The Nested Sacrifices
You know how birds fly away? Let me tell you a story. Once there lived a little nameless bird that lived in a forest. As our human race civilized, this nameless bird became homeless as well. So, he migrated to a nearby city in search of shelter. After much struggle, he managed a fragile nest on a tree in an urban orchard. Soon after, two birds approached him for shelter, a parrot and a dove. “And how are you going to help me?” the tired bird whimpered. The parrot replied, “We are the most vibrant creatures on this planet. I will nurture your nest with love and colors.” The dove added, “We are the most loyal of all the species. We were used as messengers during the ancient wars. Even today we are regarded as symbols of peace. So, I will bring peace to your nest and make it secure.” Convinced, the nameless bird took them in. Staying true to their promises, the beautiful parrot made life in the nest more colorful, while the brave dove guarded it fiercely from predators.
The nameless bird, by now, had become the confident boss of the nest. Years rolled by and as the human race civilized, the food become hard to come by. One day a mynah flew in. “And what value do you bring in mynah?” the boss thundered. The nervous mynah replied, “We are the world’s most adaptive birds. We are very street smart when it comes to hunting for food.” And so, the wise mynah was also taken in and the four birds lived happily.
The boss loved his adopted family, so one day he decided to throw a big bash as a thank you for his new friends. So, the work was divided according to expertise. The wise mynah was responsible for food. The brave dove was responsible for security. The beautiful parrot had to fetch colorful decorations. The boss had the job of delegation. Dinner time came and everyone sat to eat. The beautiful parrot however, was still missing. Everyone waited for a while, but the yummy food was getting cold, the item numbers had rocked up the party and the celebrity was waiting backstage. The boss had no choice but to take center stage and start thanking those who were already present.
“I’ll start with you wise mynah, as you are the one who came in most recently and so quickly accepted our family as your own. When the fight for food got tougher, your arrival opened new windows of opportunity.” Every nest needs such wise mynahs to bring in fresh ideas. Do you know how many wise mynahs flew into the Cybage nest this year alone? Over one thousand! These wise mynahs, by the way, come in the form of new customers as well. Over 60 global glittering accounts, that left us no choice but to run around and open new offices every three months in Germany then Australia then the Netherlands then Japan. We made so many new friends; many of those are watching us live right now and some are present with us here today; Anshu Gaur of Amdocs and Nitish Khanapure of Expedia.
Next the boss turned towards brave dove. “It is your loyalty and commitment that our nest has stayed so robust and secure today.” Every nest needs these brave doves to stand steadfast through thick and thin. Do you know how many brave doves have been guarding Cybage nest for more than five years? Even I don’t know. So let’s find out. All those who have held Cybage close to their hearts for more than five years have proved it that ‘Old is Gold’. One of our brave doves, Vikas Varma, our vice president, recently made us proud, when he received the National Award for the best mobile professional of the year 2013. Cybage’s top five accounts; (if you are one of those accounts and belong to that practice feel free to scream), top five accounts; ‘Digital River’, Google, Symantec, Athena Health, Travel Click. These top five accounts have an average tenure with Cybage of more than twelve years. So many wonderful friends we have made in the course of this journey. One of these friends, Greg Wiggins, has especially flown down for this event as an item number. Greg. Let me tell you my friend. Cybage belongs as much to you as it does to every Cybagian.
Next; it was the boss’s turn to thank the beautiful parrot. But the parrot was nowhere to be seen. Now how do you thank someone who is not there? And why should you even thank someone who quit on you? Maybe the parrot has his own compulsions. Maybe he missed the warmth of his own nest back home. Maybe he found another nest that was in need of more colors. Whatever the reasons, can we just rub off all the colors that he left behind? The top five accounts that I spoke about earlier; two of those accounts had a management reject last year, leading to the exit of the early believer of the IT story. Had these exits happened many years back, tonight I would be speaking of three decade long customers and not five. Neelam Shivanandan, our charming ‘Agal Bagal’ girl from the management dance, the vice president of Travel practice, the winner of this year’s prestigious National Award for the leading woman in technology. For Neelam, tonight’s bash is a farewell party as well. Every year, as a ritual, she comes to me and chokingly confides how torn she feels between her great professional career and irreversible family years. While she was helping Cybage grow tenfold her children also grew. Can ten words of gratitude from this stage, offset all her sacrifices?
Then there were those beautiful parrots that flew so high and far that they can no longer feel the Cybage glory and have turned into stars. Look up and see the stars in the sky. I know it is difficult to see them tonight as there are a lot of lights and dazzle here. Nine of those stars are Cybagians. They not only departed from Cybage but departed entirely from the planet earth itself. But what are nine Cybagians out of thousands? Just because they have gone so far, do they deserve special thanks? One of those new born stars, Mahesh Lad, we lost this year, in a road accident. He just about spent a year working in our CSR arm. He spent more time in Cybage adopted villages than Cybage itself. One of those villages, Rajewadi, I had the honor of visiting recently for a school inauguration. After the inauguration the villagers took me on a tour. We stopped at a temple that had a little library. In this temple library there was a big picture of Mahesh. The mukhiya (village headman) told me, “It was Mahesh’s dream to build a library for Rajewadi. He used to sit with us for hours sharing all his dreams. Sir bahut yad ati hai hame hamare Mahesh ki (Sir we miss our Mahesh a lot).
‘Hamara Mahesh?’, but the library was sponsored and built by Cybage, not Mahesh! Then why Cybage was nowhere on the wall? Why were there tears of thanks for Mahesh and not Cybage? Why did I feel like an outsider between the Rajewadi residents and that picture on the wall? I’ll tell you why. Cybage built the library for ‘a’ village, Mahesh built it for ‘Rajewadi’. So you see Mahesh’s right introduction is Rajewadi’s Mahesh and not Cybagian Mahesh. Behind every Cybagian here, there is a Mahesh who has touched at least a few lives. These human touches, these pictures in the temples of our hearts, have a lot more meaning than a thousand thank you speeches from the stage. You see sometimes bosses get carried away by showbiz. Just because they get to dance in the limelight and stand in the center of the spotlight, they feel they have earned the privilege of thanking everyone from the podium. They forget their original identity, one that of a nameless bird. The only person they need to be thanking is the big boss (god), for the honor of making them the first mover of the nest that eventually became home to so many beautiful birds.
May god continue to bless our Cybage nest forever! Here is a cheer for the big boss and all the parrots, mynahs and doves who have decorated the Cybage nest so beautifully. Cheers again to you rock stars. It’s now time to party. Good night, Shubh Ratri, Shabba Khair!