When the Idea team envisioned the introduction of a 3G network in India, they had put more than their hours into making it come alive. It was a part of their soul, their hopes, and their destinies. And when a short-circuit fire in the warehouse engulfed it all, they were left shattered.
22nd Feb., 2011 made many hearts skip a beat as flames rose from a major warehouse where millions of dreams and a great ambition were taking shape a few minutes back. It was a raging fire that left behind ugly marks of destruction, that wouldn’t be erased from anyone’s memory for a long time.
Uttam Sahay, Head of HR, recalls a phone call from Circle Head Arul Bright, about the fire in the warehouse. This warehouse stored legal documents like customer acquisition forms, which if lost within 7 years could cause legal hazards. It also contained recharge vouchers, dongles and marketing tools, losing which was a huge blow to the launch of their 3G network. Uttam had to try very hard to prevent his voice, and even harder to prevent his courage, from shaking. Between making sure that no one was hurt and estimating the amount of loss, their heads swirled in frenzy.
This predicament wasn’t just theirs. Led by Anil Pandey, Commercial Head, the entire team stood before the warehouse as the only bridge between the bruised hopes of the workers and the bright expectations of the consumer. They had to take all the heat. To ignite themselves with passion and commitment, and face the brunt of the mishap with all that they could muster.
It was no time to let fear come in the way. It was time to act. Anil and his team had to put their best foot forward.
The fire that destroyed the warehouse, was not the only fire they were afraid of. The news of the loss and the possible detrimental effect that it could have on the market was also hinting at causing irreparable damage. The team needed to maintain faith in the company and in each other.
Only a miracle could have restored things in just 24 hours. And a miracle did happen. Maybe it was the words of motivation or the collective strength of people facing a common tragedy, but every single member in the project came together as one seamless and unstoppable team.
Within a day, a new warehouse was found and put into action. And every person was back, hard at work, committed to restore what was lost. Not one promise to the market was left unfulfilled, and with a strong network to rely on, new material was procured from the neighbouring regions to refurbish the lost stock.
They also ensured that the documents were restored and every possible loss of information was prevented. Since it was a crucial time to get new customers, it would have been a huge blow if it were lost. The market was left untouched by the mishap. Life came back to normal in less than a month and the rest is history.
They say things fall apart in fire, but this fire, lit torches of passion in every one who felt its flames, and brought several units, people and hopes together, as one. It was a major fire, but what rose from its ashes was a magical story of the best in humanity.