This is part 3 of a three-part series on an important member of the core team of Chillibreeze - James Syngai. How he joined and how he contributed and was contributed to by the company.
- Read all about the beginnings and learn how he was recruited. (Part 1)
- Read about the first inquiry he handled, the challenges, and the learnings. (Part 2)
The interview continues…
Looking back at the years you have spent in Chillibreeze what was the most exciting thing that happened to you, what was the most satisfying moment and what was the worst thing that happened (if it did)?
Here are my 5 best memories:
1. Realizing that my PowerPoint work is being seen and used by people at Microsoft. I was so happy and proud of that. After all the PowerPoint application was a Microsoft product! That happened in early 2006.
2. Getting the first major project from a US-based, leading, global technology research and advisory firm in the year 2006. Two things about that…
- This was the beginning of building a team dedicated just to provide PPT services. The opportunity to work on PowerPoint in the previous year had given me a sense of responsibility and purpose; that I was needed at work and what I did matters to our customers. When we started to build a team for PowerPoint, it gave me a sense of added responsibility, that apart from serving customers, we were also creating jobs for others.
- When we got that contract, I felt that we are getting noticed. The company could have picked some other vendor, but they chose us. It strengthened my belief that we were good at what we were doing. We were playing in the big league. At that time, this company was probably the largest company we were working with.
3. Becoming a Microsoft vendor in 2012 – about a year after we got projects directly from Microsoft contacts.
- Yet another privilege was that I got to see how the designs and the look and feel of Microsoft evolved from the era of Microsoft XP to Vista to Windows 7 and 8 and finally to Windows 10 today.
4. The moment when I realized why our customers kept coming back to us; and it was not only because of our PowerPoint skills. It was the reliability, the quality, and the availability to be there for the customers when they needed us the most. Added to this, in my view, they could sense our authenticity and integrity.
5. Making that first million dollars in revenue in 2016. It took us 10 years to reach there. I made a claim that the next million will come in the next 2 years. I was wrong. But I was close. It took us 3 years. Today Chillibreeze is strong and flourishing.
Apart from the above, I always get a great sense of satisfaction whenever I see people grow and mature in their thinking. I love to see them get better and better at what they do. I love it when I see a college persevere and rise to a challenge.
I don’t think there was any one thing that I will term the worst but let me share a few ‘not so pleasant’ moments.
There was a time that we lost a customer because of poor quality and I did not even realize it until it was too late; the 2 or 3 times that Rik Wright (a trusted customer) had to step in because we were not consistent in our quality; my inability to make 24point0 (a website we had launched) really shine; and when someone that I had invested my time in left the company in bad terms.
Was there an impact of CB on your personal life? In your family?
The impact has been big – both on me and my family. Chillibreeze has always been generous and because of that, I have been able to provide for my family well. Not just for my immediate family but others as well.
Financial aspect apart, I am also glad that whatever I’ve done over the past 15 years has made my parents proud. There has never been a time that they would tell me to look for something else.
On a personal level, Chillibreeze strengthened my understanding of what it means to be a responsible person and helped me build on the discipline that has been instilled in me. It helped me to be courageous, to really listen to someone without being judgmental, and to empathize with others. I know there is more, but these are what I could think of right now.
James and his family
Was there a time when you felt you wanted to look for another job?
Except for the first few months probably when I was still looking for something else, the thought of looking for another job has never crossed my mind. My parents were not particular either about the kind of job I had as long as I was working and out of the house. 😊 Both my parents and I were glad that I had a job at least.
Where do you see CB and its ventures over the next 5 years?
I cannot really say for sure but I’m sure CB will continue to grow and flourish both in Shillong and Aizwal*. Our track record has shown us getting more and more sophisticated and, for lack of a better word, professional, over time. I see that this trend will continue. There might even be opportunities to grow in another city in Northeast India. I just hope that I will still be able to contribute in some way to this growth.
(*a branch of Chillibreeze opened in Aizwal, the capital of Mizoram, another northeast state of India, in 2020)
You are a calm and strong person – from what we can see. What makes you the person you are? From where do you draw your strength?
I draw my strength from my God and Saviour Jesus Christ. My family is deeply spiritual, and I grew up in an environment where we were taught from an early age what is morally right and wrong.
Given a choice, how would you like to spend your day?
No one thing. Sometimes I enjoy doing a very thorough cleaning of my car – not just a wash but almost everything else that you would get from a car cleaning the place. At other times I like watching documentaries about something that I find intriguing. I also like to watch cooking shows and then experiment with the recipes mostly because I don’t have the proper ingredients.
James: My experimental recipes, Bon appetite!
When a new person joins Chillibreeze what is the advice you would like to give them?
Be authentic and genuine in all that you say and do.
That brings us to the end of this interview with James Syngai where he has shared his thoughts on his time in Chillibreeze. Hope you found it informative and interesting, especially if you are looking for job opportunities in Chillibreeze.
James talking about the company's goal, 2020
You Can Set Your Own Growth Path in Chillibreeze
Reading this you may think that James was at the right place at the right time and that is why he was able to rise in the company. True, but at any point of time you join Chillibreeze you will be at the right place at the right time too. And, you too will have the opportunity to rise in the company. You can create a growth path for yourself both as a human being and as an employee. Where you want to be is determined by you. Come and meet the HR team and find out more.