My colleague Wies and I were invited by our colleagues in India to celebrate International Women’s Day with them. It turned out to be a very inspiring visit, which allowed me to actually meet my colleagues in Pune and offered me a look into the future of India. Because Decos India is truly an innovator in the IT world.
On International Women’s Day we focus on equal rights for women. In The Netherlands little attention is paid to it but in India everybody celebrates Women’s Day. You shake each other’s hand and you wish each other a ‘Happy Women’s Day’ – as if you are celebrating your birthday! On this day women are put in the limelight. We were offered a lovely lunch and in the evening we also met. Wies held a presentation about women in the Netherlands. She described the life of three generations: her mother, herself and her daughter. It illustrated the development that women in the Netherlands went through. And the nice thing was that our Indian colleagues could identify themselves with it! Despite the cultural differences you notice that a similar change is going around.
Concerning work, you see that the same changes are taking place at Decos India as at Decos Netherlands. The Decos-office in India is based in Pune, a big city with approximately 6 million inhabitants. It is an important IT hub where the leading technical universities provide a large pool of highly qualified engineers for thousands of large and small IT companies. Decos is only a small player with one floor in an office tower. IBM across the street has a tremendous tower all to itself. There is a fierce competition to haul in the best engineers as a result of which people hop jobs very frequently, in particular the younger talents.
Decos wants to be the best employer of Pune and particularly stands out with its open, free company culture that gives a lot of attention to the employees. For instance, the ‘Learning & Development’ program is unique compared to other IT companies. This program addresses the fact that engineers are keen to learn and develop themselves, both men and women. For Indian standards Decos has a high percentage of female employees at 31%. Christopher, our HR manager, is deservedly proud of this.
The company culture at Decos is very special in Pune. There is an excellent atmosphere, everybody is very open and friendly. One colleague even described it as a ‘family’. The employer offers its people ample freedom. At other companies the access to the Internet is limited, here people are free to use Facebook and Google. The selection is extremely critical when new employees are recruited. Of course technical skills are important but actually more a precondition. An open attitude, an open mind, and wanting to develop yourself both professionally and personally are much more important qualities if you want to fit in at Decos.
And this is the same in The Netherlands! But it is quite special that in a country with a completely different work culture they were able to create the same free work culture. In India it is very exceptional if you have such a relaxed employer where things like this are possible! Where you can say what you think, where the management is very open and accessible and where you are stimulated to learn continuously.
This turns Decos into a true innovator in the industry, or actually for all employers in India. It would be wonderful if through its customers, suppliers and partners it could set a snowball effect of change in motion in order that the entire Indian economy can take advantage of this new way of working. Because in my opinion this is the only way of working in a modern world that can truly make you successful: optimal satisfactory of employers and employees.