Narrative by Vilasini Kumar.
Laurence Lyngdoh, a Sr. Executive in the Design Presentation team, joined Chillibreeze in September 2010. He belongs to Shillong and has a special fondness for this beautiful city.
Shillong is the capital of the State of Meghalaya in the Northeast of India. As you may have heard, Shillong is referred to as the ‘Scotland of the East.’ It’s undulating green landscape, cool climate, and the rolling clouds more than justify the reference. Some waterfalls, like the Elephant Falls, Spread Eagle Falls, Bishop Falls and many others, where you see nature at its best, enhance the city’s beauty.
Laurence worked in Dubai for two years, but the company did not ‘suit’ him. The work culture was not to his liking. After trying for two years, he decided to return to Shillong.
Today he is in Chillibreeze, in a job he enjoys, in a job that is giving him an opportunity to learn, serve customers and be the best he can be. He looks forward to each day.
“Chillibreeze is a role model for the Northeast of India. In this region, we have a lot of unemployment. Maybe it’s time for people to stop looking for government jobs and start their own business! In fact, we need more industries, factories, and companies like Chillibreeze.” – Laurence
Laurence talks about his personal interests, how he found Chillibreeze, what he was doing before he joined Chillibreeze and so on.
I am the eldest of my siblings and have three younger brothers and a sister. Two of my brothers are twins – one of them is a teacher and the other a construction worker. My third brother is in high school and my sister is studying Forensic Science in Hyderabad. My father is a retired contractor and my mother a government employee. We lead a reasonably comfortable life.
School and then Diploma in Design
I did my schooling in the Government Boys High School, Shillong. I have good memories of my school days. My classmates and I had fun in school—teasing and arguing with each other, telling jokes, sharing music cassettes etc. I guess like all school kids, we were naughty too, but as our Section (I was in the ‘C’ Section) used to be less noisy, we were considered the best-behaved students in the school. Thanks to this perception, our section used to be picked to represent our school in events such as Science Exhibitions and Inter-school sports!
An obvious next step after school was to pursue a degree program and I joined Synod College, Shillong, to do a degree in Political Science. I did have many dreams, but was not really clear what I wanted to be!
But before I completed my first year of college, I decided that I would rather do a technical, job–oriented, course that I would enjoy. I enrolled in the Don Bosco Technical Institute and obtained a Diploma in Desktop Publishing in the year 2006. I enjoyed the two-year course and learned Photoshop, Illustrator and other Design related software and tools.
While in Don Bosco I was thinking that it would be nice to work in an Ad agency! There are no Ad agencies in Shillong, but what I am doing now in Chillibreeze gives me the opportunity to use my creative interests, as I would have in an Ad agency!
A Job takes me out of the country
Just when I was completing my Diploma, a new English magazine was launched in Shillong and my first job was with them.
But, something more was to come! In Shillong, there is not much scope in the field I am in and this is why I was willing to work outside, if necessary. Within six months of joining the job in the magazine, I got a job offer from Dubai, to work for the Emirates Printing Press. I looked forward to the chance of traveling abroad and for gaining job experience. I worked as a Mac–operator in the prepress section of Emirates Printing Press. I was part of the quality checking team and my job was to make sure that there were no printing errors.
Somehow the company was not to my liking and after a lot of thought I decided to return to Shillong.
Though there are not enough jobs in Shillong, a true ‘Shillongite’ would give anything to be able to find a job in the city he/she grew up in. The fondness that people who are born and brought up in Shillong feel for the city seems unique! I was no different. Having returned to Shillong, I started looking for job opportunities in Shillong.
Back home—start looking for a job
For a few months, I did not have a job. Then I joined a call center in Kolkatta, but left it within four months, as Kolkatta was not where I wanted to be and the job was not to my liking! I consider this experience, of trying to change my field and working in a call center, the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life was! I quit very quickly.
I made it to Chillibreeze
I had known about Chillibreeze from multiple sources, much before I joined the company. While studying in Don Bosco Technical Institute I had heard about Chillibreeze. Again I knew about it through my friends. Even my mother knew about it through her friends. In fact, she had asked me to apply!
I applied through the online job application form. I was lucky and breezed through the process of applying and the interview. I was elated when I was called and told that I had been selected.
Move to PPT Formatting
When I joined Chillibreeze I was part of a team working exclusively on design-related projects. In December 2013, I moved to PPT formatting division. I knew PPT Formatting, but there was a lot more to learn!
“It was like I was starting from scratch! I felt that I was in training all over again. It was not easy! But, with help and coaching from my manager Charity and other colleagues, I can now confidently deliver as per the high expectations of our customers. I continue to work on improving my PPT formatting skills.” – Laurence
Members of my Extended family are my close friends
I am part of an extended family and many of us live in the same neighborhood. In fact, our extended family lives in seven houses close to each other. I consider all of them to be my good friends.
I do have other friends too. Of course, many of my colleagues in Chillibreeze have become my very good friends too. Among them, Pynskhem and I have known each other for many years, as we went to school together and have always stayed in touch after that.
Learning to save
For four months I was without a job and this taught me the value of money. I use the money I earn wisely. I share it with my family, but also try to save! Our Accounts manager, Lovina, coaches us on money saving.
My little pleasures
I am sorry to say—I do not exercise enough! My form of relaxation is to watch TV! I love to sing when I am doing some work at home, but not really into listening to music much. Maybe I should start a fitness routine!
A good example of leadership
When I compare Chillibreeze to the other places I have worked at, I see a difference. In my view, the other companies did not seem to care for their workers, and not everything was in order. Joanna and Ralph are good examples of leadership, and they take very good care of us.
Where I want to be next in Chillibreeze
I would like to be Asst. Manager someday! Of course, I need to learn how to manage people. I am ready to be coached and to grow in the company.