Another 12,802 kilometres travelled, another fantastic experience connecting with the Charitable Impact team at Nggawe Nirman Technologies in Bengaluru, India.
After a one-year hiatus due to pandemic restrictions, I took off from YVR this past June to resume my biannual visits with the team at our satellite office in Bengaluru. These trips are near and dear to my heart and spirit as they provide an opportunity to share ideas, hugs and personal connections. As COVID restrictions are lifting globally, the value of connecting in person is being recognized like never before.
Charitable Impact’s organizational culture is paramount to our success, which is why we value personal connection so profoundly and strive to align as one across all locations and departments. My frequent trips to India, for instance, allow me to share the many intangible nuances of IRL connection while meeting with as many team members as possible during my stay. I have found that Zoom meetings tend to be impersonal, strictly business affairs. This can be useful and productive, no doubt, but it doesn’t foster the same personal connections and relationship building as chatting with team members about everyday life, families and personal interests over a meal. Through in-person connections, we build the trust and relationships needed for an effective and efficient team.
In December of 2021, Nggawe Nirman Technologies was acquired by Infogain, a Silicon Valley-based software engineering company. While proud of our tech partner’s impressive growth, we want to maintain the same levels of communication and unity post-acquisition.
Team culture is only strong and effective when everyone is on the same page, which is why we place such a strong emphasis on including both the Vancouver and India teams in all team-building exercises, company meetings, and celebrate both Canadian and Indian holidays. It’s essential for all our team members to be working towards the same goals, and to be aligned both professionally and culturally.
Our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion provides a prime example of this alignment. In Vancouver and Bengaluru, we foster a company-wide understanding of diverse lifestyles and backgrounds. Gender equality has been a hot topic in India for many years, and I noted a need for improvement in this area on previous trips. Changing long-standing social constructs can be highly challenging, which is why it was so satisfying to see a distinct increase in the representation of women in our organization and across many businesses and companies in Bengaluru. Millions of highly-educated women are in India, and we are fortunate to have more of them in the workplace.
On my flight back to Vancouver, I had ample opportunity to dissect the learnings I was taking home, and the one that stood out most was the significance of face-to-face communication. No matter how many Zoom calls and virtual culture sessions we initiate, nothing makes quite as profound a difference as meeting in person to share ideas, smiles and occasionally a Kingfisher or two.