Everything happens for a reason: How I landed at Srijan

Posted by Suhail Lone on Feb 19, 2017 11:07:00 AM

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” -oriental proverb

I have always been passionate about art, aesthetics and all things creative. I think it runs in my blood. But due to lack of proper guidance and opportunities I have taken some disastrous career decisions in my life. This saw me changing jobs from a customer service executive, a teacher, and an admin cum bean counting accountant. Although it did amount to a whole lot of experience in my CV which includes four years of working in the Gulf, I was never content with my work and the work culture. I could never derive satisfaction and joy from my work. I was caught in a mundane, routine, artless job which was not at all gratifying or in alignment with my passion.

Then, as if by the will of God, the wheel of destiny turned in my favour. While I was on my vacation I lost my passport and was stranded here in India for a couple of months. This is when a relative of mine suggested that I try out my luck at as a designer. To which I agreed with reluctance since I was not confident if I would fit in. I am a self taught and self proclaimed designer with zero experience in professional designing. He, however, arranged for a show-and-tell meeting with the design head at . He happened to like what I had to offer and decided to give it a go for a few months initially and see how things work out.

Well, it’s been a year now that I am working with and I couldn’t be happier to have made the switch. I am greatly indebted to for assimilating me into the family and allowing me the springboard to launch myself on a new track. Giving a new dimension to my creative drive, and to make art and aesthetics my way of life and my bread earner.

I am deeply fascinated by the work culture here at where one is allowed full latitude to expand. Here, ability matters more than your credentials on paper.There is no rigid hierarchy at . This provides level playing field for each individual. And here, if one shines, his or her brilliance does not go unnoticed or obscured by the authority of the immediate superior, which usually is the case in the corporate scene worldwide.

Just as in the movie The Intern, nobody here gets a permanent desk or a cabin. We sit together, work together and often eat together. And you know what they say, “A family that eats together, stays together”. That’s what we are, a big family. Also, nobody here is knighted by the Queen and by this I mean nobody here addresses their superiors with the titles such as ‘Sir’ or ‘Maám’. Everyone calls each other by their names.

However, this does not imply that the concept of leadership is discouraged here. A leader here at is like a shepherd who keeps the team together and leads them towards greener pastures, rather than a mechanism to extract timely deliveries on tight deadlines. And since the role of leadership comes with its own perks, all of us are encouraged to step forward to take up leadership roles.

The work culture employed here at allows us the opportunity to work abroad at client sites. This would add international experience to one’s job profile which is a big boost to one's professional career in the future.

Besides, having the chance to travel to a new land is an added bonus. does not believe in binding the employees in shackles like bonded labour. Here, at one does not have to login to a biometric system or rush your way to work through the busy traffic to get to office on time. understands that employees sometime have other priorities to tend to. The only condition is timely delivery of work. Srijan also allows for the employees to work from home in-case he or she is not in a position to come to office.

Overall, provides for a very relaxed work environment for the employees to work and excel in their craft. It’s safe to say that Srijan has an out of the box approach to hiring, where talent weighs more than certifications. An open and unrestrained work environment to derive quality work and a non-hierarchy-centric structure: that’s what gives everyone an opportunity to shine at.

Topics: Life at Srijan

Srijan opens an office in Singapore

Posted by Nilanjana on Mar 11, 2016 5:14:00 PM

                       “Expand your knowledge by always expanding your community.” — Khaled Hosseini

Singapore is a leading technology hub of Asia, and is located at the heart of the Asia-Pacific region. This makes it a perfect destination for us to expand our horizons in Asia. We are pleased to announce that Srijan has opened an office in Singapore this week. This would be our seventh office, besides the ones located in USA and India.

“Singapore is an exciting opportunity for Srijan. Besides helping us expand our community and partnerships in the region, Singapore would enable us to better serve our partners in Australia and Japan.” says Rahul Dewan, CEO and Founder, Srijan Technologies.

A diverse range of partnerships and collaborations have become even more crucial today, with a rising number of enterprises in Asia Pacific embarking on their digital transformation journeys. Many large enterprises have Drupal as a key part of their digital strategy, adopting it for purposes beyond website creation. As a Drupal web development company in Singapore, Srijan will bring its mature Agile processes and experience with working for large global enterprises into the region.

Drupal is backed by a passionate open source community of more than a million people. It was the strength of the Indian Drupal community that had brought Asia’s first DrupalCon to India. And now Srijan would be taking the lead in growing the Drupal community in Singapore.

Topics: Life at Srijan

2015 round up: Our best 365 days, yet

Posted by Nilanjana on Jan 8, 2016 12:41:00 PM

2015 was exciting! We became the largest Drupal company in Asia, and discovered new opportunities and a lot more new people.

Here's what we did:

2015 Round Up: Our Best 365 Days, Yet

Topics: Life at Srijan

Change is good!

Posted by Gaurav Mishra on Oct 17, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Next week I am moving to Srijan's Goa office. I am excited, at the same time I have my fear of having to adapt to the slow life. If you know me or have worked with me, you’d know that I am adapted to the fast life culture.

But, it’s a chance which might not come again. It’s an opportunity to bring my body back in rhythm. At 31 years, I am slowly realising how important it is to maintain a healthy mind and body; something which I have been ignoring for long. I do have a strong mind, but I can’t say that for my body. And I know that it’s just a matter of time when my mind starts to feel the heat.

I’ve spent 12 long years in Delhi/NCR. The longest part of my life in any one place. Delhi is now engraved in me. To be honest, I love the place and if given the chance to live in all metros of India, I’d choose Delhi every time.

But it’s time to change. For me, for my body, for my soul. I need to go somewhere to explore myself further, learn more about a new culture, meet new people, make more friends. And Goa seems to be a fantastic place to make that move (in India). My wife Kajal and I did spend about two weeks earlier this month there. Trying to contemplate and see if this is a place where we want to live. We have our apprehensions, but I am sure that is something we can manage well.

We loved the opportunity of working till 4-5 PM and then walk to the beach to have a nice evening stroll. Nothing relaxes your mind more than seeing the sunset, with the wind from the cool sea breezing through your face. We had a wonderful two weeks on our last trip and we intend to have more good times.

While I am not much of a traveller; I understand the value of experiences in life. And if I am getting to work and have a stroll in the beach in the evening, I definitely won't mind it.
So I am giving my next one year to Goa. Explore all the 55 main beaches. Learn about Goa culture. Get tanned. Write stories about Goa. I look forward to my next phase of life.

Wish me luck! Cheers!

Topics: Life at Srijan

The lunch hour

Posted by Nilanjana on Aug 5, 2015 12:13:00 PM

One of the awaited hours @ Srijan, the Lunch Hour. Here's a video of a bunch of nature loving, ancestors reminding folks trying to eat in the most civilized way.

This is the most civilized and best act that we can put up. In case you want to see what all happened during lunch you are welcome to walk into our dining hall...with prior appointment of course... Right of Admission is reserved..... Yours... The Dark Lord.

Topics: Life at Srijan

Nitin Mudgal of Srijan wins Bronze at Mr Delhi 2015

Posted by Nilanjana on Apr 9, 2015 1:14:00 PM

Nitin Mudgal, a web developer at Srijan, recently won the bronze medal at the Mr Delhi Bodybuilding Championship 2015. The event is organized by the Indian Body Builders Federation, and recognized by the Government of India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. This year, there were approximately 300 participants competing in the event.  

Although Nitin has been training since last two years, he did not have any interest in competing. But a few months ago when he got to know about the event, he decided to give it a try. Bodybuilding requires a lot of time and effort. Being a working professional, it was very tough for him to work full-time in the office, and then train for long hours—but he didn’t give up. He used to wake up at 4 am in the morning to train, and then come to office to fulfill his professional responsibilities. His focus and hard work helped him to win the bronze medal at the prestigious event.

Nitin now plans to participate in the competition again next year. This time he will aim for gold, so that he can go on to participate in the Mr India contest as well. Nitin owes his success to the mentorship and training he received at his gym, and says that the motivation from friends and peers is what keeps him going. You can show your support for Nitin by liking his Facebook page and pictures here.

Topics: Life at Srijan

2014 was an exciting year for us. Here's what we did!

Posted by Nilanjana on Feb 13, 2015 12:39:00 PM

We added 50 people to our team, opened up new offices in Gurgaon, Goa and Bangalore, participated and organized 20 events, launched 10 projects, started our Ruby on Rails practice and much more!

2014 Was an Exciting Year for Us. Here's What We Did!

Topics: Life at Srijan

Becoming Acquia Certified Developer – Front End Specialists

Posted by Nilanjana on Nov 18, 2014 5:51:00 PM

There’s a sense of achievement here at Srijan. Our teams are getting Acquia certified, and we have people achieving various certifications every couple of weeks! It’s exciting for us.

We have been Drupalers for many years now. But now we know for sure that our teams are at par with world-class Drupal developers and front end specialists. As our team picks up Acquia certifications, Srijan’s credentials get a boost as well. Prospective customers can be confident about our Drupal capabilities and expertise without our needing to convince them.

In the last fortnight, two of our colleagues, Kuldev Singh and Sanjay Rohila, became Acquia Certified Developer-Front End Specialists. This certification is especially targeted for the Front-end developers. To get certified, one has to appear for an exam that covers 60 questions in 90 minutes.

According to Acquia Learning Services, this exam validates a person’s ability to
• Design, develop and deploy Drupal 7 based solutions with a focus on the front end
• Understand core Drupal architecture best practices for site building and theme development
• Develop and maintain applications using Drupal front end development
• Develop, customize, and implement new Drupal themes
• Customize and extend existing modules
• Build and customize displays using Views module

Kuldev has worked on Drupal for over five years now. He says that this certification will help individuals assess their knowledge in Drupal Theming, Front-end, and Site building to some extent. Sanjay, who has about four years of Drupal experience,believes that this certification will help Drupalers to develop confidence in what they are doing. Sanjay found that the exam covered almost all the domains in Drupal theming/templating.

 

He says, “It also tests the site building knowledge using Drupal, (how to use views, other modules and templating hooks) and also intermediate level of CSS/JS.” How did they find the exam? Kuldev says, “As someone with Front end experience, the exam was easy to solve because it related to the work I have been doing." Sanjay agrees that it was fairly easy, barring some confusing language, which are likely to be addressed by Acquia Learning Services.

Topics: Drupal, Life at Srijan

Dharamkot Waterfall - Team Excursion

Posted by Nilanjana on May 30, 2013 4:27:00 PM

It had been very long since we had a team outing. So, finally we decided to take a break from our computer screens and interact with nature for a while.

On 5th May, we at last executed our plans and a trek to Himalayan waterfall near Dharamkot was decided. Well, it was not a bright sunny morning  but the urge for outing was so high that we could'nt resist and started off inspite of a light drizzle. Later, the weather got pleasant. The trail was appealing and adventurous. After walking for almost two hours or so, we finally reached our destination.

Dharamkot Waterfall - Team Excursion

Dharamkot Waterfall - Team ExcursionThe place was simply amazing, blessed with the most utmost beauty. The sound of running water proved itself to be the best music to soothe one's mind. Everyone enjoyed to peak.
Some of the team members braved the icy cold water to take a dip in the shallow pools of water in the stream.

Dharamkot Waterfall - Team Excursion

Dharamkot Waterfall - Team ExcursionThe day came to an end with enduring memories. I was spell bound with the beauty around and realised, "Nature is so beautiful, just beyond human thinking. Therefore, stop destroying it, just sit back and let it touch your soul".

Topics: Life at Srijan, Event

When an Outsider Sits inside Srijan

Posted by Nilanjana on May 16, 2013 5:54:00 PM

At the outset, the disclaimer: Srijan is our customer, so there will be an element of bias.

But even if Srijan wasn’t our customer, most of this post would hold true.

Srijan hired us last year to help them with their marketing content. They hired us because we told them we wanted to write their stories, not something we cooked up through some secondary research. We wanted to help them write what was in their heads and what was happening because of that. Because, stripped to basics, that is what makes any company unique.

And luckily for us, Rahul thought the same way. What these guys and girls are thinking up at Srijan, debating, discussing, ‘punching holes into’ inside that great big hall they have for an office, is what Srijan is truly about. That’s what he wanted us to help them write about. And we have been trying to do that for a few months now. Trying? Yes, it’s not easy, because this is a company aspiring for great things, and is doing some great things to make it happen. And sometimes we sit and watch in amazement, and words fail us. 

So how would I describe Srijan? ‘Melting pot’ comes to mind. Lots of different things come together in it, rub off each other, generate heat of their own, and create something that is mostly harmonious. And all the while, the melting pot can take the goings-on within it, without losing shape (or sanity!).

Does that throw up an image of chaos? That’s exactly what their office could appear to those who like their cubicles neat and well partitioned. At Srijan, you pick a chair that’s free, plug in and start working. Even outsiders like Avienaash (Srijan’s agile coach) and myself. We just melt into the ambience. One can’t tell who is an insider, who an outsider, who is a new hire, and who a long-timer.

My team and I usually come in on Thursdays, when their demos are on. Some of the sessions are demos, some are not. Some are learning sessions, many are for decision-making, many more to debate the changes needed to transform the company to bigger, greater things.

I have attended a few sessions of the last kind in which Rajneesh tried to hand power to his people. Power to take their own decisions, define their salaries, define performance parameters, zero in on companies to do salary benchmarking against, and so on.

This may sound as if the people did not have much authority at Srijan. That is not correct. The culture has always been open. The Economist wrote about their financial transparency and open book management culture last year. Everyone has the right to speak up, raise issues, and debate.

This culture is now becoming more pronounced as Srijan transforms itself into an agile company. The agile concept rests on trust, transparency, discipline, accountability and values that emanate from that. And for Srijan, I sense it’s a giant leap ahead on a road they were already on.

However, that doesn’t mean that this transformation is easy. Every time Rajneesh stands in front of the team to talk about changes that he thinks must happen, he invites debate. Sometimes it’s stonewalled, sometimes it sails through, sometimes it’s deferred.

Whatever the result, the debate goes on. And if it dies down, the top team works to revive it.

And even in these few months, I have seen changes in the team. At first there were people completely resistant to change. A few weeks later, I saw that some of the most hard-core change resisting people had mellowed down. This was because of the continuous conversations they had, new ways of looking at a problem, or seeing the bigger picture better.

All this is hard work for Srijan. They start something, they fail, but they start all over again, if they think that it is the right thing for their customers.

Customers—that’s where it all begins at Srijan. “Are we creating value for the customer’s business? What does the customer need us to be?” Because Srijan asks these questions often, relentlessly, they build solid differentiators that rivals will have a hard time matching up to. I have heard Srijan customers say that it’s easy to work with Srijan because they are so transparent. That they are confident that the team dedicated to them is really working on their project, and not someone else’s.

I am lucky that I get to see Srijan in transformation. As the head of a tiny company, this is an inspiring, fascinating view. I get to see a story unfold that is about greatness, failures, learning, growth, frustration, change, fear, fearlessness, vision…

Topics: Life at Srijan

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