Sunday, February 28, 2016

Humans of TISCON....

An Ode to the Humans of TISCON: The play of light and shadow...
Shot taken inside the workshop.
"Well done Sammya, you have been our best on-ground resource in this financial year...we are awarding you with a hike of....."- The otherwise ruthless creature sitting on the opposite side of the chair chanted. Frankly speaking, those words didn't "register", what did make an impact was the usage of this terminology "resource". Infact, I have been hearing this for long enough and I'm still unsure of the queer metaphor. Either a stock or a strategy, I reckon we have bridged the gap already. When it comes to responding to RFP's through competitive bidding, we do expend that extra bit of effort to finalize the "resourcing matrix"; there's always this intention of deploying the right resources in the right place. Of course..that's one side of the story alright. It's almost like the game of chess where the player decides the strategic moves, those 16 pieces being his "resources". It is however, important to note that in an industry these "pieces" rather the resources can regulate your "moves". The "people" aspect can turn out to be the strength of any organization; yes there would be machines, but you would need people to run them efficiently. Take a look at the image (above) closely, it is thought-provoking in many ways. There's a beautiful play of "light and shade" in this image and it depicts the congenital intent of moving from the "dim and dusk" to bright "daylight". There's hope in there. 
Let's take a look at 5 of my key take-aways from our visit to the Jamshedpur plant of Tata TISCON from the people perspective.

1. Workaholism is their religion: Goodness gracious me, I had the 'privilege' of interacting with two of the most workaholic entities inside the plant Mr. Sushil Patra and Mr. Gurcharan Singh who have been working with TISCON for the last 8 years or so and 'living' every day of their existence. But what's more important is their dedicated towards the assigned task; right through the informal discussion that we had, they kept looking at their wrist-watches rather anxiously...yes, they were getting late for work. 
"When do you generally wake up in the morning and come to work?"- I had asked.
"4:30 AM"-Gurcharan replied prompt-"We generally go for a quick-fire morning run and then head over to the workshop directly, that's our motivation!" Oh BOY! That's allegiance for you.
"And at times, we prefer to stay back at the workshop at night after work. There's a lot more fun in sleeping right beside your welding machine. But 'Sir' doesn't give us permission."- Sushil grinned. There was an effulgent spark in his eyes as he talked about the life inside the premises of Tata TISCON in Jamshedpur.
"There are times when you feel like coming to work on a Sunday, you know, the 'euphony' of gas-cutting resonates in my ears all night. It sounds funny I know, but I can't stay away from work for too long."- The zealous young man from Patna conveyed. This is amazing really.
"Look at this fellow, he has a 2 week old baby at home and refuses to leave work before 8 PM"- He pointed towards a middle-aged "versed" resource at a distance who was literally rushing to the adjacent workshop.
"We work for over 10-12 hours in a day and never feel fatigued"- Gurcharan continued-"We have a fantastic set of colleagues out here, mazaak mazaak me kaam kar lete hai!" - The manifestation of effervescent joy and euphoria at work, that's a rarity...!

An Ode to the Humans of TISCON: Mr. Sushil Patra, Employee, TISCON
Work Profile & responsibilities- Gas cutting and welding
2. The legacy and association with TISCON: Well, one of the most common questions that I face regularly is "Are you satisfied with your job? Your profile? Are you loyal to the brand?" Honestly speaking, I do not have a concrete answer to this. It's almost like a routine, a sense of inclination that drives us to work every-day and it goes without saying that on majority of the occasions, the sense of belonging is missing. We might be great performers in the firm, but in effect, we are chasing our individual goals leading to individual development. Reality check! Meet Mr. Anup Kumar who has been a part of the 'scheme of things' over two decades now and is a flag bearer of what has been quite an esteemed legacy. We,as human beings, tend to draw inspiration from the related set of events and practices happening around us; we do carry forward those conspicuous components and blend them to form an intrinsic aspect of life. Tata TISCON has been a part of his life right from the salad days and he has abided by the "call". 
"I would love to see my children work here as well"- He was buoyant right through this discussion-"Tata TISCON has given us so much, and it has a lot more to offer to the future generations."- He said.
"I have colleagues who have spent over 30 years with this organization, they have a sense of belonging here and they have been with the management during the tough times. TISCON has been pretty much like an umbrella and we have taken our refuge" - He mentioned. Oh yes, he has been spot on in many ways, it's a two way channel; the responsibility lies with the future generation as well to carry this venerable legacy. It's a rich assortment of fresh talent and experience associated with this brand.

An Ode to the Humans of TISCON: Rendezvous with Mr. Anup Kumar, 
Head Product Application Group, TISCON
3. The Banter Quotient: "I remember the day when there was a deadly accident inside the premises, there was this huge shaft that fortuitously fell on my colleagues arm. We thought he would not survive. But...."- Gurcharan narrated a nerve-wrecking story-"But he held on....on the way to the hospital, he was still smiling at us; trying to calm those frayed nerves." Such casualties are rare in this organization, but when it happens, the workers fight it out together.
"This is how we work out here, sharing silly jokes, indulging in occasional leg-pulling to ease out the load"- Mr. Probal Chowdhury, their team-mate articulated. He has been associated with the firm for over 17 years now and has enjoyed this association thoroughly.
Lunch time is the most "happening" time of the day when workers from the different units come together and share their day-long-stories. 
I have been associated with the cluster development programme for the Micro, Small and Medium scale enterprises, Government of West Bengal for a while now and I reckon, the most impending issue is definitely in terms of collaborative effort and trust building. When people from different background, different skill-sets, different set of ideas come together towards a bigger goal, that's when history is created. Individual efforts and competitive rivalry can be an restraining force, thereby lowering the productive output and in turn, the profitability.
"Though we have individual sector specific of expertise, there is no discrimination inside the plant and its premises; we know each other very well. Infact, it helps us to gel well and to share grouse and grievances in the long run. Most of us have become family friends now"- Mr. Probal asserted, they are 'building relationships' in the process. There's a strong sense of bonding that has brought these proficient employees with widely different backgrounds together, under a single roof. The fact that we spotted a bunch of Freshers rehearsing a skit for an upcoming competition inside the premises, reinforced that fact that the "fun-quotient" and the essence of alliance is implanted right at the onset. We also could sense the ingrained concord between the set of presenters who had traveled to Taiwan last year as brand ambassadors of Tata TISCON on a global platform. Proud moment...!

An Ode to the Humans of TISCON: Mr. Sushil Patra, Employee, TISCON
Work Profile & responsibilities- Gas cutting and welding
4. Training and developmentWith the progress of technological development and automation, there has to be a well defined procedure for capacity building and change management; the "heads" at Tata TISCON has ensured that the employees are made aware of the recent developments. There have been regular workshops, demonstrations, sensitization sessions that have helped the employees immensely in coping up with the changing eco-system. There have been instances where semi-skilled labour, without much of background knowledge about this industry have been recruited and trained efficiently by the management to contribute in the production process.
"The management is equally concerned about our safety and impregnability, in line with the customer needs who are served with the most durable of rebars to build their homes. The training programme on safety guidelines and the equipments provided are world-class. Accidents are rare inside the factory"- One of the senior-most employees, associated with the welding process revealed. This has been one of the key talking points across major industrial sectors across the globe, the employees would deliver to their potential provided they feel "shielded" and "sheltered" in their work-space. The workers share a very informal relationship with their managers as well, hence the process of knowledge sharing becomes all the more seamless.
"There's also a mediclaim policy for us and our family members, that is very much appreciated."- Gurcharan articulated. Amen.

An Ode to the Humans of TISCON: Mr. Gurcharan Singh, Employee, TISCON
Work Profile & responsibilities- Flame Heating, Welding, Gouging etc.

5. 'It's a different world altogether'- "Once I enter into the premises, it's a different world altogether, far away from the daily chores. The sound of cacophonous machines wakes me up and makes me realize that I'm at home"- Mr. Anup Kumar did sound poetic alright but it did make a hell lot of sense at least to me. I've been into the consulting domain for long time now and being an engineer I do miss this life; life has changed drastically over the years....I did my summer training at the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) and an exposure visit to their plant at Budge Budge was an enlivening experience. However, I didn't take up my initial job offer in the core sector; it was a circumstantial choice of course....but this visit did bring in those old memories, it refurbished the latent fervor. For all the aspiring engineers, I would certainly say that for a brand that houses & nurtures such talent and passion...there's a hell lot of potential of growth and excellence for sure. 

The following photographs are an ode to the "Humans of TISCON", the ones who have been associated with the brand for long enough and are an inspiration to the future generations who are slowly dissociating themselves from the "core sectors of engineering & application". A coalition between the youth & experience can lead to development and this sector is no exception! Also special thanks to Team Blogadda and Tata TISCON for launching this #BuildingBlogsofJoy activity, an ode to the essence of "Joy of Building".

An Ode to the Humans of TISCON: A female employee hailing from Patna, TISCON.....
An Ode to the Humans of TISCON: The synchronized walk on the way to the LD Shop inside the premises...
An Ode to the Humans of TISCON: The esteemed team of presenters...
The Team represented TISCON on a global platform in Taiwan back in 2015
An Ode to the Humans of TISCON: Mr. Probal Chowdhury, proud employee, Tata TISCON...
Putting ourselves in their shoes: That's our fellow blogger, Tiger at the rebar manufacturing center, TISCON


And of course, when there's love in the air, things become simpler. ;)
Stay tuned for the "Humans of Jamshedpur" series!
* This post is a part of the #BuildingBlogsOfJoy activity of TATA TISCON in association with BlogAdda.com. All the photographs used in this post are self-clicked and should not be used in any form without my consent.
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