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A fist out of water …. After 11.5 years



Today was my last day at Aon Hewitt… after eleven and half years. Just feels like leaving home for the first time and you leave your home for studying further or joining a new job or you get married – well, this time its none of the above, except in a way, I am leaving to study life further and broaden my horizons. Am actually excited and really looking forward to the next chapter of my interesting and fun life.

 

The past eleven and a half years years have been just awesome and time just flew because I was having so much fun and I want to remember some of the high points in this journey with Aon Hewitt…

 

The day when I realized how the customer satisfaction score was being calculated as I turned the car into the basement and I called Mohit right away telling him what I had figured out :). That understanding is what made it possible for us to crack the low scores and get to good satisfaction scores because it helped us in giving specific feedback to the CSAs. A year later one of the clients used the CSA certification model that I had created and made it even more stringent …and guess what, our colleagues cleared that certification in the first go. A huge highpoint for me personally.

 

I have to remember some of the special people as I started out with legacy Hewitt …. Mohit, for being an awesome boss and for letting me do my own stuff. Ashok and Kabir – well, you remain the brother and step-brother and I am thankful that you both came into my life, worklife is a small part of that. Rajeev and Gurinder, for all the Haldirams treats and dealing with my constant feedback on Moets and anything else I could give you feedback on. And to think that Gurinder chose to hire me for his division nearly 9 years later, shows his greatness. But more on that a little later in this narration. Narinder, for being the constant sane voice to my crazy ideas :):). 

 

The next highpoint was integrating a bunch of 100 colleagues into the legacy Hewitt fold from an outsourcer… It was a bunch of discrete, non-contiguous processes and it took a couple of years before we could put them under the right groups. Dhruv, Sri, Komal and so many others who have gone onto being friends. Dhruv, I still hope to participate in the Mrs. World (grand old lady) contest. Just FYI. 

 

Setting up Hewitt Cares and running the CSR programs for all these years will undoubtedly be the highest point of my stint with Aon Hewitt. Its what brought me to work every single day because I knew I could give back to the community through my organization and every single leader has been hugely supportive of it.  Growing the payroll giving from single digits to a respectable, serious donation, the yearly Diwali melas, the blood donation camps and just getting to work with a bunch of committed volunteers like Simi, Isha, Jayant, Rosemary Keefe, Bridget Guerin etc was awesome. And now to put the whole CSR plan together, get a lot more colleagues involved has been so fulfilling.

 

When dad had his haemorrhage in 2008 and I got the call, it was Kabir who dropped me at the airport and Ashok who made sure dad got admitted to a hospital in Hyderabad ..and then the support throughout those four months from the organization makes me indebted to it forever.

 

I can never forget Sanjay’s expression when I told him in our first meeting about the small team that was writing applications …. In my team and not on his team. Am sure that’s the reason our friendship continued, because he realized how similar we were. We went ahead and did what we thought was right and sometimes asked for forgiveness or just kept going and yes, the questions and cleanliness fetish. No wonder my mother shook hands with you Sanjay !!

 

Oh there are so many highlights to remember … the first review with Rohit’s team and identifying that huge productivity number 🙂 or that meeting in Noida where I described a colleague’s character and it turned out to be accurate. Rohit hasn’t forgiven me for that. Or the other Rohit’s question to Ramen if I am ok with his joining :). My personal R&R – Rohit and Raghavan – the reward and recognition for my work as a leader. And ofcourse the “Destiny” series with the East team … Unforgettable and what we could accomplish was just outstanding. 


Remembering Cheryl and Betty interviewing me, Jan and Carin’s visits, Gary Bozeman’s daily calls, Todd setting me up on the Lotus notes system (hope the after effects of the two Hindi movies he watched have worn off), the infamous bus ride with Rohail, Tanya, Brad and some others, the Super East LT .. Matt, Tanya, Jane, Anita, Doug, Jeff, Nick (yeah, Italian hunk) and impossible to miss Jana. Kristina, Lindsay, John, Pam, Kathy, Paul Youngman and so many other special people. Breakfast with Kristina and Joe, Cooking Indian food at Paul’s house, Betty driving all the way to meet me at Kellogg, eating Greek food with Jan, Gary dropping me off at Hareesh’s place, having Italian food with Italian hunk Nick, Carin and Rama coming all the way to Wharton, … Just priceless memories. 

 

Amit Gautam’s surprise that he was awarded for being an awesome people manager, Abhishek knocking on my door with 50 questions, Gautam calling me at 1.30 am from the Annual party to say all colleagues have safely boarded the bus … Sri, Geojo, Anupam, Nitin and Jayant standing guard at every townhall and that special townhall when the Chef walked down the middle as Mohit was speaking .. Just priceless. Meeting Arjun for the first time and being asked to be his buddy on the golf course or Jasjit finding the chair broken, and being called three days after joining to address a training session, nagging him to call us all home, or my career limiting moves with Pavan – well, I never dialled into a call that I setup with the then MD (Pavan) and he was waiting on the phone. It’s a surprise I have survived so far :):) … It also tells you why I survived, because Aon Hewitt is a great company. 


The Apac team that’s now part of a different organization taught me a different way of working. The year end took on a completely different color and clients taught me to focus on just what works. The opportunity to work with colleagues in China, Philippines and Singapore was exciting and so interesting. It was almost like running my own business !


I just cannot do justice to remembering everyone, Kashiana and the idlis, Pratyasi, Dipreet, Ruchi, Shakun, Shalini, Vijaya, Jo, Bala, Renuka, Sharon, Kirti, Deepti, Simi, Esha, Hemalatha, Gurpreet, Ruhi, Jyoti, Pia, Roopali, Kannika and many other special women – there will be a dedicated blog just for all of you. Thanks for the life lessons and hats off to each of you as you juggle multiple priorities with aplomb. 


Well I can go on and I will over different blogs, but for this one .. My leaving Aon Hewitt is like a fist out of water, and the ripples will quieten down, but the color that I held in my palm is mixed with the water, so sorry guys, you can’t wash off that color :):):) so, you will see me popping up every now and then, in person and in thoughts…thanks everyone for an unforgettable ride !! 


P.s Miss Venu and Soni :(:( RIP both… You left too soon. 

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Categories: Corporate musings, Deja VuTags: , , , ,

11 comments

  1. All the best Bindu ….. and brilliantly captured memories

  2. Nice read Bindu… It somehow reminded me of good old Hewitt days 🙂

    Chandan Nair

  3. This is great read.. it reflects values of Aon Hewitt Leaders and how much they care about people..
    In future I hope to read some of your memories related to masses of Aon Hewitt.

  4. Excellent read and beautifully captured your journey from Hewitt to Aon. I nver had a chance to work with you but I am a great admirer to your leadership styles and writing skills. You addresed me and our group during recent Pmp session and talked about uttrakhand tragedy and 2014 air plane crashes. While reading your blog I could easily recall some greats managers that I had worked with in my own 10.5 years with Hewitt. I am also leaving this great organisation end of this month. Thank you, god bless and keep writing pls since you have readers outside Hewitt fraternity as well.

  5. i was reading your recent article and bumped into this. So heartning ot see my name :-). It was indeed pleasure to work with you on CSR and actually knowing you as a person. Loved ur positivity. Keep enjoying and stay happy and blessed

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