HCCB, Careers, Learning and Development in India

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Reasons To Work At HCCB

A two-decade-old company that makes the beverages that India wants. A company that strives to leave things better than it first inherited. A top draw FMCG Company that stands on the podium because of the ecosystem that supports it.

Growth Culture

Keep seeking, never settle.

Stay curious about what is outside, always stay two steps ahead. We have the courage to look and leap.

Make it happen.

True empowerment is the result of taking responsibility. We move forward faster when we all take action.

Push for progress, not perfection.

Greatness is born of the little wins (and failures). Share v 1.0, test it, make it better. Then create the next version.

Include value and trust each other.

We are smart alone but together we are genius. For us to thrive, being smart isn’t enough. We need genius.

Leader Under Lights

This Week, Watch:
Prasanna Borah Chief Information Officer, HCCB

Meet the man who propels our digital engine at HCCB. Prasanna Borah, Chief Information Officer, HCCB.
He believes that the combination of artificial and human intelligence can have far reaching impact on society, in the years to come.
By the way, our CIO still prefers his physical copy of the newspaper.

Prasanna Borah Chief Information Officer, HCCB

Meet the man who propels our digital engine at HCCB. Prasanna Borah, Chief Information Officer, HCCB.
He believes that the combination of artificial and human intelligence can have far reaching impact on society, in the years to come.
By the way, our CIO still prefers his physical copy of the newspaper.

“My passion for running started at HCCB” Tripati Sahu

In school and college, he wasn’t really a sports enthusiast. Circa 2018, Tripati Sahu, completed the TCS 10K marathon in 39 minutes and 15 seconds, and ranked 41st among the 11,563 participants who finished the race and 7th among the 2,083 runners in his age group. Another 120 HCCB employees had participated with great vigour in the marathon.

Says Tripati: “The passion for running started only after I joined HCCB, where there are many opportunities. I’m making up for the time lost,” notes Tripati.

When Tripati joined HCCB in February 2016, dealing with finance was all he signed up for. Little did he know that in just a few months, he would be running marathons, along with his fitness fanatic colleagues from HCCB.

From start to finish

He was one month into the job, when Tripati received an email about the TCS Majja Run. He enrolled out of sheer interest. A perfectionist by nature, he then spent the next two and a half months running around the Coffee Board Layout, Kempapura, to get in shape.

When the big day came, Tripati enjoyed every bit of the 6 km Majja run, but this also pushed him to set new goals. While he felt happy to have completed the race, he realized that the ‘Open 10k’ race participants won medals and certificates. His realization helped him set newer goals for himself to be a part of the more competitive race.

For the 10k race of 2017, Tripati started practicing with his colleagues Pankaj Payal, Arup Sinha Roy, Manish Taneja, and Joydeep Roy who together played an instrumental role in encouraging Tripati. To prepare, he enrolled himself in various marathons of the city.

In June 2016 Tripati enrolled for the Aqua Terra Challenge at Rishikesh. There were three rounds to complete to get selected – a 25-km mountain run that Tripati aced in three hours and 18 minutes, and a 25 km mountain cycling, which he completed in one hour and 15 minutes. The final day was a group event — 25 km river rafting, which Tripati, and his teammates Pankaj Payal, Manish Taneja, and Jayanth Parsu Patel, finished in four hours, ranking them second in the finals. Tripati had grabbed the spotlight with his record timing.

After that, all he needed to do for the marathon was to be a regular at training. He completed the annual 10k marathon in 2017 in a record 42 minutes and 55 seconds. His determination to excel only motivated him to set another optimistic goal “Now that the target was achieved, I set a new one for 2018 — the sub40 (below 40 minutes) mark in the 10k race.” And he did it — clocking 39 minutes and 15 seconds.

This year’s result is an achievement for sure, but the adrenaline junkie in him doesn’t let him rest. He has already set his sight on finishing the 2019 10K marathon in 37 minutes, and the 21.1 km half marathon in 1 hour and 25 minutes.

“I AM AND I AM NOT 40, YET” S. Thomson

S. Thomson is an unassuming young man, fondly referred to as “anna” (a local term for elder/senior, in Tamil Nadu) – by young and old alike. Thomson doesn’t mind it, because implicit in this reverence is the faith and trust that he symbolises for the local community in Nemam, near Chennai. The man has a Master’s degree in Social Work and has had long stints with NGOs, before choosing to work for HCCB. Since 2005, when he first started interacting with the local community, Thomson is now the first port of call for any assistance or counsel, that the local community needs.

His day job is like that of any of any other Community Manager of this great Company. On a good day, he is mobilising resources, creating programs, collaborating with village elders and negotiating with his boss, to fund a whole host of community development programs in the Nemam village of Tamil Nadu. On a bad day like the ones in December 2015 – when a cyclone ravaged the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu – he stands tall with the local government administration to save lives.

Flood Rescue & Relief Operations:

In 2015, when a cyclone wreaked havoc in Tamil Nadu – the worst since 1918 – Thomson risked his own life to provide food, security and shelter to the residents of Chennai city and several villages around it. When the area was submerged in water, and was not conducive to transportation, electricity supply, food supply or medical aid, Thomson personally carried food stocks, beverages and medical supplies to the affected community, saving several lives. He provided succour and hope when they needed it the most.

Chennai and its peripheral districts were ravaged by four rounds of floods that brought unimaginable destruction and devastation. More than 500 people were killed, over 1.8 million displaced and more than 57,000 homes damaged. Supply of all necessities including water, electricity, and mobile networks, were completely shut for a week.

It is at this time that Thomson, sprang into action. Without bothering about the severity of the situation, he worked day and night braving the heavy rainfall to provide help and support to the local community. He coordinated for the distribution of HCCB’s flood relief kits to 2100 families in the area. He also supported the local administration in guiding them on relief and rehab work.

Today, when things are more peaceful, Thomson spends his day organising women empowerment programs; provides skill training to women and children; running vermicomposting centers, and supervising all the community projects implemented by BIG India, in that area.

People like Thomson bring to life the values of HCCB. No wonder that people trust him with their lives and livelihoods.

“What I saw from the hilltop was breathtaking” Suprava Rath

The HCCB factory in Odisha, located in Khurda, is in close proximity to Bhubaneswar – the capital of the state. The factory is not too far away from pristine forests and for the nature lover; nothing could be as inviting as the dense green foliage around.

The greens had caught the attention of Suprava Rath, just like several others, who would reach their work place after negotiating the serpentine roads. As part of the finance team for the last seven years, the Excel sheets had always kept Suprava engrossed. The number crunching during a typical, busy working day had left her with little time to get closer to nature, so near her. But nothing could deny her that the lure of the green which was always inviting.

Unknown to Suprava, the 20-something Minu had been nursing similar dreams. The lure of a promising career had got the Ranchi girl to Bhubaneshwar after she had completed an engineering degree in electrical and electronics. For nearly an year after she began her first job, she would pass by the forests, admiring its beauty.

It was not just the two of them. Their colleagues, Mausumi and Shobha, had also been admiring nature and, someday, wanted to get away from the whirring and clinking sounds that they had got used to.

When Joydeep Roy, the new Factory manager of the Khurda plant and a nature enthusiast, joined work, the first thing that he noticed were the enticing hills and the greenery around the factory. When he met his colleagues at the factory and had developed a level of familiarity, he was almost certain that like several of his mountain expeditions in the past, he would have to trek the Barunei Hills, alone. He still took a chance and floated the idea to these four women colleagues of his. He thought he knew the response. But his colleagues surprised him and agreed to trek the hills with just two days’ notice.

For the group of women, it had always been a case of so near, yet so far. With Joydeep’s call, they had the guide that they always wanted.

“When I saw the beauty of the location from the top of the hills, it was a breathtaking sight. I could never have imagined what it will look like from the top”

With his active support and encouragement, the group took time off work on a Saturday – four women, two security guards, an instructor and Joydeep – embarked on the nature trek.

The energy was turning contagious by now. No one from the factory had ever attempted the trek and it took a group of four women to break fresh ground.

The trek was steep and tough. Joydeep’s experience and the instructor’s guidance helped. There were times when one of the ladies’ would want to give up. Egged on by their colleagues, they finally reached the top.

“When I started the trail, I found it extremely difficult and painful just after a few hundred metres. But then I realised that while managing a shift operation, I have come across many situations which were new to me. It’s my patience, presence of mind and never-say-die attitude which have helped me in all these years. The fulfilment after reaching the top was extremely thrilling,” Mausumi, who works on the Kinley line, said about the experience.

Barunei Hills is a popular picnic location for families in Odisha. For those inclined towards action, it is also a trekkers’ paradise. Its peak is also considered auspicious among the locals. When the group reached Sitakund, it was like a dream being fulfilled.

“When I saw the beauty of the location from the top of the hills, it was a breathtaking sight. I could never have imagined what it will look from the top,” Minu, mother of a 14-year-old boy, recalls of the day, which left a lasting impression on her.

It is back to work for the group of inspiring women. The Khurda factory too continues to whirr.

Life @ HCCB

Life at HCCB means being constantly curious and being two steps ahead of the rest. It means celebrating the small wins and then creating the next version of those wins. Life at HCCB also means striving to leave things better than we inherited them. Simply put, life here means progress!

Life is lived here in 8,000 different ways. Here are some samples

Jobs @ HCCB

With a high-performing talent force aiming for continuous development, HCCB constantly invests in training their employees and in their learning and development. We enable you to reach your highest potential and develop your career. A diverse group of colleagues, dynamic work environment and long-term growth is what you will get at HCCB.

Grab the opportunity, it’s as refreshing as our drinks!

When our people choose a different work location to serve the company, here are some things that they don’t worry about

  • Car-registration expenses
  • Expenses for the scouting trip for the entire family, to the new place
  • Temporary living arrangements in the new city
  • Moving expenses to the new location including for parents / in-laws
  • School re-admission allowance
  • And a resettlement allowance

A factory which metaphorically speaking, is run by women

HCCB has built at Sananda, Gujarat, a factory where 40% of the employees are women. The journey entailed a detailed talent mapping of Gujarat to understand the local landscape and talent availability, ensuring permission from the local government for running a three-shift factory operation with women, building infrastructure (crèche facilities, safety and security) which is female employee friendly. And most importantly, using automation and technology in a way that physical strength does not become a differentiator between men and women’s prowess at running a factory.

A policy that promotes partnership in parenting

A young one is responsibility for both partners. So we have a paternity leave policy that gives 4 weeks off to the father and 6 months off to the new mother.In case the father is the primary caregiver, this is 6 months (equivalent to maternity). We truly believe that parenting is a special and unique experience for all our associates.

We have a special travel policy for female associates (during lactation period) with children up to 1 year. They can reimburse air travel for the child as well as caretaker.

We also provide crèche support to both female associates (at zero cost) and male associates (at subsidized cost).

Commitment to diversity and inclusion

Facilitating an inclusive environment for persons with disability, HCCB provides a reasonable accommodation policy. The company will provide reasonable assistance to associates with a disability to safely and effectively perform the essential functions of their positions, or to participate in the employment application process. Also, we have accessible and gender neutral washrooms in our corporate office, which makes our office a disability-friendly and inclusive to all genders.

The company also offers the translation of policies into regional languages and sign language interpreter during town halls for building an inclusive ecosystem.

We are committed to provide an equal opportunity to all; irrespective of gender identity/expression, disability, caste, creed, colour, religion, marital status, age, sexual orientation, medical condition, language, and any other aspects as relevant in the social context. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is integral to the way we work.

What Is Special @ HCCB?

Our people ask “what if?”
Our people have given themselves the permission to see it, say it and do it.
Mediocrity never satisfies our people.
Our people are inclusive, they give the benefit of the doubt and are responsible for each other.
Other than this, there are a bunch of initiatives, that makes HCCB pretty special.

Dhananjaya: The journey from fear to triumph

He was 11 when he first went on to the stage to be a part of a theatre performance. “At that time I started it out of fear of my teacher, but now it seems like I was meant to do this”, Dhananjaya comments on the memory of his journey into the world of theatre. This passion has, over the last 37 years, resulted in 8 National Awards and many extraordinary accolades.

Dhananjaya Kulkarni was just 19 when he directed his first ever independent play in 1990. The play was called ‘Tabarana Kathe’ and it was the story of a pensioner struggling to get his pension and how it affected his life.

It is not just a coincidence that he chose a topic of social relevance for his maiden directorial venture. Dhananjaya’s inquisitive eye to address issues of people and society is what he brings to work every day. As the PAC Zonal Head at HCCB, he works closely with the community members in Bidadi, driving multiple initiatives in the areas of clean drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and education, to name a few. His efforts have borne fruit, both in the theatre world and on the ground.

After ‘Tabarana Kathe’, Dhananjaya directed over 50 plays and 300 street plays (Nukaad Natak), working with more than 500 artists from across the country. He has worked with eminent theatre personalities like C. Basavalingaiah, Janardhan, Surendranath, Jayateertha Joshi, Raghunandan and Walter D’souza. Most of his works have been around social issues like poverty, social justice, water, politics, dowry, etc.

“Doing theatre is not an easy task. It requires a lot of homework. A play takes about 5-6 months to get into proper shape”, he says. Besides directing, he has trained over 200 children in theatre and continues to do so even today. “It is critical to share your knowledge with the next generation. Theatre is a live art form which will and should never die. I’m glad to see the younger generation being active in the field of theatre”, he adds.

Passion is what drives Dhananjaya; at work and outside. At work, it is to help the community to eliminate drama from their lives and make it better, and outside, it is to add a dollop of drama to the stage.

The Amazing Story of How Hindustan Coca-Cola’s Khurda Operations Stayed Afloat During Cyclone Fani

It was a Friday that is hard to forget! Cyclone ‘Fani’ with heavy rain and wind speed of 200 kilometres per hour had hit Orissa on May 3rd. Life was disrupted even as over one million people had been moved to safe locations.

Like all workplaces, the Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) factory at Khurda, near Orissa’s capital Bhubaneshwar, had taken all contingency measures. Yet, after the first 24 hours of nature unleashing its fury, work at the factory was not possible.

A crack team, that visited the factory a day after the cyclone, assessed the damage. Power supply had been snapped, connectivity lost, factory premises submerged in the incessant rain, infrastructure damaged and turbo ventilator blown away. Without connectivity, scheduling, production, quality shipping and logistics, teams could not work.

For the community in the areas surrounding the factory, drinking water and basic amenities were in short supply.

Sitting at his apartment at Khandgiri, some 15 kilometres away from the Khurda factory, Rabi Narayan Kar had mixed feelings. His family was safe but he knew that the factory was in trouble and so were the people in the local community. The factory had to run if it was to provide drinking water to people nearby. The factory in turn, could only operate, if water receded, urgent repairs were undertaken and internet connectivity restored.

Rabi Kar – a part of the sales team at HCCB, wanted to get things going. By a stroke of luck, the connectivity at his apartment seemed to work.

He had a quick chat with his wife. Next, he was dialling phone numbers. Rabi told his bosses that they should consider working out of his apartment- in fact convert it into a makeshift office! It sounded like a useful idea that no one had thought of.

The IT team was the first to visit his apartment. They managed to set up the systems for basic connectivity. Soon, the emails and other systems were accessible to the 10-15 people working from Kar family’s home.

Makeshift office for all teams

Nearly 24 hours after the factory had been shut down completely, the operations were resumed with the RGB (returnable glass bottles) and sparkling lines being the first off the block. It was a mammoth task, assessing the damage, cleaning the place, arranging things back in order, organising for shipping and logistics and several other steps, big and small.

While one team tried to address the challenge of connectivity, another was trying to make sure water was available to the community in the vicinity. The line at the Khurda factory had produced water, which had not yet been shipped to the market. Soon, water was ferried to local communities in the areas of capital Bhubaneshwar and Puri.

“We had to assess the situation and complete the work urgently since water was the first need for the local community,” Factory Manager Joydeep Roy said.

Two days after the cyclone, the communication systems were barely working at the factory. That made it impossible for the team to connect to its ERP systems. Without reliable connectivity to these systems, coordinating between various departments- some of which work from other cities, was nearly impossible

After Kar and the other team members worked their phones, his 16th floor apartment welcomed a small team to work from there. Since their home had optic fibre connectivity, it ensured a stable connection to the ERP systems. Even in the grim situation, everyone had smiles on their faces.

From May 6, for the next 72 hours, the apartment had people from different teams at their makeshift ‘desks.’ The place may not have been perfect but the attitude was – none of the people working, ever complained. It did not matter whether someone was perched on the chair or managed to find a place in any corner. They took turns to work from Kars’ home till they could move to a temporary office at a nearby hotel.

“It was complete teamwork by all of us together. In the hour of crisis, we were helped by the Kar family and then everyone chipped in to do their bit,” Mohan Singh, Vice President Supply Chain North & East, HCCB said.

The factory meanwhile, is being spruced up to get back into running condition after minor repairs. Factory Manager Roy says every person working within the premises was treated like a Coca-Cola employee and taken full care of during the period. “It is with everyone’s help that we could get the lines working again after a 24-hour shutdown,” he points out.

The local communities’ most urgent needs were attended to with water. While the Kars opened their doors and their hearts, everyone put their heart and soul into getting the factory in running condition again.

Perfecting HCCB’s fitness regime

Health is wealth, is how the adage goes. But as the wise know, health is always better than wealth.

HCCB is glad to have one such wise man teaching lessons of fitness to the workforce.

Sandip Magar, a forklift operator at HCCB’s factory in Pune is also a qualified fitness trainer who has taken up the responsibility of seeing that his colleagues are fit. “What if my workday gets stretched a bit? A stretching session with my colleagues helps keep many people ready for the field. Sweating a bit for that is absolutely no price to pay.” he says. Diet charts, workout logs, activity sheets, motivation cards, these are worlds apart from the life of a forklift operator. But when you are Sandip Magar, these are a part and parcel of life. His decade long tenure at HCCB has been both a story of fitness and hard work.

He started his run with HCCB in 2009 as part of the shipping team, shipping as many as 7000 cases in a day. However, for him, that was not enough. The fitness enthusiast that he was, he joined the Pune Academy in 2012, receiving accreditation as a personal trainer, and has been training others ever since. He has personally trained more than 15 individuals since then.

His love for the company and his need to make a difference drives him to conduct the same for the team, building their strength and stamina. While he knows a good workout can do a great deal for the body, he also knows that consuming the right diet can do the rest. He is currently working with factory seniors to make changes to incorporate healthier diet options in the factory’s canteen.

He can do 60 -70 push ups in a minute. And he is training everyone in our Pune’s factory to make sure they can keep up with him!

The best sights are to be seen on the road uphill

Mahendra Shashikant Kolge

Mahendra Shashikant Kolge, our Blow machine operator at the Pune factory, set out on one of his first trekking expeditions 10 years prior to his tryst with the company – a journey that would chart the course of the rest of his life.He has trekked on some challenging and diverse terrain, like the Mt. Deo tibba expedition in Manali in 2009, a high-altitude trek over icy terrain.

Today, more than 2 decades later, he has completed over 50 such treks! He is a part of the 27-year-old trekking club, Giri Gujan, comprised of over 150 people, considered to be one of the best of 5 such clubs in Pune.

His own escapades to the mountains took a turn in 1996, when he joined HCCB. “The factory environment at HCCB, inculcated a sense of community and belongingness in me. I felt like I wanted to share this skill” says Mahendra. And that is when he started teaching a basic mountaineering course for children. Each group – with 60 or more children.He has taught about ten such groups of children.

His teaching initiatives do not end there. He has gone on to teach mountaineering to more than 50 people in his family and friend circle and 750 other people engaged within his group. He has engaged the people of the HCCB factory as well, carrying as many as 8 to 10 trekking expeditions with them.

He has also been spreading the message of health through his successful trekking expeditions. He has even helped a child overcome issues with asthma, leveraging trekking as an antidote.

No surprise that his 16-year-old son has been trekking with him since he was four.His wife, who has done the basic course in Himalaya mountaineering, is also a regular trekker.

Even though he has been on trekking expeditions in several different locations, Pune’s Rajgarh fort, capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s empire, is his favourite trekking location.

The journey is perhaps the most important part of a run

T.V. Govindaraju – Born to Run

With a passion to chase milestones, Govindaraju, our shipping Executive at the HCCB factory in Bidadi, has a clear purpose in his life: To run for India and to prepare the next generation of athletes.

His journey began when his mother spotted his joy for running at the age of seven and decided to nurture his dream in that direction. Albeit his father’s wish was to make him a farmer. A journey that took wings at such a tender age, has now seen recognition from various parts of India and across the world. T.V. Govindaraju has won more than 80 medals at various formats of running. Be it 400-meter race, 800 meters, 4X400 meters relay race, marathon race – he has championed it all. Recently he performed brilliantly at the 8th Indonesia Open Masters Athletics Championships 2018 in Jakarta (Indonesia) and bagged the Bronze for India.

This bronze medal took his tally to 83. He is now only 17 short of one of his career milestones. The other of course is to train atleast 2,000 young athletes to run for their state / country. He is nearing that as well. Thanks to the many weekend evenings that he has spent at National College, Basavangudi, as a fitness trainer. He is a trainer pro bono, but the satisfaction that he gets out of shaping young people (literally and figuratively) is fuel for him for weeks. “In times when physical activity is not a natural part of our routine, I want to spread awareness about the importance of being fit to these budding students. And I do that by encouraging them to run” he says with a degree of nonchalance. When quizzed about how running has changed his own life, he says “Running is not just about being fit physically, it is about building a positive mindset to handle any challenge across different walks of life. At work, I bring the same discipline of an athlete by being focused and remaining positive.”

In his free time, he also spends time with young aspiring athletes and volunteers as a fitness trainer at National College, Basavanagudi. These days you will find him training with much more intensity than the usual. Because in a few months, he will strive to conquer his career dream – a gold medal for India at the International Masters in Italy. A billion people are hoping he does!!

HCCB Professionals Sing a Different Tune

Jyoti Sinha, who has always considered music as her companion, has been hearing her parents humming popular songs of Bollywood since childhood. As a hobby, she used to learn Hindustani classical vocal music in Ranchi. Even during her engineering at RIT Jamshedpur, she was secretary of the dramatics and cultural society. She used to not only sing, but also win awards at college festivals and other competitions. After college, she occasionally sang at family functions and office events. She kept her passion to herself until one day in 2015 that changed her life.

A popular band was performing at her residential complex in Gurgaon and the moment they were trying to involve audience in their performance to increase engagement, Jyoti took it as an opportunity. She used the years of music practice and her passion and made the audience dance to her tunes. Audience just could not have enough of her songs and screamed, “Once more!” She bowed to their wish and followed it happily. She was then made a part of music enthusiasts from Delhi and the National Capital Region. She soon became famous; it was a new beginning for her. A couple of singing competitions took her a step ahead. Suddenly, music had changed her life.

Recalling how music stepped into her life again, Jyoti says, “Singing is the food to my soul. It gives me joy.”

Not getting carried away with the joy of music, she always made sure that supply chain strategy is deployed effectively. As a supply chain professional, she ensured that the network of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages is running at optimum capacity.

Talk about music and Jyoti can be found singing the legendary tunes. On World Music Day (June 21), Jyoti’s experiences only confirm the power of music to transcend all barriers and connect with the masses.

Even though their workplace is over 2000 kilometres apart, Arun Prakash Ray, a Bengaluru-based music lover is no different than Jyoti. He is a professional at HCCB who trains people in behavioural sciences and leadership during the day and learns music after work. Call him a ‘teacher by the day, student in the afterhours!’

Arun has been brought up in Kolkata and he has fond memories of hearing his parents humming classical music. He started listening to Mehdi Hassan, the renowned Pakistani ghazal singer. As a teenager, his love for gazals kept so much increasing that he had nearly 3000 ghazals in his personal collection by the time he was done with his college. He also got a chance to meet Rashid Khan at his house, where they had a conversation about various forms of music.

Soon, Arun was rubbing shoulders with flautist Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Santoor maestro Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Sarod specialist Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and legendary Sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan. He was more inclined towards Sufi and qawwali forms of music, as he spent more time with musicians.

When Farid Ayaz of Coke Studio fame visited India, Arun suggested that he will take care of his hospitality. Farid suggested that he would prefer to stay at Rashid Guest House at Chitli Qabar, near Jama Masjid in Delhi. When Farid preferred to stay at a guest house instead of a luxury hotel, Arun said, “It is this humility with these musicians, some of who are masters of their craft that makes you admire them even more. Their dedication is only to music.”

During his free time, Arun sits down to document things that he has been learning around Sufi music. Even if he calls some of the maestros late at night to discuss music, they often speak to him for a continued discussion. “Amir Khusro had a day job as a court poet. I too have a job like him,” he grins.

With nearly two dozen HCCB factories, the need for training people for leadership skills is never-ending. Despite of the packed schedule, Arun finds time for performing at various Sufi shrines, managing the work-life balance in the best possible manner.

Jyoti has started her riyaaz after 30 years from the time she actually learnt music formally. Various bands want her to be a part of their group. Through these years, she still has her notebook with her in which she had written songs during her school time. As the genes have passed on to children, her daughter is an upcoming western music vocalist and son is a drummer. On the other side, Arun is busy managing his schedule so that he can attend more Sufi festivals.

While helping HCCB make beverages that make millions happy is one way to achieve satisfaction, hearing Jyoti and Arun sing your favourite numbers is a joy of a different kind.

Aruna Inspires Women to Break the Glass Ceiling at HCCB Ameenpur Factory

Y. Aruna, just an another Indian woman with two college-going children is looking to move up the social and economic ladder. By working at the Ameenpur factory of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), she is just trying to supplement her family income.

Her childhood desire to become an engineer had got her as far as being in a factory setup of one of the world’s foremost manufacturing companies – Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages – where high-end machines and beverage bottling lines would give her company.

That a woman would work in a factory setup was itself a breakthrough in 1996. But as Aruna herself narrates, she missed female companionship. Lunch was often alone and much after all the men had finished theirs. Coming from the background that she did, it was a bit odd for her to share the lunch table with men.

It was the lack of company of women that got her to convincing more women to join HCCB. Rasheeda Begum joined soon after. The two also soon found Padma. Life rolled on merrily but the desire to run machines and lines continued to tug at Aruna’s heart’s strings.

It was only 20 years later that she summed up enough courage to talk to her supervisor and the factory manager at the Ameenpur plant. She had held herself back, because she had studied up to grade X and did not have a college degree to run machines.

Thankfully, both the managers understood. Perhaps they would have realised that sometimes “passion trumps perfection.” They sanctioned her training and job change. From merely inspecting glass bottles of finished products to actually making them was her dream. It was about to come true.

Soon enough, Y. Aruna became the first women operator of a production line in the whole of HCCB. Earning such a feat in a workforce of 8,000 people was no mean task. In any case, conventional wisdom presumed that women could only do ‘softer’ jobs. Aruna had re-written that script.

If Aruna could do it, we can do it too, said Padma and Rasheeda. Today, they are giving each other company, not just at the lunch table but also on the factory floor.

The women of grit that they all are, all three work in the morning 6 am to 2 pm shift. Before coming to work they would have done their bit for their families, completed some household chores before taking the office cab to report to work on time. Machines don’t intimidate them anymore, neither does the world. Their tribe has grown as their story has spread far and wide – there are now 30 women production operators at HCCB plants across India.

A little spark that Aruna had ignited in 1996 is now gathering steam.

This International Women’s Day is a day most appropriate to re-live the stories of Aruna, Padma and Rasheeda. More power to them and may they continue to shine forth as the day.

Four Women’s Spirit of Adventure Inspires Others at Khurda Factory

Suprava Rath | Minu | Shobha | Mausumi

The HCCB factory in Odisha is situated at Khurda, which is very close to Bhubaneswar, the capital of the state. The factory is not so far from pristine forests and nothing could be so inviting and interesting for a nature lover as the dense green forest.

The greens had caught the attention of Suprava Rath, a part of the finance time and everyone else too who would reach at the factory everyday through those twisting roads. As the excel sheets kept Suprava busy all day, she hardly got time to get close to nature.

The 20-something old Ranchi girl, Minu had similar dreams as Suprava. The lure of promising career got her to Bhubaneswar after she had completed an engineering degree in electrical and electronics. Apart from these two, their colleagues, Mausumi and Shobha also admire nature.

Joydeep Roy, the new Factory manager of the Khurda plant was also a nature enthusiast. When he joined, the first thing that he noticed were the enticing hills and the greenery around the factory. After he became a little familiar with his colleagues, he was almost sure that he would have to trek the Barunei Hills alone, like his other expeditions. However, when he asked his colleagues, the response from these four women colleagues came as a pleasant surprise to him. They all agreed to go for a trek with just two days’ of notice.

It was like a win-win situation, as the group of women had always wanted to go for a trek and with Joydeep, they had a guide that they always wanted.

“When I saw the beauty of the location from the top of the hills, it was a breathtaking sight. I could never have imagined what it will look like from the top”

Finally, the group took time off work on a Saturday – four women, two security guards, an instructor and Joydeep – embarked on the nature trek. The energy and excitement levels were soaring high, as no one from the factory had ever attempted for this trek.

As time passed, the trek became difficult, as it was steep and tough. However, Joydeep’s prior experience and the instructor’s guidance helped. Also, whenever any of the women would want to give up, others became her strength. This kept them going and they finally reached the top.

“When I started the trail, I found it extremely difficult and painful just after few hundred metres. But then I realised that while managing a shift operation, I have come across many situations which were new to me. It’s my patience, presence of mind and never-say-die attitude which have helped me in all these years. The fulfilment after reaching the top was extremely thrilling,” Mausumi, who works on the Kinley line, said about her experience.

Along with being a trekker’s paradise, Barunei Hills is one of the most popular picnic spots for families in Odisha. Also, the peak is also considered auspicious among the locals. When the group reached Sitakund, it was like a dream being fulfilled.

“When I saw the beauty of the location from the top of the hills, it was a breathtaking sight. I could never have imagined what it will look from the top,” Minu, mother of a 14-year-old boy, recalls of the day which left a lasting impression on her.

It is back to work for the group of inspiring women. In the first few weeks itself, Joydeep has inspired to many. He will continue researching for more locations for trek and inspiring others at work.

Another Himalayan Feat

Joydeep Roy | Niranjan | Shobha | Ashish

True dedication and passion is what our associates bring to work every day. And that helps us produce the beverage that India loves. The happy faces at our factories and offices are a testimony to the great environment that HCCB and its associates have created.

Our associates chase their dreams and achieve tremendous feats within and outside work, and we take great joy in providing all the necessary support and encouragement. Four of our associates from Khordha factory participated and completed “The Himalayan Adventure Challenge – 2018”, a prestigious and one-of-its kind adventure sports in India.

Joydeep Roy (Khordha Factory Manager), Niranjan (Kinley line operator), Shobha (Maintenance Executive) and Ashish (Production TL) represented HCCB in the event which included mountain cycling, white water rafting and trekking (30 km) in a single day format. The event is one of the most sought after multi-discipline adventure races in the country. It also meant participants had to bring their skills, teamwork and abilities to the fore.

The associates were selected through an internal program and followed a disciplined fitness regime for more than three weeks before the event. The selected associates periodically went for warm-up sessions to a nearby hill post their regular duty hours. Additionally, a special drive was held before the event where 30 associates went on a trek.

Shobha shared her experience of going to the Himalayas, staying in a tent and being part of adventure sports. She said, “It was a thrilling experience! A complete break from not-so-boring life.”

The event was not just an adventure challenge but also gave the participants great life lessons to think about. “You can’t succeed unless you try something new”, said Ashish. “Live with pain, there is no external power that resurrects you. It’s all inside us”, is what Niranjan had to say.

At HCCB, we truly believe in chasing our dreams and passion!

Surmounting Himalayan Obstacles in the HCCB Style!

Joydeep Roy | Som | Sharif | Veerenda

The associates of the Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages’ (HCCB) Aranya factory had participated in The Himalaya Adventure Challenge – 2017. It encouraged them to combine their skills, teamwork and abilities and take it to the front.

They combined trekking, mountain cycling and white water rafting over a total distance of 35 kms and the resultant ordeal is The Himalaya Adventure Challenge. Moreover, the most interesting thing is, all of these has to be completed on just one day.

Joydeep Roy, a four-time participant believes that such exhausting, yet energizing programmes should be conducted often and extended to everyone across organisations. He also shares his experiences to encourage other people. Here’s Joydeep Roy’s story from the guy himself:

Previously known as the Aquaterra challenge, The Himalyan Adventure Challenge is the new name given to the programme from this year. I have been participating in it for the last three years because I was part of the corporate team at HCCB. This year, I thought of taking my factory associates along, because such events are not typical for a manufacturing plant.

As the large number of people wanted to participate, we had organised an internal screening programme that included squats, plank, running and push up sessions. Som, Sharif and Veerenda were selected, based on their physical and mental fitness.

After the selection, we wanted to prepare the participants for the event. We wanted all the associates to be in their best shape before going into the competition and we had just two weeks’ time. However, everyone apart from me was in pretty much good shape. We still did running. Jogging and some kind of rigorous activities every day for an hour apart from our normal shift operations. Before the actual adventure began, we went on a mock trekking session to a nearby hill with 8 km hike.

Our campsite was deep inside the Rishikesh valley and we reached a day earlier so that we can get acclimatized to weather conditions. What came as a total shock was, it was 25-26 degrees Celsius in Bangalore when it was just five to six degrees at the campsite.

Our challenge covered three activities: biking, rafting and hiking. All the three had to be performed back to back and the time taken for transition from one to another was also included in total time taken by the team to complete the entire challenge. Overall ranking of the team was based on the sum of the individual scores.

Before the challenge began, we participated in rafting orientation session, as we thought it was difficult for us to control the raft with such limited knowledge of rafting and water splashing onto our faces and bodies at almost zero degrees Celsius temperature.

After rafting, we started for our 17 km hike out of which the first three to four kms were uphill, making it even more difficult. After four kms, the terrain was flat. However, the race demanded us to run, and not walk. This is where the youthfulness of Som, Sharif and Veerenda gave them an advantage over me as I was the slowest one in the group! Thankfully, the last five kms were downhill, so we managed to complete the hike in just three hours, which is not bad, at least for the amateurs like us. Later in the evening. We had a session wherein the organisers awarded us with a completion medal and certificate.

At the end of the adventure, we learnt the most important lesson: It is all about completing the race, and not competing. In the last three years, I have seen a lot of people who are not even able to complete the race. So, I am proud of the fact that my team managed to complete the entire race.

Everything was a first time for Som and Veerenda, right from taking a flight to Delhi to coming out of their known territory, which resulted in confidence boost in them. This was the main reason we started this type of programme in our factory.

We do have more adventure sports coming up. In fact, the same team has participated in the Maruti Suzuki Devils Circuit, which is a five km, 14-obstacle race. The journey will continue!

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