Monday, 12th Nov 2012;11:40am
Electronic City, Bangalore

Celebrating 5 years of Association With Wipro
It doesn’t seem so long when I joined Wipro, my first Employer on 12th Nov 2007. I now become eligible for the Gratuity amount. Yes, today, I complete 5 years of service, more correctly, my five years of association with Wipro Technologies (for I took a study break of almost 15 months in-between). I went into a slightly emotional mode last Friday, when I was being presented the Long Service Award (LSA) memento by my Manager and this morning received a bouquet with a message reading “Congratulations on Completion of 5 years with Wipro”. Thought of sharing my feelings, experiences of my professional journey so far and here I am…

My experience with the Azeem Premji founded organization has been a mixed bag. While it taught me the professional know-how, it also gave me jitters at times, will pen it all, stay a while….
Training Days: (Bangalore: 12-Nov-2007 to 23-Jan-2008)
Five years have passed…and still vivid memories of those Training days remains. As a freshman from College, and like every other trainee, I was brimming with energy, enthusiasm carrying that aspiring mindset to achieve greater heights. I thoroughly enjoyed the first 3-day induction program (12-14 Nov 2007) participating each activity with full exuberance. This was followed by the month long PRP (Project Readiness Program). These were equal fun and equal boring days, fun when we played computer games and boring when the trainer was bombarding us with all technical know-how’s going over the head. My good days in training era were short-lived. I could just manage to pass my PRP test in my second attempt, not something which I had expected from self.  
By this time, I had a crush on a fellow trainee girl (after 4 years of draught during Engineering days in the south Indian state of Kerala). Everything was a one-sided affair with turmoil in my inner world. This had a further bad impact on my DRP Training. I was almost at the verge of leaving the organization had I not passed the DRP test in my 3rd and final attempt. I salvaged some pride by clearing the test with good grades in my ultimate attempt.
Post Training: (Chennai: 24-Jan-2008 to 21-May-2008)
I along with 4 other trainee mates were sent to the so-called ‘Kala-pani’ city of IT in India. Yes, you have guessed it right, we were sent to Chennai for a tentative project which never happened. That girl was still ruling my mind, free-pool days with all free minds and above all the ‘age’ happening, I had no control over self. Soon, I was doomed to reality. I came to know the girl was already in love with her college senior and was going to get married. This news was like a mountain falling overhead, took some time to come out of that self-created mess. It’s not that Chennai was all boring with sad story. We (I along with two other training time mates) had taken a P.G on the sides of the ‘Pallavakam’ beach and the weekend went bathing in the saline abode, evening of weekdays passed sitting on the sandy banks enjoying the cool breeze on the sea-shore while chatting over some serious life-matter topics with Puru and Vivek.

Hyderabad: (Hyderabad: 22-May-2008 to 28-June-2009):
After spending some 4 months of free-pool and mostly boring days accompanied with random trainings on random technologies, we were asked to move to HYDERABAD where I got my first project. I hadn’t come out completely of my second crush (my first crush was when I was in Class 10). I started on a slow note, joined the ‘the Yell’ account. I tried to focus on work and forget what happened in the past few months. I started going to Gym, made a few good friends while staying at the Guest house facility. Things began to click for me. By now I had forgotten the Chennai episode and started enjoying the company of my new Project mates. Lots of Parties and lunch treats by seniors made us as happier as ever. I began to participate in other extra-curricular activities of the campus like conducting events, organizing birthday parties etc. I did some good presentations and was well appreciated by my Team Lead. I started seeing him as my mentor. 
One fine day, another fresher girl joined the team. Fascinated by her ‘outer’ charm and softness, I started having a soft-corner for her. Possibly this was my third and final crush before marriage. For one good free suggestion of mine (I had asked her not to speak with a Guy who is a big flirt, probably I was jealous of him J), she stopped talking with me forever. I apologized for my mistake but she never turned back, she displayed her cruel side and never returned to talking terms. In my first interaction with the Client, the very next day after this incidence, I baffled and performed badly at the video conference. I wonder each time I had a crush in Life; I slumped down in my academics/work performance. I had met the same fate during my stint at DPS after 10thstd.
I once again went into a low for few days. It was this time when I decided, would not marry any engineer girl. True, that I cannot stereotype a profession for one or two girl but then, I had enough, my Life, my choice. I wished for a girl filled with simplicity and who would love me more than anything respecting elders and younger ones (God graced me with my dream-mate later).
I mustered courage yet again, focused on work and made a good presentation before the client in my next task. In the meanwhile, I was learning a few professional lessons, like ‘you should not take things personally in corporate environs’, ‘at work, no one is friend that’s why they are called colleagues’ etc. I especially dislike and dis-agree with the second statement and always refrain from using the word ‘colleague’.
I was nearing one year of service and it was time for Confirmatory Appraisal. I had done nothing extra-ordinary and as expected I received ‘meets expectation’ rating.  I decided to move on from the project and the girl.
My Hyderabad story would be incomplete without the mention of my 5 Chinese friends whom I met while staying at the Wipro Guest House. Helped them during their stay in India and they had become very good friends by the time they left for their country. I really cherished visiting different historic places and enjoying the Paradise‘ Chicken Biriyani along with them. Learnt some basic ‘kung-fu’ lessons from one of them, they are so true to their heart and so friendly.

It was December 2008 and I was going home for the first time (after a period of 14 months)since joining my first job. I bought some expensive ethnic wears for my Father, brothers and kids and Sarees for Mom, Sister and Bhabhis’ along with innovative toys for all kids in family. I wanted to make it big and make them feel special. Thanks to Prabha Ma’m for helping me purchasing the lady attires. It was Christmas time and friends called me ‘Santa Claus’ going with a bag full of gifts but this Santa Claus was just for his family. I had a great stay home with some unforgettable moments.  😐

‘Convergys’ was my second project and I thoroughly enjoyed working in it. The period was the late 2008 and the first half of 2009, the economic recession period.  We worked hard and under tremendous pressure from client. Started taking more interest in technology I worked on in this project. It was appraisal time for the year 2009 once again on the basis of my first Project got an ‘ME’ (meets expectation rating). After 6 months, the project got over and once again back to bench. My next destination was awaiting me. Some people I am thankful to during my stay at Hyderabad are Srini, Prabha, Praveen Dandu (Manager), Murthy, Laxman (GuestHouse staff) for their friendship and good professional lessons taught.
Pune: (Pune: 29-June-2009 to 16th-Aug-2010):
Smile Missing Naren..!!

While I made lots of friends in profession and even out of the so-called ostentatious IT world at Hyderabad, I decided to keep a low profile in Pune. One and half years since joining Wipro, I was still feeling like a college guy and never thought seriously about work. Though I joined the ‘BT’ (British Telecom) Project, a different thing was ruling my mind throughout my stay in Pune and this was pursuing my dream of studies abroad. It was a tough call seeing my financial status. I decided not to give up on my dream. I prepared hard to clear the compulsory test for studies abroad and God was gracious enough in opening other gates, like getting loan after a tremendous effort from my father (my first GOD), completing on the visa formalities in the last moments, etcetera..

In the meantime, I got married and met my dream-mate. I realized what happened earlier was just ‘infatuation’ and understood the difference between love and the former. 
Okay, back to the central theme of this blog-piece, at work, I got an overall ‘EE’ (Exceeds Expectation) with a few ‘outstanding ratings’ in my mid-term appraisal during late 2009 on the basis of my second project at Hyderabad. This marked the end of my two years of service with Wipro. In my latest project (BT) that time, I never took a pro-active stand, avoided work whenever I could and in the annual appraisal due to my moved focus away from work, I got an ‘MCE’ (More Contributions expected). By this time, I had already left the organization (after 2 years 10 months of service) temporarily on August 16th, 2010 to pursue my dream, the studies abroad program.
After some tough times away from homeland and post fulfilling my dream (will take it up in a different blog-piece), I decided to return to my soil, my India, Joined back Wipro for the good. Also, there was no better option available. I moved back to the city where I started my professional journey, Bengaluru.
Bangalore: ( 08th Feb 2012 till date…)
There were more expectations with regards to my experience this time. I was no longer carrying that tag of a Fresher. I was handed with higher responsibilities in my 4th Project, ‘Morrisons’  I did not like the technology but with no choice, had to work for livelihood. I worked with ‘Morrisons’ for some 4 months, was in a baffled state throughout this period and could not build a good rapport in the team.  I followed up with the higher Management in Practice and got back to the technology I love on working.  Joined my 5thProject, the HRG (Home Retail Group) for a short period of 2 months. I have started regaining my confidence at work in my current (6th Project at Wipro) SAP-IS (Information Systems Project). Every appreciation mail though on a smaller scale and every pro-active stand of mine boosts-up my spirit. I have realized, whenever I feel confident about my work in office, I handle other areas of Life in a much better way.
As Long Service mailers started filling inbox last week, realized I am nearing another milestone (but without any notable achievement – FIMC award, ThankaZillion award). While achieving the un-achieved would remain my motivating factor, I would focus on doing my work with ‘genuine’ honesty in my second innings. The Tag color changing from ‘blue’ to ‘red’ made me realize I am entering into another phase of career, a more matured and a responsible one. Staying with one organization in IT world would not be a suggested option by many for obvious reasons but must say this Organization has gifted me with some wonderful moments; I look at this colorful and heartwarming bouquet and reminisce of all those good old days…… 😐
Narendra Gupta.
12th Nov 2012; 1:25pm