Deutsche Telekom IT Solutions




From virtual coffee to the real Masala Chai


STRIVE gPMO is an international shared Team, located in Russia and India. The last year and a half the teams could only communicate via Webex without seeing each other’s faces and being deprived of the opportunity to feel the mood of interlocutors on the other end. They coordinated working process, performed trainings for each other, exchanged the knowledge and experiences, though it is not always so easy to reach the maximal productiveness and mutual understanding when working on distance with colleagues they have never seen.

We used several practices to eliminate the challenges we faced, but always had a strange feeling that something was missing. Face-to-face communication is exactly what we were looking for all this time!”, - Russian colleagues admit. “It was even introduced a new format of online communication: Virtual coffee sessions on Fridays, where the Teams had a chance for a small talk by telling the stories about the national cultures or about themselves. At those times nobody didn’t suspect that one day we will sit together by the cup of Masala chai in Pune

On November, 11 teams finally got an amazing chance to meet each other in a great city of Pune. No doubts everyone had their own thoughts and expectations from this meeting, and now they realize: meeting in person has nothing to do with online communication!

When the day X came, we met young, energetic, positive people ready to provide their assistance whenever you ask them for help. After an intense week of workshops and joint work, all the skepticism on the purpose of the trip had gone away, just collapsed in an instant. Here is the Pareto principle in action! As a result, leaving India we realized that our internal communication and understanding had been significantly improved, and we had become a really united team. Eventually, we have made friends”, - Alexey from STRIVE Support says.

But the trip to India was not only a professional experience for the team, but a deep cultural discovery too. Culture and the way of life in India was a surprise for the newcomers, as well as hospitality and friendliness of people. Foreigners are considered to be special guests there, so throughout the trip the team felt the most amiable atmosphere.

Of course, colleagues from Russia couldn’t miss the opportunity to see the famous Taj Mahal with their own eyes. Sacred animal cows, walking freely on the streets of Agra, monkeys, parrots and, of course, Indian cuisine. “The food, by the way, deserves particular attention. It differs from the Russian one because of abundance of spices. Honestly, we could not eat some dishes, because they were too spicy! But we were greatly impressed by the national Indian dish "Thali", as well as Masala tea: with milk and spices. The taste of tea is expressive, complex, intense and very tasty!”, - says Mariia Rendakova, STRIVE gPMO. The local entertainments also have to be mentioned. The most popular sport game in India is an originally British cricket. That is why Indian colleagues taught their guests to play it on a real cricket field.

You can be sure: everyone will find something after his or her own heart in India. It may be new friends and reliable colleagues or interesting culture and experience or a cool office. ”By the way, I have found all these things there!” - says Ekaterina, STRIVE gPMO, - “Every day we came across something new, unusual, interesting! India is a real wonder of the world that we will remember for a lifetime!

Tatiana Storozhenko, Head of SSC gPMO and Telecom Delivery PoP Russia concludes: „In the frames of this business trip we could not only to acquaint each other colleagues within the international shared team, but also to get the general image of work in PoP India, as well as to establish a personal contact with the heads of different departments and Shared Service Centers (SSC). Indeed, this will help to make the interaction between two PoPs more efficient and productive”.

So, the story has a happy ending: the colleagues who could barely distinguish each other on the photos before the business trip, after getting acquainted in person and working side by side learnt about each other much more, than during a year of remote collaboration. And now they are expecting to meet each o