I was working in the Middle East (Bahrain and Kuwait) as a software manager, living there with my family, enjoying my tax-free salary and travelling to a lot to different countries to monitor progress at work with my teams. In the year 2003, around December, we came for a holiday to India and after a really good time with family and friends, we headed back to Delhi for a brief halt to catch our flight to Kuwait at 3 am that night. We were staying at my brother’s place.
Since I had almost the entire day to leave for the airport, I decided to pay a visit to one of my dearest friends in Noida. I left at 2 pm and even though my brother told me to take the car, I insisted on going by motorbike; I thought it would be faster and I could avoid traffic jams. The plan was to return home in time to have dinner with the family and leave for the airport by midnight. But the gods had a different plan for me. While returning home on that fateful day, I met with a life-threatening accident involving a Maruti Versa, a truck full of loaded goods and me. The collision happened in front of a hospital and since I was carrying my company’s phone in which the last dialed number was my brother’s, I was saved.
I stayed in hospital for two months, I had suffered nine fractures and it took several operations to get me back on track. I was advised complete bed-rest when I came back home. It was a tough time for my family and me. A lot of time went by and around June I had begun to walk with the help of a walker and then a stick. Six months had already passed and since I was no longer a part of the company at Kuwait, I decided to upload my resume on Naukri.com, to resume work in India. I uploaded my resume on 1st July for the position of Head of Project Management.
On 2nd July I received a call from a consultant offering me a position at Secure. They were looking for someone who could establish project management processes and practices in the organisation. I said I was interested and was informed that someone from the HR team by the name of Siraj Dehlvi would call. I got a call from Siraj ji and was invited for a formal discussion with Kaushik Ghosh ji. The interview was in Gurugram; it was walking distance for me, and I took it as a positive sign. Things were certainly looking up! I reached the address on the given date and time and was interviewed by the department heads, Kaushik ji, N K Patnaik ji, Gaurang Shah ji and Siraj ji. The second positive sign was that the interview went very smoothly and I enjoyed it.
There was a glitch, I was asked to join Secure at Udaipur and I had formed the impression that I would be offered something at Gurugram because of my health. I turned down the offer, citing my inability to walk without a stick. Travel would be cumbersome and out of the question. However, Kaushik ji was very optimistic and pointed out that I would recover sooner than I knew and would start walking freely. He told me, he had a bigger picture in mind for me at Udaipur, but he would understand if I insisted on working in Gurugram. He requested me to travel to Udaipur with my wife and see if we could move there. I was happy at the prospect, more so because the trip was being paid for by Secure. I was given flight tickets to and fro, and was booked into a posh hotel too. My wife, my pillar of strength, was supportive. She told me that we would visit Udaipur but ultimately opt for Gurugram. It was with this in mind that we went to Udaipur together.
Udaipur was welcoming, warm, vibrant and a gastronomic paradise. At Secure we were greeted with warmth and felt taken care of. A car with a driver was provided so that we could see Udaipur. The two days flew by. I got a very positive vibe here; the scope of work was even larger than I had expected. I had worked in software project management. I was asked if I would like to do integrated project management for product development, which included hardware and software project management and I would be responsible for product development and its delivery. This would certainly involve learning new things. I would handle the entire development of the product, including the software that ran it. Moreover, I was impressed by the work space. My wife loved the place too, it was peaceful, devoid of pollution and crowds. Delhi disagreed with her and Gurugram was in its development phase with poor infrastructure. She shared her positivity with me, and in turn I shared what the scope of my work would be. We agreed that I should work here, and I decided to become a part of Secure’s journey.
All this had happened in a span of one week. I returned on 6th July and told Siraj ji that I will join Secure. On 9th July I received a call stating that my offer letter was on its way. I remember the day clearly; it was my son’s birthday that day. The offer letter mentioned I was to join as soon as possible, but as I wanted to be with my family for my birthday which falls on 18th of July, I celebrated my day and joined Udaipur on 20th July 2004. I was still a bit skeptical and kept my avenues open for any jobs that could come my way from Delhi, or even Gurugram. But the culture, environment, management’s support and faith in me, the processes of the organisation, and the city made me decide to stay for good. In fact my long term plan now is to serve the rest of my tenure here. I have already built my home here and plan to stay in Udaipur post my retirement. The rest I believe is history.