And I said, Good-Bye Infy!!

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Its been 6 months since I left Infosys. Today, when I look back at all those days which I spent being a part of Infosys, I feel what I am today has been highly impacted by what I was being in Infosys.

It was a cold December when I first left the warmth of my home to join Infosys in a far away part of the country. And when I left Infy, I felt a similar warmth that followed me. And I felt like I was leaving home again, the new home.

When I joined Infy, I was just a college student. I had to learn a lot about life. And yes, I learned. I learned how to add value to the things I do, I learned how to talk to people who I do not know, I learned how to enjoy with people whom I do not even share the same culture, I learned how to see beyond what is visible, I learned to listen to the unspoken things and most importantly, I learned to keep learning.

A few years ago, I read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. It talks about the importance of journey and not destination. The destination is just to give us a direction. It is the journey that matters. The experiences of the journey of life help us appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, the complex world which works on its own with different people, parts fitted together seamlessly. While leaving Infy, I realized that it was never my destination. It was just a milestone of my journey.

The joy of reaching the destination is short lived. Once we achieve something, we start looking for the next goal and the life goes on. Seldom we identify what keeps us looking for new destinations. While on the way, we live dreaming about the destination, and when we reach there we cherish the experiences of the journey. Life is clever enough to keep us a step away from the present.

My journey in Infosys taught me to walk with the present. I saw people running towards things they think they want, leaving behind all the things they have. In that environment, it becomes hard to remain what you are. But once you realize this, life is never the same. Those people become your reason to live your own life to the fullest.

Even Narayana Murthy conveys this message to stop running and start living. But people are too much comfortable in the race, they hardly want to stop. This is really ironical.

Being in Infy, I realized two things: One, Narayan Murthy has created a great organization by following his values and virtues, and two, for a sizable chunk of people working there, those values are mere words to boast about. For me, those values are vital to any individual and people who follow these actually add value to Infy as well as their own lives.

The most important value which is my favorite is “Leadership by Example” or in simple words “Walk the Talk”. Each day I strive to be what I expect from people around me.

During my Infy journey, I found some really talented and cheerful people whose lives are reflections of real joy and learning. Some of them involved in so many social activities, some of them organizing some entertainment events every now and then, a group of people going for adventures on a monthly basis and even a few people innovating new things using latest technologies without even being asked for. These are the people who made my stay in Infy worth remembering.

I hope Infy will retain such people and will find a way to utilize their potential to the fullest. To rise as an organization, Infy has to go beyond just being a software service provider and to find a way to tap the potential of the gems hidden among its few lakhs strong work force.

While closing this post, I want to share something interesting. Narayana Murthy left after a few months I joined Infy. It all resulted in huge chaos. I missed being guided by the regular insights of the great leader through his town-halls and common addresses. Co-incidentally, Narayana Murthy joined back just the next day I left Infy. I was sitting at Hyderabad airport waiting for my flight to home when I saw the news of his return. I was joyful. I am sure the company which I always loved will further go places.

Intermediate, Stream & Location: Luck by Chance

As a result of the learning, I developed a small and simple desktop app called “Process Killer” which somehow went viral in the entire training center. It was finally declared illegal when a few trainees apparently used it for cheating in the exams (it was not meant to do that, some people are really smart). It was unexpected, though it was a success of my learning.

So, we completed the generic training and got into intermediate stage. By now, we lost a few classmates who could not clear the exams and were shifted to new batches. The complexity of the course was increasing with every day and the module tests every now and then were enough to thrill us.

In between, we tried to find some time to watch the movies showcased in multiplex on weekends and to take a round of Mysore city. It was a strange feeling, we were enjoying the life but were too worried about the training, study.

Infosys Mysore campus is a happening place where you can find events going on anyday anywhere in the campus. They may be some festival celebrations, any particular unit specific fun activities, cricket, football etc. matches, awareness camps etc.

With increasing number of interns in the campus, bushes also became happening places and one could find security guards more alert and ready to catch the culprits all the time.

With all this fun and worry, intermediate stage was completed. It was the time when streams were allocated to us. It was purely a luck based game and they did not have a process to fit people to a stream according to their interest and capability. I was lucky enough to get the stream I wanted: Dot NET.

Again, the shuffling of people and due to very small number of people who got Dot NET in my intermediate section, I hardly knew more than a few people in my stream class. Though, it again gave me an opportunity to make new friends.

The training material for stream training was remarkable and I learnt a lot from it. As a result of the learning, I developed a small and simple desktop app called “Process Killer” which somehow went viral in the entire training center. It was finally declared illegal when a few trainees apparently used it for cheating in the exams (it was not meant to do that, some people are really smart). It was unexpected, though it was a success of my learning.

Stream training spanned little more than a month and once we were done with the final exam (compre), we were jumping with joy like a monkey rescued from a cage.

Training was over. It was time for getting posted to a Development Center. Infy has build some of the most beautiful campuses in the world. However, they are at some of the most unfavorable locations. But, we could not choose our location. Again, luck came to my rescue, and I got posted in Mysore itself. I was relieved as I did not want to go to one of the extreme locations which most of my batchmates got. But it came at a cost. I, with one of my college friends, was alone in Mysore campus and we could not do anything about it. Posting locations were written on stone, at least according to the HR. (Fortunately, we both got transferred to Hyderabad after 7 months).

When I completed my training, my heart was filled with joy, inspiration at its heights and a new spirit in my blood to win the world with my newly developed skills. Little did I know that it was all going to get wasted. Production life was not what was projected during training (This can be a topic of some future post).

So, overall, Infosys Mysore Training was an awesome experience which is hard to forget. The most important part is that I got a chance to meet so many good people who are now friends for life. I also enjoyed a great lifestyle. And of course, the knowledge I gained is indispensable.

This post completes the three part series Infosys Mysore Training: A Walk to Cherish for Life. If you want to know more about my experiences, I am always here to answer your queries.

Two years in Infosys…

Two years ago, on this day, I embarked on a journey, a new professional life in Infosys. And today, after two years, when I look back, I am quite happy with the people I met, the friends I got, the knowledge I gained, the skills I developed and the places I visited due to my job.

Life is all about a change. It is something we love and hate at the same time. It is something we desire and withdraw from, simultaneously. Just like the last day of college, I was sure I was going to miss my friends, and I wished I could live that moment forever, but at the same time I was quite excited to start my professional life and wanted the Infosys joining day to come as soon as possible. It seems weird, but on analyzing it, we realize that things are so much complicated.

This state of complication is not what we observe everyday. It happens only when we witness a change in our life. Till then, we do not realize the importance of what we have. We take things for granted. I remember, during my Infosys training days, I never loved my training life. I was living it with fun, but still not appraising it. I was only looking forward to the end of it so that I can run out of it as fast as I can and work as a software developer. I was in love with the future which was unseen but yet seemed perfectly fitting my dreams and imagination. But when I realized that it is about to be changed, I experienced the complication. I started missing my training life, and to date, I do feel the same.

So, we keep missing the past and future life, but when we love and appreciate the present life? When is the moment when we sit and adore the beauty of our present life? Well I think, I found the moment for me. On this second anniversary, chatting with my Infy training friends made me feel nostalgic, but brought me closer to my present life. Out of all the things I got in these two years, this feeling is the best.

Training Begins…

As you would have read in my last post of this series, we all were very much excited about Infy training. After the formal induction week, started the real training, the technical training. As per our training schedule, we had three stages of training: Generic (basic), Intermediate & Stream (specialization). Soft skills training was also a part of the training and sessions were scheduled in between the regular technical training.

In the starting of the training, we were given different colour tags, like the various houses in our schools. Each one of us was given a colour tag out of seven colours which were based on seven initial founders of the company. All the extracurricular activities were held between these seven teams. I was given red tag.

So, we had our first technical module. Full of energy, I studied hard and scored a good grade. That first module made me realize that Infy has very high quality study material, though the trainers were good, not excellent. After our first exam in Infy, we were again given a nice break in the form of PSD (Personality Skills Development) classes. A fashion show was organized with the theme of business dressing etiquette.

This was the time when the trainees were getting comfortable with each other. I made lots of new friends and we had great fun all the time. The fashion show gave us a chance to know even more people and work as a team. I came to know a lot of good people and we together presented a nice show. We stood second.

After the fashion show, the generic training resumed which spanned for nearly a month. The attitude of people was changing. The training pressure was increasing. A few people left the company in this period. Few ran away after they got failed in a module test. I was not sure what went wrong as I was happy with the training. I was learning new things the way I always wanted to learn them.

There was a very nice musical fountain in front of the training building (GEC-2, Global Education Center-2). It was put on for an hour in the evening and many of us used to sit there to get relaxed from the training pressure. It sometimes played Infosys Song (a very nice theme song for Infosys) and I used to enjoy it.

Infosys Mysore has an awesome Employee Care Center with almost all the imaginable facilities including a very nice multiplex, where we had our induction sessions. Movies were showcased every weekend in that and was free for us. I loved to stand in the long queue for tickets with friends 2 hours before the ticket distribution began.

In our class, a strange trend began. A family was formed. There was a “Papa”, a “Mummy”, a “Bua” (aunt), a “Chaachoo” (uncle), many kids, a “Dada” (grandpa), a “Dadi” (grandma) and padosi (neighbors). The Papa was actually a girl and the Mummy was actually a boy. This was the biggest funny family and we used to call each other by these names. We also had a “Musa Bhai”. She was kind of our training world don. Bua left us after the generic training and was shifted to another batch. However, she regularly visited us till the training end.

So, with all the emotions, we completed a phase of training. We were now a huge group of people who had great fun everyday.

My first job, Infosys

Getting the first job is an experience which cannot be explained in terms of words. Its something which makes you feel as if you have got wings, you can fly as higher as you wish. I felt the same. I couldn’t sleep that night, read whatever I could find about life at Infosys Mysore campus.

Finally the day came when I joined Infosys along with some of my friends and hundreds of others. We were allotted hostel rooms where we had to stay for the training duration. When we were taken to the hostel buildings, I got the chance to have a glance at the amazing campus which I dreamt for so many months. I was finally here, Infosys Mysore.

I got room on the 5th floor. The room was awesome, one room per person with all the facilities like huge king size bed, big LCD TV with cable connection, study table, chair, bedside tables, bedside reading lamp, a sofa with table, table lamp, electric cattle, cup, spoon, big cupboard, electronic locker, laundry bag and a very nice attached bathroom with a life-size mirror. There was a large sliding window, with beautiful double curtains, in the room which gave a nice view of a small pond behind my hostel building.

There were two families of different breeds of ducks which kept quacking and playing in the water. Sometimes in the morning I used to find the white mother duck shining in the morning sunlight, crossing the road followed by four small cute ducklings which used to walk in a perfect rhythm. I found a variety of beautiful birds playing around and amazingly they didn’t fear from human. They knew it’s a safe place for them.

Infosys Mysore campus is made like a small city with greenery all around. Walking here in such a peaceful environment makes you feel so good that you forget everything else. Many times in the evening I used to walk around the campus enjoying the scenic beauty and the peaceful life.

The first week was complete introduction to Infosys. We had a variety of sessions by all the departments of Infosys, even had a security demo for disaster management. It was all done in a big multiplex where they showcase movies on weekend. Most of the paper work was completed in the first week itself. Practically we had enough time to explore the campus in the evenings and we did it riding on the bicycles parked at various places in the campus.

On the fourth day of our joining, we had a DJ night. We kept dancing until it was over. We all were highly motivated by now and slowly realizing the way of life we were going to spend for the rest of our lives.

After the boring day-long sessions of first week, we were finally allotted classrooms and computers. All the friends were separated, and it was for the good reason. We were going to make a lot of new friends, but we didn’t realize that some of them will become friends for life.

A great thing about Infosys training is that people come from all the possible places around the globe, not only from different states, but even from different countries. In our batch, we had great diversity. You can estimate it from this: I am from Uttar Pradesh. Around me used to sit people from Punjab, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Bihar and Jharkhand. I made friends from even West Bengal, Rajasthan, Goa and Maharashtra. This was possible only because of the huge diversity of people and surprisingly we all fitted together seamlessly. It was amazing experience and gave me friends which will stay close to my heart forever.

Another good thing about Infosys training is that during training, we were considered strictly as students and had to study as if we were in a college. One of my friend rightly said that it should be considered as the ninth semester of B.Tech. But where on earth you get paid for studying? It happens in Infosys. We were getting paid for studying, for performing nicely. It was a win-win situation for us, going through a world class training experience and that too while getting paid.

Finally, its Mysore…

Mysore PalaceMysore. Yes, it’s Mysore. I like this place a lot and luckily I am going to spend some more time here. After the completion of my training, I got posted in Infosys Mysore DC. It was joyful because I have spent a good time during my training here, and I could still enjoy being here. But, at that time I didn’t realize how hard is to say good bye to all the people, whom I didn’t even know before I came here, but who are not strangers to me anymore. They are my best buddies with whom I have lived a new life here, in Mysore. It is amazing that in such a short time, we made strong bonds.

Out of 600 people in our batch, a whopping 33% got Chennai, about 16.67% got Bangalore, 25% got Pune, 8.5% got Chandigarh and remaining got Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Mangalore and Trivandrum. Only 0.2% got posted in Mysore. I was happy to be here, but at the same time, it was too hard to say good bye to all the remaining 99.8% people. But finally, they all went to their destined places.

Each one of us got their new life, but now we are no more trainees. It feels like we are no more students. During training, the environment here makes you feel like a student, though here you are getting paid for being one. We enjoyed roaming around the campus at nights, doing limitless photography of almost every part of campus, dancing endlessly on DJ nights, eating bread jam while sitting on streets on New Year night, getting crazy when India won the World Cup, studying in GEC till late nights and many more moments which have been embarked on our hearts for our entire life.

This training time, turned us from nerds to professionals. We learned how to be responsible. A lot of good habits became a part of our lives like not littering our surroundings, walking on footpaths, walking long distances without vehicles, keeping things properly, dressing up professionally etc. These things became the part of our lives without even our knowledge. A few weeks back, I went to market and was unable to throw an empty bottle because I didn’t find a dustbin in the way. When I came to campus and threw the bottle in the dustbin, then I realized that I was carrying it with me. It becomes the mindset.

However there are also some bad habits which I got here. Many times outside campus, when somewhere I go to washroom to wash hands, I put my hands below tap and wait for the water to come itself. Then I realize, oh, its not Infy. When I go to collect some ticket or buy something, I stand in a queue where I notice people running haphazardly to get their chance first. Again, I realize, I am outside the campus. Many times in restaurants, when I complete my food, I pick my plates to drop in washing area, but suddenly I come to know that I am not inside the campus. It happens in many cases and these things remind me of the great life we have inside the campus.

With those memories, today when I walk around this campus, it feels good to be a part of those times. All my buddies have settled in their new places. Wherever we go, the things we learnt here, the memories we made here, the life we lived here, all of them are indispensable. These are sweet memories which will remain in our hearts forever.

Infosys Mysore: Life begins

Infosys-MysoreAfter a long journey of about 2600 kilometers, I was finally about to reach there. It was the beginning point of my new life, new journey to a new destination. And as obvious, my heart was filled with innumerous thoughts and emotions. Yes, I was going there, Infosys Technologies.

Finally, I reached the gate, gate to a new world for which I felt that I had waited for a long time. Infosys has its training center in Mysore. It is the biggest corporate university in the world. Any fresher recruited in Infosys first comes here for training. The moment you enter the gate, everything changes. Life has totally different standards inside the campus. It feels a perfect place to start the professional life.

Infosys provides excellent living & working conditions to its employees with world class facilities. It seems a compensation for working hard & efficiently but it is what we are here for & being paid for.

The starting days have less work load & I tried to explore the huge campus (though still I find many unexplored places). It is like a small modern city. First of all, it has two huge buildings called as GEC 1 & 2 (Global Education Center) which can altogether accommodate about 13500 trainees at a given time. In the morning you can see thousands of them marching towards these buildings & they disappear inside the buildings. During the working hours, while walking in the huge, silent & empty corridors, you can’t imagine that so many of them are in the same building.

There are rules for everything & you can find large number & variety of security personnel  to monitor security as well as enforce the rules. Regarding facilities, there is a nice swimming pool, multiplex, gym & all popular kind of sports for employees including rock climbing, squash, lawn tennis, table tennis, badminton, volleyball, football, basketball, cricket etc. You can also enjoy many other activities like music, yoga etc. Apart from this, all the things & facilities necessary for living are inside this campus. It makes the life of trainees easier as they do not have to run outside campus for small things.

For living, they have hotel kind of buildings, which they call hostel with single rooms for everyone with attached bathroom. There is a big bed with cable TV (yeah, its LCD, remember I said its like hotel) and as one can imagine, you have everything there to live a good life (though only for training duration).

But, regarding training, life is really tough, as they say, everything comes for a price. But the quality of training is excellent & once a person completes the training, he or she is no more the same.


A small note for prospective Infoscions

Dear Friends! I am overwhelmed to see so many people asking questions about Infosys. Being my first job, it will always remain close to my heart.

I understand your anxiety before joining Infosys as I also went through it and that’s why I try to answer each and every query as per my knowledge and awareness. But I can only help you with what I have experienced in Infosys as an employee.

A lot of questions are asked again and again which I have already answered. Please read all my replies/comments before asking anything so as to avoid asking questions which I have already replied to others.

I have also written a series of articles about my detailed experience during Infosys Mysore Training. You can find it here: http://abhineet.in/series/infosys-mysore-training-a-walk-to-cherish-for-life/

I hope my articles and replies are useful to you. Have a great time!


P.S.: I attended Infosys Mysore Training from Dec 2010 to May 2011. Two years later, in May 2013, I quit Infosys to pursue MBA from an IIM. It’s been a long time and I am outdated on information about present day Infosys Mysore Training.