Thursday, July 22, 2010

First day of my Office !!!

I was totally prepared for joining Infosys on August 2nd. But my life took a U turn last Sunday and I am here at my company's guest house blogging after completing my first day at office :) When I was placed in Infosys at the end of last year it was mentally fixed in my mind that I will definitely join it. Though I attended other interviews later, they never materialized and just after returning from my Goa trip I received mails from Infosys regarding various pre joining facilities. I even started completing the given checklist one by one. But when I came to know about an off campus drive being conducted by Headstrong I dont know why but wanted to attend it. But strangely at that point of time I knew nothing about the company. But I thought lets just give it a try so that I ll have another option in hand whether I join it or not. So I attended it and everything went on smoothly and the process took two days and I was selected :)

Before attending the interview  I wasn't sure whether I would join it . But once I heard our Vice President Mr. Anurag giving a presentation on what the company does and all the other details, I was pretty much impressed. Many people doesn't really know about Headstrong but let me share few facts about the company. It is majorly an IT consulting company which offers the business solutions for various verticals(domains). Headstrong, a consulting firm formed in 1981 merged with Techspan, an outsourcing company to form Headstrong in 2004 which gives equal priority to both consulting and outsourcing. It is one of the fastest growing firms experiencing a growth of more than 30% a year since 2006. Headstrong has been rated the No. 1 overall vendor in Financial Markets Information Technology Outsourcing by the Black Book of Outsourcing®. It is either ranked No 1 or No 2 in what ever domain it is working, not less than that. A company can be judged on the kind of clients it has and Headstrong stands out even in that with clients like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Citi, RBS and many other major investing banks.
So apart from the company details, whats in it for me ? Many of my friends even asked me to prefer Infosys. But the thing is I loved the way people treated us through out the off campus drive which was not the case with the Infosys. Moreover during my personal Interview with our HR Mr.Murali, we discussed a lot about the company and also compared it with Infy. From that discussion I have learnt one thing for sure , I would have great exposure here and also lot of scope for gaining knowledge and growth in my career. Also I dint want to get lost in a bunch of crowd where no one takes care of who is who and what are my interests. Yea pay was major issue which is more here but what I loved the most on joining them today is the work culture their. They follow a flat structure where our managers also sit with us and can be called by their names rather than Sir or Maam. The people over there doesn't go by the company name:P in any ways moreover they were really warm towards all our queries. Our office occupies the 5th floor of the Salarpuria Touchstone, a techno park. The look itself is very refreshing and I loved it. We went through various form filling formalities and had our bank accounts opened at RBS. So that's it for today don't know whats in store for me for the next few days. But I am hoping for a roller coaster ride. The training starts from this Monday and lasts for 12 weeks and I am all excited to receive my personal ID, official email ID, company bag, pen whatever it is. The entire experience was awesome.

To know more about Headstrong refer :
http://www.headstrong.com/index.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headstrong_%28company%29

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 4 - The most thrilling day of my life !!!


Day 4 was the most memorable and thrilling experience of my life. We wanted to visit Doodhsagar waterfalls that day and started as early as possible for us. It was quiet far from Calungute(90 Km) and it took more than 2 hours to reach there. Added to this hectic journey it was raining cats and dogs outside. Somehow we reached there and after certain distance they said only bikes could go through and that too only they will ride. We thought the rates weren't reasonable and hence started in our scorpio to check out the route. Only me, Kalahar, Sunil, Paul, Sai, Bhargav and most importantly our saviour of the day Nishanth started in scorpio. Nishanth was driving and unlike his natural attitude he was quiet tensed as he is feeling responsible for our lives. As soon as we started we came across a river which has to be crossed in order to proceed further. Though the width and depth is less it’s difficult for scorpio to cross it. It was struck in the middle of the river in our first attempt and somehow crossed it in the second. And the best part comes now: P We didn't know the area we are breaking into was part of National Wildlife Park. We came across a toll gate which was locked. But Kalahar King: P wasn't a person who would accept defeat: P he went there and tried to open it. We thought he has gone crazy and turned our scorpio backwards, but to our shock he broke opened the lock with his hands alone: O Again the adventurous feel crept through us and we went in. But too our disappointment this time we came a across another part of river which cannot be crossed as water was flowing very fast. So we have to turn back then and there. While coming back we saw people screaming at us to stop. We dint understand at the beginning, but later recognised them as the forest officials and realised they are on us due to the lock issue!!! We wanted to escape and hence dint stop. But they followed us running behind us. We came across that river that we crossed in the beginning and we couldn’t help but stop in the middle of it again. That is where they caught us!!!!!!
Here begins our struggle as we started our efforts for escaping. They were quiet angry at us as we dint stop when they were asking us to. But we said we mistook them for robbers. Then they asked why we broke the lock. Kalahar spontaneously lied that we dint break it but someone from the red jeepsy did. We had no other option but to continue the same story. But the head of those officials said he just passed the tollgate and it was closed when he passed and no one except us followed and moreover he told there is another tollgate on the other side so the red jeepsy can’t escape if at all they really exist. Meanwhile we requested them to let us cross the scorpio which was struck in the middle of the river as the flow of water is increasing due to rain, to which they agreed and we crossed it. I was walking in and out of the rivers and forests all alone to call others or help others which was quiet scary as it was raining at the forest was very dense. But somehow Kalahar managed the situation after two long hours by making his uncle talk to the officials who was some minister of Goa. Later those people left us after taking a statement that we would never repeat such thing. Finally we were out of it after 2 n half hours. Our rest of the friends were really angry with us as they have to wait for so long and also for breaking the lock. But I personally felt it was thrilling and once a lifetime experience. Finally we went back to our rooms after a really stressful day. That night again we three(Nish, Kalahar and me) went to a dhaba which was awesome. The entire look and feel was great. Finally we reached our room all tired!!!

Zest at its best !!!

It was never like before. I never experienced freedom in its pure form as I did during those five days. Those memorable five days are the part of my Goa tour with my engineering mates which I would cherish for the rest of my life. Due to sudden planning we dint get our train tickets reserved and as a result we had no other option but to go by bus. I have serious issues with bus journey as it is very uncomfortable for a person of my height. I some how managed for that night.Our friends(Roopak,Sunil and Phani) bought the food, which was simply delicious. I had a troubled sleep due to the uncomfortableness, but as soon as I woke up I don't wanna complaint any more as I was awestruck by the beauty of the scenic out there. I suddenly felt as if I was at some hill station as the bus progressed through the beautiful curves of the mountains with clouds amidst them.

As soon as we reached Panaji the capital of Goa, we went to Calungute, a beach which is said to be the most eventful one amongst all the others. As my friend Nishanth was a regular customer of a hotel called Acanova :P ,we got rooms at very reasonable rates and we stayed there for the rest of our tour. We were a total of 11 friends (myself, Nishanth, Lakshman, Bhargav, Santosh, Vishwak, Paul, Roopak, Sunil, Sai Goutham, Phani) and Kalahar joined us from the next day. On the first day we just relaxed, went to beach,played cards and finally went to pub where we danced till our legs ached :D it was almost 5am when we reached our rooms.Naturally we woke up late next day and again went to beach. Thats when Kalahar joined us. We played beach volley ball that evening and must say it was great fun. That night only myself,Nishanth and Kalahar went to pub where as the others had dinner at the beach shore where we joined them later at 2am or so. That night the sky was totally clear and all the stars were visible and cool breeze was there to accompany us as we chatted till early in the morning. Day 3 was full of fun as we took a swift and scorpio for rent and was roaming on Goa streets as if they belonged to us. We went to few churchs and then fort Agoda, which was awefully awesome!!! Then we went on cruise ride which was boring. That night yet again its pub time :P
Day 4 will need a seperate post to be explained and finally Day 5 we have done some shopping and that night again we three went to Baga beach. Had nice fun at the reastaurant on the beach shore. We were totally drunk that night. In the middle of the waves with a breezer in the hand, clear sky, full moon and cool breeze !!!!! Thats what I call life is !!! That night felt really great !!!

Next day we have to start early in morning to catch the train and we could finally see the Doodhsagar falls from the train. Again the scenic was great and the train journey was all nice except for waiting time at the Guntakal junction(4 hrs). On the whole Goa was great !!! It gives you the feel of both a hill station and a coastal area simultaneously. It is the perfect destination for party lovers and the chicks are real hot. I would suggest Goa for all those friends out there looking out to have great time with their pals.