By Sabita Reddy
Meet ‘The Office’ i.e. ‘The Cogent Office’!
Before I get started on what it is like to be a part of the Cogent office, let me assure you that we are nothing like the employees of the Scranton Paper Supply Company, nor do we have any certified psychopath office manager, or any Satanists futzing around. We sure admit to some craziness at times, but nothing so out of control that we could maybe sell it for a sitcom to the silver screen!
Firstly, the following couple of facts about the office might make one smile more, especially if you’re a new employee here: the close proximity of the office to many best restaurants in town; and the fact that, it’s just not the people that are super-friendly and warm, but even the walls holler positivity at you, literally. Wondering how? Well, it’s hard to ignore the force infiltrate you, especially when it’s coming from a king-size poster of the Jedi master himself… right?! Yes, we are Star Wars fans too!!
Anyway, with less than a year stint, here are some things I have gathered about the people at Cogent.
Starting at the top, the three main pillars of Cogent – Ganpy, Srini and Yash, hands down, have built a work culture that is indeed very hard to find.
Srini, is truly ‘one of a kind’… who has gotten me convinced that one hour of yoga/ meditation a day can make a person move mountains!! He is just not known for his extremely humble, jovial and appreciative personality; but his around the clock work for Cogent as well as other charitable organizations outside of Cogent, makes many like me think that a new mom’s exhaustion might not be that bad after-all!
Ganpy – the ‘strict vegan’ who does not discriminate when it comes to alcohol, is truly the ‘jack of-all-trades, and a master of all’. This passionate blogger, amidst piloting his team, also finds time for gardening or honoring a reunion commitment made with old friends; leaving the rest of us wondering how he makes it – ‘running a business’, look so easy?! Maybe this Star Wars fanatic does have a secret R2-D2 inside that room of his, working alongside to make everything look so perfect and flawless!!
…and, Yash, ‘the mystery man’ – (you will know why as you read further), is a person of very few words, and whose actions, no doubt, speak louder. In short, he is Cogent’s ‘chief architect for a balanced budget’.
Well…apart from their extraordinary personalities, these three have consistently proved that a CEO does not necessarily have to pretend or act like a boss that people eventually hate. Infact, they have created a workplace where there is genuine compassion and empathy. They make sure that everybody is not only heard, but recognized and appreciated, always. The motivation and leadership, they use, topples the traditional leadership theory which focuses more on results than on the people who deliver those results. I cannot agree more with them on the fact that employees are most productive when they are happy and engaged.
The third pillar, our HR department comprised of Usha and Kamala, is led by Yash. They are the smallest team in size, but the most powerful! I say this not because they are the ones managing all the dosh; but because they are the most approachable, accessible, and above all, very responsible. It really takes a lot of patience answering to the queries of a hundred employees every day; yet, none have lost their cool… (Now maybe, a certified psychopath or Satanist would bring some drama to such a calm and boring environment, isn’t it? Haha!)
Then we have our business development/sales team – led by Mayur, the IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus – who, when not providing the best SAP solutions to our clients, is a real ‘hoot’ (as described by his team member Susan), and the ‘creative genius’ who sticks tiny paper made boats on wall frames that portray water. Our other half – the mobility team, whom I like to call the ‘geek squad of Cogent’; comprised of Dan, XP, Sean, Phil and Xin, regularly offer some of the best technical information and tips on our blog, that is hard to miss. These two teams constantly fuel the Cogent engine; and whether they are the largest in number or the loudest… just working alongside them is a great learning experience by itself.
On a side note – we also have some staff members who work remotely; and if you’re like me, (funny but true story), you too might take a few months to realize that you will NOT find Yash in the HR room, no matter how many times you think you missed seeing/ meeting him that day; because, he works from his Atlanta office!!(…and now you know why I call him the ‘mystery man’). Seriously, Cogent’s virtual staff’s, (like Yash, Rob, Steve and Hema), availability and response, seem to make you feel like they are always physically present at the office.
Well, to conclude…it is said that the drudgery of the modern office can either make you laugh or cry. Frankly, Cogent, a boutique consulting firm, eliminates the cubicles, the endless meetings, and the bureaucracy that you find at the big4s. Although I’m short of just a couple of months to celebrating my first anniversary with Cogent, I think I’ve stayed long enough to vouch that this company and its people really live up to the name – Clarity, Creativity and Connectivity.
We may be a small company and we may be different, … but you’re sure to find ‘the few, the proud, the talented, and the passionate’ right here.