Conversation with Rajesh Yadav – The Incredible Two Decades with Softlink
Question: Congratulations on completing 20 years in Softlink. How would you sum up your Two Decades in the company?
Answer: 20 years – A journey full of learning and I still feel learning continues… I learnt how to handle different kinds of situations, manage customers, build team, identify young talent and groom them and help them to grow.
Question: How did and when did your journey in Softlink start?
Answer: It was a way back in 1996, I completed graduation in physics and was struggling to build career. Earlier I worked in many companies. Unfortunately or fortunately I did not continue in these jobs for more than a week. One fine day, I read an ad in the newspaper that softlink is in search for Support Staff; I walked in for an Interview. When I reached Softlink to my great surprise there were more than 200 candidates gathered there whereas the opening was for only 5. Fortunately I got selected and joined softlink from 2nd Jan as 1st Jan 1996 being a holiday. Rest is history.
Question: Can you recollect what questions were asked during interview?
Amit Sir started with general questions about my qualification and family background. Then, out of the blue, he asked me if I would be interested in programming? I got confused as the opening was for Support. As I was very much anxious to get this job I said my interest is in support and that I like programming too.
Question: 200 candidates appeared for the interview and you were selected. How did it happen?
Answer: I believe because of my Hunger, Sincerity, Seriousness and Family background Amit Sir may found me reliable and dependent.
Question: What has been your motivation to continue in the same company for 20 long years?
Answer: Dynamic nature of the industry and business model
Question: What according to you was your greatest challenge in 20 years in softlink?
Answer: Customs going online in 1998. Earlier it was all manual work with loads of files and documents created and printed for submission in Customs. It was very difficult to implement online system in those days, as people were used to manual work.
Question: What have you learnt at Softlink in the last 20 years?
Answer: Learnt to be more positive, patient, seeking alternate solutions to a given problems, handling situations etc. Amit Sir always used to say that customer always comes first and I totally agree with him.
Question: Would you recollect any funny moments in softlink?
Answer: There was a person working with one of of our clients who used to be very naïve and humorous. Once I was providing him the support and I asked him to down the server as it was very normal term to say ‘server down kardo’… but that guy took it literally and physically put the server down instead shutting it off. I just couldn’t control my amusement. And when the news spread among our colleagues everyone had great laugh at the poor guy’s expense. It got added to many such classic incidents we came across during support.
Question: What according to you are the reasons for softlink success?
Answer: Softlink focuses on specific domain and building world class products to cater to that vertical. Softlink Success is mainly because of the product idea and design by Amit Sir. Amit Sir’s functional and technical clarity helps us to build world class products that were hugely accepted among CHA and Freight forwarding Fraternity.
Question: Tell us something about the people you have worked with.
Amit Sir: He is very focused and hardworking boss. Always being a mentor and best colleague throughout my career
Memories: once Parulekar was having discussion with Amit Sir and I entered the cabin and said I am leaving for a day. Amit sir without noticing who is asking for permission nodded his head. I started to walk, suddenly Sir says ‘Rajesh tu kidhar ja raha hai tu idhar aa aur parulekar tu ja sakta hai J’. This happened so suddenly and in such a funny manner that we couldn’t stop laughing.
Girish: He is very humorous person and loves cartoon very much
Memories: Once I went to his cabin and ask him about something and he was busy in his work at hand and gave me affirmation through making face and bending towards me……but his eyes were glued to the screen where he was working. I still remember that moment and that shows his commitment towards work.
Abhai: Abhai is very sound technically and possess knowledge on all subjects…..
Memories: Abhai taught me about extended memory, base memory, how to print on Dot matrix printer, how to configure printer which we ourselves usually used to configure at customer site. Abhai was a source of knowledge for me especially in my initial days at softlink.
Arun: He is one of the best sales people I have seen in my lifetime. He builds amazing rapport with customers and everyone he interacts with.
Memories: Many times Arun has dropped me home in his car and we used to indulge in talks on every possible topic.
Gopal: Gopal is very Jolly and spiritual person.
Memories: We first met at Francis Shipping and then after we did lot of calls together. Himself being Vegetarian he never minded sharing table with us, while we had Non Veg food, but he never tried Non Veg.
Chetan Patel: Chetan is very straight Forward, No Non sense guy. But very joyful if you know him personally.
Memories: Memories with Chetan are many. Being a serious person he will crack a joke very often while discussing matters and take you by surprise. He is very good in making any moment light.
Vivek: Vivek is very methodical, never deviant from Standard way of process.
Memories: One day Vivek was in a very happy mood. We asked him for a party, to our surprise, he took us to Ghatkopar for a party and we visited four hotels and ate very delicious food. That day he gave us best surprise party.
Chetan Parulekar: Parulekar is very knowledgeable and humorous in nature
Memories: Once coming back from Lonavala, Abhai was driving car and asked us to guide the direction, at that time a good looking couple passed by us on a bike and Parulekar said ‘us bike ko follow kar…’ as girl sitting on the pillion was pretty. We following them and got so engaged in pursuing them that without realizing we crossed a flyover we were not supposed to take. Realizing our folly later we had to turn all the way back.
Rohan: Rohan is an excellent team manager. He can think on the fly.
Memories: Softlink had arranged a function at Mirador. At that time Rohan was very young and yet he managed the event very efficiently like an event manger and that time we saw a great manager in Rohan.
Q. Which single person from Softlink would you call at midnight in case of an emergency?
A. Arun Ashan