The Five Weeks That Were At Capgemini

When I embarked on the flight for Hyderabad on 11th June, I could not have imagined in the wildest of my dreams what I would experience in the coming five weeks.  Having worked previously, I had some expectations from the onboarding and had set a pretty high bar, having gone through a great onboarding last time. What followed was beyond anything I had imagined and probably the most memorable welcome I will ever experience.

The level of operational efficiency was visible from the first day itself. Within the first 10 minutes of us reaching we were handed out ID cards, which was clearly a shocker for everyone. It was aptly followed by a small introduction session and then a leadership session and an opening speech. This was followed by the required paperwork, which again was so perfectly operationalised, all administrative process was out of the way within 3 hours. For someone having gone through 2 government institutions and one private organisation, I know the amount of paperwork, time and effort that goes into the administrative work. And completing it within 3 hours was a wonder in itself.

The first week held for us a lot of leadership sessions that helped us learn about the culture of Capgemini, and what we stood for. A lot of leaders constantly reinforced how the values of Capgemini are imbibed and integrated in the way we work, on the importance of people orientation and emotional intelligence. The week also enlightened us about a lot of other aspects on Capgemini. The Capgemini way or integrating fun with work was visible from the Welcome Dinner, which apart from being an ice breaker was a great opportunity to interact with leaders and seniors. The week ended on a high note with the scavenger hunt across Hyderabad that got me acquainted with the various tourist spots and places of interest around Hyderabad, from Karachi Bakeries to Paradise Biryani to Golkonda Fort and Char Minar.

With such a start to the induction, I was really excited about the remainder of the induction process. The second week simply took it up a notch. The week was intensive, hectic and yet the most insightful. The week was filled with either technical sessions to teach us about new technologies or primers to jog our memories. There was also an overwhelming amount of leadership sessions, specifically from the Financial Service domain, who not only gave us some leadership mantras but also provided insights into the thought process of the Executive Committee members about their visions and strategy for FS. Despite being long and hectic, the second week infused us with a lot of energy. A twitter chat on the recently published World Retail Banking Report saw a level of participation that was off the charts. Despite a long day, everyone contributed to the chat, sharing the platform with top Financial Services influencers, and putting in many valid points. It felt great to feature in the top 25 contributors of the twitter chat. The week was capped off with two really interesting events. One was a bowling event which was spiced up with side bets and challenges. The weekend was kicked off with a social event amongst the 19 of us and gave a perfect platform for us to bond in an informal setting.

With a power packed week, we were hoping the next week will be on the lighter side, it seemed the core team had read our minds. The third week was a refreshing one. The highlight of the week was clearly the Pinnacle Workshop on communication. The workshop was an eye opener. I never knew how much we actually communicated with our body and the importance of complementarity between body language and voice. The sessions were personalized, interactive and most of all insightful in terms of learning about myself. I can say confidently that after the two days I am a better communicator than what I was earlier. A few more leadership sessions peppered the week. The sheer number of leaders we interacted with over the five weeks was overwhelming, to say the least. With such exposure, we could see how high hopes were pegged on us. This, while unnerving, excited me about the work up ahead.

One of the high moments of the onboarding process for me was the visit to a school, supported by Capgemini under its CSR. The visit was a trip down the memory lane of my school times and the level of energy and the hunger to learn amongst the students was inspiring to say the least. What really hit home was the dedication the students had to ensure the children of the village attended school and were not married off or forced to work. The trip left me deeply moved and I was grateful to have gotten this experience.

After 4 weeks in Hyderabad, came the most exciting part of the onboarding which I was looking forward to, the workshop at Les Fontaines in France. Since I had never been abroad, and I had heard so much about the place, I was excited about the visit. The moment I landed, I was awed by the beauty of the campus. The campus with the chateau, the woods surrounding it and the beautiful weather looked like a painting. What followed the next three days was a condensed version of a consultant’s life, brilliantly facilitated and conducted to ensure maximum learning. The theoretical sessions, the practical implementation, and the direct feedback not only helped us learn but also clarified what we were possibly doing wrong. The journey from “consciously incompetent to unconsciously competent” was the key, as was rightly pointed out. What sweetened the whole experience was the fact that the Talent Week was going on at Les Fontaines, and that provided us with opportunities to interact with people from around the world and from all spheres of Capgemini. The co-creation challenge, a platform to crowdsource Capgemini’s future strategy in Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, was not only interesting but also provided needful insight into Capgemini’s initiatives.

The week was pleasantly capped off at Paris, while the city was gearing up for the Bastille Day celebration. After five weeks of intensive onboarding, I am brimming with energy to go into the project with full fervour. With a week of calls and meetings set and a basic understanding of the project taken, looking forward to a great time ahead.