“Fun, memorable and a great learning experience” was how the intrepid three – Nikhil Arora (from the HR department), Sachin Singh (from Knowledge), and Surya Deogun (from Travel) – referred to their visit to the DK London Office.
Why are we blogging about a week at the Strand office, leave aside calling these three DK India staff “intrepid”? A fair number of us make that work trip every year...
Ah well, that's because this was no ordinary visit. It was the very first of a high profile initiative called The DK Exchange Programme, launched globally by John Duhigg (DK CEO, and fondly known as JD) and conducted by the UK HR team under the watchful eye of the rest of the Executive Committee – Dan Shepherd, Steve Twilliger, Shaun Hodgkinson, and Alex Allan. As part of the Learning and Development programme launched earlier this year, the Exchange is designed to increase collaboration between DK's global offices. It offers staff the opportunity to travel to another global DK office, shadow a counterpart for five days, and garner local knowledge of the team and business. Tailored to the particular needs of each candidate, the programme will facilitate their transferring these learnings and experiences back to their own role and division. In fact, on the last day in office, each exchangee (that's a word, right?) was required to make an individual presentation to the Exec on what they learned and experienced during the placement.
Nikhil, Sachin, and Surya were among the India trailblazers, with the fate of the entire programme riding on what they made of their time there. We can't speak for the others (those from DK offices in the US and Germany), but our three did themselves, and the rest of DK India, proud. They interacted, asked questions, learnt, and provided learning – and had a ton of fun doing it: “The most amazing part was that we got to interact with people from different teams and different countries. We got to learn a lot about our company's branches in other countries and how each office operates.”
And while each person had their own takeaways, the one thing they were unanimous in declaring: the only difference between the Delhi and London offices was of size. The infrastructure in both offices is comparable and the teams very similar. As Surya put it, “If we exclude the media facilities, there isn't any big difference.” But the Media Suite! Sachin waxed eloquent on “the amazing setup for video shoots, the on-air facility, the small-product shoot room where the LEGO shoots are conducted....” Nikhil, on the other hand, was especially interested in learning the best HR practices in UK. For him, it unlocked the entire structure/hierarchy of the different departments in UK.
Luck favours the brave (in this case, in the form of the weather), and the trio savoured the best of a sunny English Spring, with flowers blooming in a riot of colours everywhere and not an umbrella in sight – perfect for walking and photographing. And walk and photograph they did, exploring the streets of London and capturing its many delights late into the night.
“We enjoyed every moment, whether in office or anywhere else.”