Same country, different client.
You may remember last year, RiskLogic shared our trip to India; our furthest trip with a client. Well, now I’m back, but this time it’s with a leading IT organisation.
If you’ve ever rung an IT helpdesk for advice or support external to your business, chances are the phones getting answered out of the Manyata Embassy Business Park, in Bangalore.
A site that manages to cater for 100,000 employees every day working for some of the biggest names in the Tech Industry.
My week in Bangalore saw me at the park every day and it brought a whole new meaning to the phrase, organised chaos.
Everyone is on a mission in Bangalore, and if your scooter, car, bus or Tuk-Tuk has a faulty horn, it’ll stay at home. The overpowering presence of loud noise is what (somehow) controls the waves of vehicles and pedestrians. Align this to the smells, heat and towering buildings; you’ve got yourself organised chaos.
With a population of just over 12 million, and the average house owning 2 vehicles, you question what actual room they have left, but somehow, they make it work.
After yet another nail-biting drive to the office with my driver Srinivasa, I’m dropped at the front door to my client. Out of the heat and into the world of air-con again.
Being flexible for your people
After several layers of security, I finally get to the meeting room. It’s the first time I have been asked to write down the serial number of my Microsoft Surface Pro at the security desk. Now where would that be?
I’m back in India again to do what we at Risklogic do best: making companies more resilient so they can better serve their key stakeholders.
Business Continuity is what we live and breathe, and a standard project would normally run over 3 months. This trip, I have 5 days (the same timescales as my week in Prague!)
We are known for flexibility here at RiskLogic, we make it work for the client. Of course, some careful planning and pre-trip preparation (during the long-haul flights) is required with condensed deliverables, but we get the job done.
For me, the professional preparation and flexibility for clients, although tiring, opens up opportunities for more effective conversations when it counts.
An Indian example of communications
There are 300 different dialects here in India, which not everyone speaks, so English is the foundation language; handy!
The Indian team is great, smart, professional and passionate people. It makes the process flow and we get the job done.
They are very passionate about delivering to their key stakeholders and take business continuity extremely seriously.
They must, when your RTO’s (Recovery Time Objective) is set at 5-minutes, preparation is key.
The pressures of being an 8-billion-dollar company can be seen on the faces of the managers I’m meeting with.
The second day on site, I’m informed that there will be a fire drill. Of course, my ears prick up, this should be interesting.
A fire drill for an $8b company
We are in a building of about 1,000 people, my client occupies the 3rd floor of this 7-story building.
The alarm sounds, and we start to evacuate, the siren is ear piercing in the stairwell, I really want to get out, that’s the point I guess.
The rest of Manyata Embassy park is business as usual of course and the cars, trucks and scooters don’t stop around the mass gathering we’re accumulating.
Several wardens direct us to the assembly area stopping cars and trucks on route and we start to line up in company lines, a good 500 meters away from the building. Check!
I can hear some guy directing everyone over a PA in English, hundreds of people are listening. Perfect, another check.
After about 5 minutes, the PA man starts to talk us through the importance of evacuation drills with some real-life examples of real events that have not run as smoothly.
He doesn’t mince his words. He is full on now into an Emergency Management trainingsession and explains what everyone should know; how to evacuate your people with and without any equipment, two and one man carry, fire extinguisher training, even loading causalities into the back of an ambulance. The lot.
I’m impressed with the whole session, and the main message for me is what I’m always telling my clients.
One of the few times you can get all your work force in front of you is during an evacuation drill.
Use the time wisely, it’s a great time to spread a message about the importance of Emergency Management or Business Continuity and anything else needed to be communicated on a large scale.
To an outsider, the noise and huge amounts of people can trigger some major anxiety and overload of senses, but to the locals here, they’ve mastered how to ensure everyone listens when it counts. Really impressive stuff.
The rest of the week goes well, finishing off with some training and a mini-exercise for the newly formed Business Continuity team, who still have a lot to learn, but they’re as committed to BC as they are to business as usual and proud to be resilient for their global client base.
Next stop, the Czech Republic where we reset and start the process again. A new team but the same client and no doubt some new challenges and lessons.
Until next time, Plan, Do, Check and Act…