Narrative by Vilasini Kumar.
“From a very shy person who spoke little, I have matured into a self–confident Sr. Manager who enjoys training and coaching others!”
I am Lovina Shangpliang, Senior Manager Finance at Chillibreeze. It is not easy to share with others a few personal experiences of mine. But, I am going to try! Come with me as I reminisce about my journey in Chillibreeze.
Umiam Lake – Shillong, Meghalaya
To give you a bit of my background—I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Shillong, in the State of Meghalaya. With its verdant landscapes and undulating terrain, Shillong has come to be known as the Scotland of the East. Those born and raised in Shillong would give anything to continue to live there, but good job opportunities are few.
There are three major tribes in the State of Meghalaya—Khasi, Jaintia and Garo and I consider myself lucky as I belong to both the tribes Khasi (from my Mom’s side) and Jaintia (from my father’s side)!
You can say that my family is large as we are six siblings. Many of us continue to live together. My father has a small business and had been supporting our family till I started to pitch in after I started working at Chillibreeze.
When I was growing up my family was not doing well and I would often dream of owning land, house, car and so on! Some of these dreams have now become a reality, thanks to my job at Chillibreeze.
Lovina’s Extended Family
Thinking back, I feel blessed that I found Chillibreeze! After completing my Commerce Degree from St. Anthony’s college, Shillong I joined the Institute of Computer Accountants to get certified as Master Accountant. Armed with a degree and a certification in Tally and other accounting software, I looked for a job.
I had been selected by a Hospital in Assam and was considering going. Just then the Director of the training institute told me about an opening at Chillibreeze. It was a very new company then and I did not know enough about it, but the opportunity to stay in Shillong was very attractive and I pursued it. That was in the year 2006. I joined Chillibreeze in October 2006. Both Clarissa, my friend and now a colleague in Chillibreeze, and I applied and were selected. Thus started my journey in Chillibreeze.
Back then Chillibreeze used to operate from an office space in Laitumkhrah, a central part of Shillong. Two years later, in the year 2008, the company moved to the newly created facility of the Software Technology Parks of India in Lawmali, Shillong.
My rise from an Executive to Sr. Manager
I joined as an Executive. I can say that I have learnt the ins and outs of Finance the hard way—as I did not have an immediate manager to coach me. Let me explain. The company was in the process of centralizing its accounts in Shillong when I joined and my first responsibility was to take over from my counterpart in Bangalore where the Chillibreeze finance were being maintained. An accounts manager and an accounts executive from Bangalore used to guide me, but virtually.
That was a long time ago. I am now a Senior Manager–having been promoted to this scale from July 2012. I can say with confidence that I earned my promotion through hard work. Our company has a transparent and professional performance assessment systems that help us see for ourselves whether we are on track for the next promotion. I now manage a team of two and we operate at the highest level of efficiency and follow Invoicing and Accounting systems that are of global standards! My willingness to learn, the learning environment and coaching provided by Chillibreeze and the freedom I was given to explore were instrumental in the growth I see in myself.
Areas where I see changes in myself
Chillibreeze has helped me discover qualities I never knew I had! See for yourself!
|This is who I was||This is who I am|
|Shy||Self-confident and self-expressed|
|Quiet—never used to talk much. Even in college I used to be a very silent person||Now I regularly lead training and coaching sessions for Managers and other staff. I never knew I could coach. I get feedback from my team and other team members that I am good at coaching, which is a pleasant surprise!|
|I did not move with too many people. I was a rarely–opening up kind of a person||In Chillibreeze I have totally changed. I can communicate well and find it easy to move with people. I find that I have the capacity to laugh and make others laugh too.|
|Felt diffident about talking over the phone with people||Now I need to interact with global customers or their accounts managers over the phone. I am totally at ease.|
Can you see how much Chillibreeze has helped me grow? All these are over and above the skills I have honed in my core area—Finance.
Looked up to as the second head of the family
I hesitate to say this, but I need to. I am looked up to as the second head of the family, after my father! One of my cousin sisters told me that the whole family is looking up to me for guidance and support! I do see that they come to me to take my feedback on any major decisions they need to take. As per the feedback my family gives me, I have become a mature and responsible person. I feel humbled to hear this.
My Dreams are coming true—one by one
Growing up we were not doing well monetarily. Like I said, I used to look at other people who owned a car, land, a house, etc, and used to wonder when my family would have all that. I also dreamt of travelling to places.
Within four years of joining Chillibreeze, I have been able to buy myself a car, financed partly by savings and partly by a loan. It was a thrilling moment—buying my own car!
I believe in saving and do not spend on unnecessary things. This is something Chillibreeze encourages too. I am now coaching others in the company on savings related matters.
My dream of travelling has come true too. I work hard and for long hours to excel in the company, but this does not mean I do not take holidays. At Chillibreeze one is eligible for annual leave. Of course, it depends on the number of years you have worked. I plan my break so that my work is taken care of. I have been to Arunachal Pradesh, Mumbai, Jaipur, Delhi, Chandigarh and Mizoram. All this after I joined Chillibreeze.
I work hard, but also enjoy!
At times we work very long hours in Chillibreeze because we believe in delivering to our customers as per our promise of Speed and Quality. But, I enjoy my work and my leisure. And, it has been so rewarding. The top reward has been the satisfying and disciplined lifestyle that I now lead. It has helped me become a mature person, more confident, independent and capable of taking on challenges. It has built my leadership skills and honed my ability to coach and visualize things!
That is a lot to be thankful for, is it not? Thanks for reading!