping Units (SKU) from two different distributors, all for one outlet. Unfortunately, only one that could be mapped was available to us.

Enter Algorithmic Jugaad –

Earlier, we didn’t have an option to map a single outlet with two different distributors. So what could be a solution to this?

In the process of brainstorming to figure this out, we realized that there was one thing we could do – and we did it!

We started mapping the same beat to the salesmen and enabled the setting known as ‘show from warehouse’ which was defined at a user level to adhere to only split units.  This essentially meant that each user, or each customer, could get the SKUs from different distributors.

Now, in case the users wanted to find out information about the availability of products in a particular outlet, they could also sort it with the names of distributors from different SKUs.

While most people would’ve said “problem solved” and stopped here, we decided to go a step further. We decided to also map the ‘beat to user’ of an unmapped outlet distributor.

We started with mapping the distributor to the user, and after assigning the beat to the user, we made edits to remove the distributor. With this, we were able to manage the impact of the other side as well!”

Making use of an innovative solution whose significance lies in its simplicity? That certainly sounds like Algorithmic Jugaad!

Until the next one!

Algorithmic Jugaad Folklore: ft The Retail Community

At this point, when we say the words “Algorithmic Jugaad”, our minds instantly link it to “Bizom”. While that has been the case in this segment of Algorithmic Jugaad Folklore, with all the stories about our teams and the innovation that has become a part of their daily lives, today’s read is something different.

Today, we are going to take a look into some of the retailers that have continued to strive despite obstacles such as Covid, by practicing one magic formula. While they probably aren’t aware that we have a name for it, what they’ve done to stay alive, is most definitely an Algorithmic Jugaad!

Upon conversing with a few retailers around us, we found that a big problem they faced was constraints in terms of both – staff, and supply. While they were initially fazed by such an unprecedented situation, they realized that they had to be quick on their feet and decided on a few things that were needed to ensure that their show goes on.

Algorithmic Jugaad #1 – When the body is in trouble, don’t be afraid to chop off the arm (especially if your arm can regenerate).

The fact that there weren’t enough products to stock up the shop, and enough people to man the outlets meant one thing – The retailers had to decide which of their shops to keep open. With staff and supply both not readily available, there was no way that all of their shops could be running as if it were normal days.

Better days would come, but first, they would have to solve at least one of their two major problems.

Algorithmic Jugaad #2 – When competitors are in the same boat as you are in, they are your friends.

When it came to the supply bit, they realized that they only had each other to rely on. Retailers stepped in to help (you guessed it) other retailers when it came to product availability so that their businesses could live to fight another day.

What this essentially did, is that it opened up avenues for collaboration in the future. At the same time, it also ensured healthier competition.

Algorithmic Jugaad #3 – You can find talent everywhere. You just need to look for the right people.

The hunt for talent can be simplified when you look for the ‘right’ people. By ‘right’ people, we mean people that need what you’re giving, and give you what your business needs.

The retailers understood this and went on to hire out-of-job delivery executives and restaurant staff – all hit by the same common enemy that is Covid. This meant two things –

  1. They now had a motivated task force that understood the new reality and would do what it took to keep a steady paying job
  2. The retailers had just solved their constraint of staff availability

Algorithmic Jugaad #4 – Use technology and keep in touch.

Having understood the power of networking within the retail community, they now found ways to keep in touch and help each other’s businesses.

Retailers from the same areas formed WhatsApp groups and used the platform to extensively communicate with each other about supply and availability. 

Now that they had a better idea about product supply, they decided it was time to go a step further to the extent that they even set up business accounts to accept orders via WhatsApp.

The beauty of this was that they now understood how exactly this had to be played out. People wouldn’t step out, so retailers became delivery executives ensuring that the product reached the hands of the customer (of course, while practicing social distancing).

One thing that is certain from this, is that WhatsApp can help build a strong supply chain (we can tell you how).

Algorithmic Jugaad #4 – Care about your customers. It leaves more than just a good impression.

As retail businesses started finding their feet again, retailers understood one thing better than ever before – knowing the customer’s requirement.

Follow-ups became a major part of how retailers carry out their business, and they made it a point to understand all aspects of what their customers need, right from the products to the frequency. The customers would be followed up with, monthly.

While this showed the customers that the retailers cared about their needs, it did more than just that. It gave retailers solid data on customer requirements, preferences, and frequency of orders to arm themselves efficiently.

The toughest of situations call for some out-of-the-box solutions that not only get us out of jams but also serve the business as long-term solutions.

And that has been today’s Folklore of Algorithmic Jugaad.

Bizom Journeys: Noman Waghu

Written by Noman

It was July of 2016 when I joined Bizom after working with MNCs for a couple of years. In these places, I could not see my work having any direct impact, and hence I looked at finding a way to have a mix of freedom, flexibility, and opportunity at work. I was exploring the idea of an entrepreneurial stint but didn’t have the runway for it. I also had too many responsibilities at the time. 

As a Bollywood fan, I would like to say my journey with Bizom has been nothing less than a cinematic experience. I’ll start from the beginning.

Trying my hand at standup comedy, at a Bizom event

I first reached out to Rohan and Nilesh and expressed my interest in working with Bizom. However, at the time, there were no available openings. Call it madness or persistence, or whatever you will, I was eventually able to get them to interview me. An interview that led to a full-time role at Bizom, with Distiman.

What you’ll read ahead, are the things I experienced so far in my time at Bizom.

Hope

Coming to my journey with Distiman, the first thing that comes to my mind is “Hope”. A hope to disrupt the FMCG industry. Hope, to change the supply chain allowing mom and pop retailers to maximize their profits through on-demand procurement. Hope, to help build teams in Kolhapur, where I learned a lot from Lalit. 

However, owing to personal reasons, I had to move to Mumbai. The folks at Bizom then went out of the way and presented me with another opportunity. This was for the role of an Associate Business Analyst (ABA) in our Mumbai office. To be very honest it was an opportunity that I was skeptical about at first. In hindsight, I feel that Lalit saw something in me that even I was not able to see then. But what it meant was this – I was ready for my second innings. 

Failure

I would call my early days as an ABA ‘a monumental failure’. My performance was of the lowest order, and it even led me to believe I needed to explore other opportunities. At around the same time, I met with an accident. 

To me, this was the lowest point in my life. I was bedridden for two months and at the same time, stuck in a role in which I was yet to have any impact. But, as we say, the show goes on.

We generally forget to duly credit the captains and selectors who supported players like Virender Sehwag or Rohit Sharma (cricketers who had a bad patch and failed many times early in their careers). But Bizom consists of one such leadership unit that deserves credit for backing their people, even in the toughest of times.

Rohan backed me entirely, and I knew that his faith in me was something special. When I came back to work, I felt like I had taken the right call. Until then, it was all a muddle – my work wasn’t going as expected, I had just met with a bad accident, I was uncertain about my future. It was at that point that I realized that life was already as bad as it could get.

Things could only go upwards from here.

Success

Upon my return to work, I aligned with Rajnik. Little did I know it at the time, but that was the start of a brilliant partnership. As fellow introverts, we understood each other well. Here is where the story of my revival began.

I started with mid-sized client accounts and focused on helping our clients derive value. At the same time, I also worked on strengthening my relationship with them. After this, I was ready to take on larger clients. 

Working with Bizom, I’ve had the opportunity of working with overseas clients as well. These experiences have been truly enriching and have given me exposure like never before!

I’d say that I feel I know the CPG business well enough to be the consultant that our customers want, and looking back, that’s what has helped me. 

Leadership

Earlier in July this year, Bizom’s leadership entrusted me with the opportunity to lead a region – something that I take a lot of pride in. 

In life, when an opportunity presents itself, even if we don’t know how to go about it, it is a must that we back ourselves and take it up. If we can have that much confidence and faith in ourselves, we will eventually get a hold of things. 

With this, we come to the present day, where I have transitioned from an Operations Manager, to an ABA, to an AVP of Customer Success and eventually – the Regional Head. In all this, I’d say that one thing has remained consistent – perseverance.

Working at Bizom will present you with freedom, flexibility, and exposure. At the same time, you get to work with some great minds. A great part about this is that some of those people become friends for life. Case in point – Deb, Barnali, and Vishesh!

One with Barnali and Deb!

I have been privileged to work with some of the best and brightest, and what excites me is that the learning here is still limitless. 

Algorithmic Jugaad Folklore – North Sales Team

Written by Prarabdh Mishra, Regional Head of North Sales at Bizom

Get things done, then do them the better way, then put a structure to it. Algorithmic Jugaad for you.

Reading ahead, you will know the stories of how we were able to make better decisions and get better results keeping the spirit of Algorithmic Jugaad at the centre of it.

This goes back to an age-old problem of clients (Senior stakeholders) not giving us time for a Monthly Business Review (MBR) or Quarterly Business Review (QBR). In my opinion, it happens if the client doesn’t see value in our insights or doesn’t find us knowledgeable enough. This had to change.

Insights- 

Making and presenting insights was an open canvas. We could experiment and give it whatever shape we like. In the process, we identified what makes a good insight – Is it data? Visual presentation of data? Or highlighting how KPIs are moving?

We then decided to make insights with whatever understanding we had, and improvised in an attempt to get answers from the clients themselves. We understood what type of data/reports/insights comes to them from their team and what KPIs they want to track.

But it is not all about KPIs, is it? It is more about the outcomes, that can be a combination of some KPIs. We made some basic ground rules for the insights that we would show to the clients, and build on them.

  • Increase in Sales – Everyone wants it, very few know how to get it
  • Growth – Not just in numbers but overall growth with better presence
  • Past-Present-Future – An insight should have all three
  • Management perspective- Don’t just want to see growth but want a better hold on growth and projections
  • Good or bad – Just make and present an Insight and come back with notes on how to improve it. It was not the easiest of things to see your insights bombing flat.

But things changed, so did we.

Here’s a pictorial explanation of what we think now,

So now that insights are sorted, let’s move on to becoming (or at least appearing) as Knowledge Leaders.

The first lock-down was a blessing in disguise for this. We made sure we shared daily mailers using our blogs and industry updates (Thanks and hi-five team Marketing) personally to every stakeholder in all our accounts in a brief email/WhatsApp. A team member took it upon herself to compile this data and share it with everyone. *Some excel-sheets were hurt during this process*. 

After this, it was time to focus on skill building and knowing the absolute end-to-end stuff of happening in the industry. This needed efforts in the right direction, everyone agreed and pulled up their socks. We mapped the skills which are imperative and made sure to work on them. The lockdown meant fewer in-person meetings and we decided to utilise this time by preparing ourselves for the future. We took a lot of skill-building exercises with respect to key aspects such as – Analysis, Presentation, Articulation, and Perseverance. 

A lot of articles were shared, discussed weekly, debates happened, team activities with a focus on lateral thinking (some very fun and non-KRA related topics) happened, opinions were shared and we found ourselves more aware of the industry. 

Now, time to use this knowledge.


CXOs were clueless, possibly for the first time in their long career as there was little data to take informed decisions or form an opinion on what’s going to happen. Enter Bizom Associate Business Analysts. Along with the email communication we also focused on short calls discussing what’s happening in the industry, both – related and unrelated to Bizom. By the end of it, our relationship with most of the stakeholders improved. Even after fighting it out on Covid-19 discount, we were getting meetings (mostly) and stakeholders started calling us to know our opinion on a few things.

We didn’t stop at this though. It was time to put a method to it and make it a habit. During MBRs we started asking tough, hard-hitting questions, there was a well thought fallback plan if this approach back-fired (and it did a few times, stories for another day), another age-old habit of finish making an insight at the 11th hour was replaced with a 30 mins dry run a day before the MBR. Practising objection handling, double-checking the data, not leaving anything to chance.

The last thing left was to get time slots for MBRs from senior stakeholders of a few accounts, these few stakeholders have avoided MBRs and their mid-management filled in for them. We tried sharing insights on WhatsApp, insight summaries on email, and a lot of other things. We then decided to try another way and share half of the executive summary with insights in bold, informing that the remaining insights would be shared in person in the next MBR. Voila!

In the last 3 quarters, there could hardly be any CXO from any account who hasn’t met us, talked or listened to us, argued with us or bought something from us. No one in the team has any fear whatsoever about sharing his/her opinion on the industry with a CEO and we are still improving. 


We are in a position where we are truly helping our clients drive business outcomes and grow faster. Many success stories where we have played our little part.


More on it in the next one, Cheers!!!

Humans of Bizom : Rahul Chimnani

The following article was written by Rahul, where he unfolds the story of how he found his way to Bizom!

As I write this, “The Trio” from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly plays in my head. No, this post isn’t about Ennio Morricone or gold in a graveyard. It’s about gratitude, and if you’re wondering why am I using this reference, here’s the rationale: 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly set gold standards for what people feel, see, or hear when the word “Western” pops up in a conversation. For me, Bizom sets gold standards for what I feel, see or hear when words like “great company culture” pop up. 

A few lines into this and I’ve realized how I’ve niched down this post to only people who’ve watched the film or know the plot. But, that’s okay, I trust I’m propelling even the people who’ve not watched the film in the right direction.

The ugly: A glimpse of how I lived like Tuco. 

Known for his famous dialogue: “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk”

My version: “If you have to work, work. Escape all fundamentals in life”

Food for thought? Or an excuse for laziness? 

Enter COVID19.

The last few months have been a lot of things, they’ve been full of aches, pains, uncertainty, confusion, and ultimately, loads of experimentation to set things straight. The distant world helped me make peace with the fact that my routines have blurred the lines between work and pleasure, and with no ego, I accept that I was a humble-bragger about my schedule. Wearing “workaholic” as a badge of honor (just like how Tuco always believed his situation as a kid made him a bandit)

But, it had to fall apart, as I was prepping for a life event, and I knew I had to change my ‘always-on’ attitude. 

The bad: The morning when I felt like Angel Eyes

In the journey of making new commitments, I drifted into a gloom thinking about how my workplace (pre-Bizom) had adapted the lean team approach amidst COVID and the expectations from me were really high, the questions in the head:

“Will I become a passive worker if I deliver any less than what I currently do?” 

“Is it right to tell my boss I can no longer work extra time?”  

I update my website and jump right onto a job search platform. I then find a post by Bizom and quickly hit the apply button by writing a catchy cover message to Ojaswini, their HR Manager. The next thing I know, the conversation has escalated and my interview is scheduled. 

I must confess, I felt like Angel Eyes the next morning, a man with zero loyalty. My folks had always told me to never get emotionally attached to an organization, but,  somehow never gave in to that. What pricked me was the fact that I never discussed the issues with my boss and decided to switch without trying to fix it. 

In a flash, I got what I wanted. 3 lightning quick rounds of discussions, and my offer letter was rolled out, all in just around 36 hours. 

Now, the only thing I needed was closure with my current employer, and things didn’t go well. I couldn’t accept the offer from Bizom and was back to square-one, it was like hitting rock bottom again. 

The good – The man with no name. (The entire piece was being built-up for this)

After I had unwillingly rejected Bizom’s offer, Ojaswini reached out to me for their vaccination drive. I desperately wanted to get my fiance and myself vaccinated, because back then, the slots were extremely difficult to book on the portal. Ojaswini kept in touch with me and ensured everything was okay with us.

All this told me one thing – I wasn’t able to quit my job, but if and when I did, I’d want the organisation to be Bizom. Each time I told someone about how I was offered help by an organization which I wasn’t a part of, they made me realise how I’m missing out on an opportunity to work with good people. 

I finally took the leap and got closure from my organization and reached out to Ojaswini and Lalit. On speaking with Lalit, the first thing I clarified was that I didn’t go around interviewing with companies to get an offer and demand a hike at my then current organization. The way my decision was perceived by them just enforced the fact that I was dealing with two of the nicest people I’ve ever encountered in my life. 

Today, I’m a part of Bizom, and I know there’s a lot I owe to the kind folk here. 

Algorithmic Jugaad Folklore: CCD Team

Every team at Bizom has experienced Algorithmic Jugaad in its truest meaning. It normally goes like this – A problem arises, the team groups together to discuss and brainstorm solutions, a mix of quick-fixes and practical solutions are brought to the table, and finally, a solution is chosen. The solution, typically is an amalgam of quick-fix and practical thoughts, It is normally something whose beauty often lies in its simplicity.

Archita Gupta, Vice President of Centralised Customer Delight at Bizom, recalls two such problems that her team experienced, wherein the art of Algorithmic Jugaad was executed perfectly. She takes us through it very systematically, explaining what the problem was, what would qualify as a ‘jugaad’ (shortcut/quick-fix) and finally – the Algorithmic Jugaad that was implemented for the problem.

The remainder of this article is all Archita, articulating the definition of Algorithmic Jugaad – from the point of view of our amazing CCD (Centralized Customer Delight) team.

Problem 1: The CSAT threat

Due to a lot of our team members not keeping well, we found ourselves with many pending tickets. Our ‘One Metric That Matters’ is CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), and we had to ensure that our ticket SLA doesn’t take a hit.

Jugaad:

We could ensure that any response was sent to the customer. However, this would resolve the customer’s ticket and would negatively impact our CSAT.

Algorithmic Jugaad:

We started a triage process, wherein a triage meeting was held twice a day. CCD’s experts would join the call, fetch all the open tickets and get the customer issues resolved. This ultimately left our customers delighted!

Problem 2: The one that saw us all grow

Everyone in the Customer Onboarding and Support team was taking on more work than they could handle, as it was the need of the hour. So naturally, we needed to hire more people. The thing is, when we make external hires, the process of training takes a long time and it can be a while before their productivity levels go high.

Jugaad:

We could have hired experienced and senior professionals, and could have assigned new work to individuals in the team. We understood that people brought in from the outside would take time in understanding our culture and our processes. More importantly, we understood that this could potentially end up with us losing the trust we’ve built with our customers.

Algorithmic Jugaad:

Enter the Algorithmic Jugaad, our knight in shining armour. We had a flow discussion with the entire CCD team, post which the team members were scaled up based on their interest areas. Not just that, we also ensured that the scaled up members were backed with ample support, as they were provided with mentors to help them settle into their new roles.

This saw a Trainer become a Connect Integration Manager, a Team Lead become Project Manager, Call Support being scaled to Email Support, and Email Support being scaled up to Bizom Integration Manager! 

The impact of this was humongous. It sent a message that good work is appreciated, and that our people grow with us. This, to the extent that Trainers took up content responsibilities, created product videos, FAQs and training decks!

With a highly motivated army, we were hungrier than ever and had our sights set on targets that could once have been too big to even dream of!

Ensuring customer satisfaction and scaling of internal teams – If ever the perfect Algorithmic Jugaad story existed, it’d contain these elements! Such stories at Bizom are aplenty, and we’re just getting started with our folklore. Stay tuned for more!

#UnafraidToUpgrade : Sreevani M

The following article was written by Sreevani

My name is Sreevani. I have finished my Master’s degree in Computer Science and have worked for 6 years as a Quality Analyst.

Three years ago, I decided to take a break from work to take care of my baby. I vowed to be back to work soon, not realizing how overwhelming motherhood could be. Though I had every intention to get back to work, my responsibilities as a mother came first and simply didn’t allow me to.

Society says it’s normal for women to take a break from work, either for maternity or other reasons. However, the truth is that it is difficult for them to get back to work as the world is running without waiting for them. With several new technologies popping up regularly, no company had come forward to give me a chance.

That didn’t stop me. I never gave up and continued to improve my technical knowledge, while also fulfilling my responsibilities as a mother.

At this point, Bizom came into the picture! After applying via a job portal, the team saw my potential and encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and aim high. I then joined them as a Sr. QA engineer.

Since then, I have received exciting opportunities that will help me grow. At the same time, I have teamed up with dynamite mentors that will catch me if I fall!

The decision to bring me in was not just a show of faith in my abilities. It was also a display of how the people at Bizom back their decisions, fiercely stand by their values, and shoots for the stars without putting anyone at a disadvantage.

Thank you for your support, openness, guidance. I can’t be more excited for the journey that is to unfold at Bizom!