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View from India: Data centres can be fun places to work in

CtrlS Datacenters Ltd has bagged the prestigious Great Indian Workplace Award (GIWA 2017). An Indian multinational with headquarters in Hyderabad, CtrlS Datacenters is APAC’s largest Tier 4 provider of data centre and managed services provider and trusted advisor to over 3,500 Indian and world-leading organisations, including Fortune 100 and ET 100 companies, supported by 200 innovations over the last eight years.

On various counts, CtrlS Datacenters exemplifies what a modern India workplace is all about. The data centre (DC) is an evolving workplace, heavily accented on networking, servers and storage. Good management, innovative technology and smart tweaks have fetched the company a basket of awards.

Recently the company made news as it won the Great Indian Workplace Award (GIWA 2017). The award recognises the ‘Best Workplaces’ providing a congenial, caring, safe, enjoyable and trust-based culture where employees wish to return every working day and take pride in their work, enjoy lower levels of stress, a high degree of professional learning and growth driven by visionary leadership.

The winning organisations are also required to have stringent policies in place surrounding issues of sexual harassment, a humane approach towards special ability people and gender equality, to care for society and be people-focused, giving due consideration to healthcare, fun in the workplace and facilities such as food and recreation.

Obviously the mood is upbeat as Sridhar Pinnapureddy, founder and CEO at CtrlS, shared the sentiment: “I am delighted to know that we have bagged this prestigious award. The GIWA 2017 award is a testimony to all our efforts in making CtrlS an enviable workplace for current and future employees. Besides, a workplace is where almost 40 per cent of our life is spent and hence it is our constant endeavour to improve the quality of workplace.”  

CtrlS has gone beyond the brick-and-mortar walls to create an environment which is conducive across experience levels. A kaleidoscope of activities unfolds, beginning with a general physician and dermatologist on premises. Employee stress levels are monitored by regular check-ups by cardiologists and reflexology sessions. A gynaecologist and ophthalmologist complete the healthcare picture.

The company has strategically opened out channels to attract professional talent and hone them for its Cloud and DC specific requirements. “We hire fresh graduates and give them training in our in-house learning and development academy. Those who are skill-ready are immediately absorbed into the workforce. In the case of others, we fine-tune their skills till they are fit enough to join the brigade. Over time, we have built a talent pool, as we take in 100 freshers annually,” said Prachitha Kuchkulla, senior manager, HR.

Besides nurturing talent and creating a fresh breed of young professionals, gender equality is a strategic priority for the firm. “Around 30 per cent of our workforce is women and we plan to increase our intake of women. It’s also intended to recruit more women in the leadership team in the next two years. Overall we hope to scale up the strength of women employees to 50 per cent,” added Kuchkulla.

It’s a good starting point for many. As Satyasree Jammula, a senior cloud engineer, puts it: “CtrlS is a great place to work. I started my career with the company three years ago and have grown rapidly. I’m happy with facilities such as maternity leave, cab drop and insurance.”

Instead of being just another professionally run IT company, CtrlS has gone that extra mile to ‘demystify the workplace’ to the family members. It’s a feeling of camaraderie. “Family connect is important because the family members are an integral part of the employee’s success. The employee’s spouse and children drop by two days in a month. They are given a tour of the office; thereby they see the workstation where the family member works,” Kuchkulla explains.

Seamless sports alternatives add to the overall fitness levels of employees. Like-minded enthusiasts get together to play a sport or two. The spirit is reflected through activities like cricket, volley ball, cycling, table tennis and adventure clubs, among others. These are great stress-busters and help employees across the organisation bond together.

“CtrlS Provides enormous support towards all sports initiatives. We have received a lot of encouragement to participate in corporate cricket tournaments in the form of fund allocation for kits/sports gear etc to bolster one’s confidence. This has led to us winning several corporate tournaments in the last few years,” says Vijay Kumar, manager, talent acquisition.

These activities are set against the backdrop of a work-friendly office. Employees whet their appetite in the cafeteria which serves a variety of Indian food, along with continental dishes and health food. Potted plants add a green touch to the interiors matched by soothing wall tones. Ambient lighting, comfortable colourful workstations and a glass façade are other highlights. “At CtrlS we encourage work-life balance, employee-friendly work environment, learning-driven work process to foster innovation and growth,” highlights BS Rao, vice president, marketing.

CtrlS’s holistic approach has changed the way things are done, besides bringing great rewards and fulfilment. Even as this article was going to print, we learned that the company had received the HMTV Business Excellence Award in the IT/ITeS Category. The Business Excellence Awards for 2017 aims at recognising business excellence across private, public and charity sectors from both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

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