Narrative by Vilasini Kumar.
As part of our blog series on Team–Stories, meet Steward Kharpuri, a Team Leader in the Finance division of Chillibreeze. He is one of the youngest employees of Chillibreeze and what strikes you when you meet him is his cheerful nature and a ready smile. Looking at him you may need to be reminded that he shoulders very important Finance related responsibilities. He is in–charge of maintaining internal accounts, dealing with outside agencies like the Tax authorities, Provident Commissioner, Chartered Accountant and lots more.
Steward has been following the blog posts of his colleagues in Chillibreeze and could relate to many things they spoke about. Their shared love for the city, the values they learnt from their own families, values they have imbibed after joining Chillibreeze, their positive outlook about their own future and how Chillibreeze feels like family. Steward was keen to share his life with us too and we set up time to talk to him.
Read on and take a virtual walk with Steward as he tells his story.
Shillong is my home town & ‘work’ town!
I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Shillong. This is where I work too.
The city is now becoming very busy and congested, but lucky that we still have plenty of areas where one can see nature at its best! Undulating hills, tall pine trees, waterfalls and wild orchids in season are so beautiful at times that it makes you wonder about the hand behind these creations!
I am a Khasi and belong to a close–knit, small family. My father works in the Police department as a constable in the Third Battalion and my mother is a house wife. I am the elder of two sons and my younger brother is in high school.
I studied in one of the best Christian Schools in Shillong, St. Gabriel High School, in Upper Shillong. I was in the same school from Kindergarten till the 10th grade. I completed Grades 11 and 12 in ‘All Saints School’
“I remember my school days. We had time for play. Our teachers were friendly and used to teach us really well. Yes, they would punish us if we did something wrong.
They treated me like a son. I feel that now-a-days it is hard to find teachers with such dedication”–Steward Kharpuri
Let me be honest—I was not a bright student, but I was a sincere one!
I understood the importance of knowing how to use the computer and even while I was doing my 12th Grade I attended computer coaching classes to learn MS Office—Word, PPT and Excel.
I went on to do my Bachelors in Commerce (B.Com) in St. Anthony’s College, Shillong.
I was lucky to find a job fitting my interest
I had heard the name ‘Chillibreeze’ since my schooldays, but I was not aware about what it did. After I gave my final B.Com exam and while waiting for the results I enrolled in a computer coaching class in Don Bosco Technical Institute to learn Tally, an accounting software. This was a three month course.
One day, in the middle of my Tally class, I got a call from my relative about a vacancy in the finance department of Chillibreeze and to apply if I was interested. Yes, I was indeed interested! I did not have work experience, but I was ready to find a job and put my bookish learnings to practice. I applied to Chillibreeze the very same day through their online job form and did an online test too. I went through an interview process and was called to join Chillibreeze as a trainee.
Things I wished to do…
I used to love watching football and I wanted to be a football player! I was not really serious as I did not make any effort to get better at the game. But, my love for the game continues. I now support Manchester United and the local football club called Rangdajied United Football Club. I try and play Football on Sundays, after Church. As a family we never miss attending Sunday service at St. Paul’s Parish.
At one point I wanted to be a Chartered Accountant. But, that would have required getting very good grade, which was challenging for me. So, I gave up that idea. But, I loved Accounts and that is what I now do for a living.
I wanted to be financially independent
With only my father working, there were times when we had financial problem at home. It is difficult for one member to support a growing family. This made me decide that I would try my best to support myself and not depend on my family for money.
I looked for ways to support myself. I used to give tuitions to children in Maths and Science while I was waiting for my B.Com results. It started with my mother’s cousin sister asking me to teach her children. I ended up teaching five students from grades 9 and 10. I made some money this way.
There were times I used to be doing three different things every day. Attending Tally classes in the morning, taking up painting jobs in the afternoon and teaching students in the evenings! Some of my friends were painting and earning extra money and so I joined them too. All this was in the months when I was on a break, waiting for my B.Com results.
Am Able to help my Family
Now that I have a job I am able to contribute to my family. My parents are so happy that I am able to pitch in. Earlier we have had financial problems. Now I look after the school fees of my younger brother. I am happy I can stand on my own feet. If I did not have this job in Chillibreeze I would not have been able to do any of this.
A gift to myself
Our Finance Manager, Lovina, coaches us on how to plan our expenses, how to save etc. I am learning to save, a little at a time. From my savings I bought myself a Yamaha bike in January 2014. I ride it to work every day.
I would like to share a picture I have of me and my Chillibreeze colleagues with our bikes, bought after joining Chillibreeze.
My managers have given me an additional responsibility of supervising and training a new team member. I am happy that I was given this opportunity, but I feel this is a big responsibility too. If the team members I train does not do well, then I am answerable for their failure and I also fail. If they perform I can see that it will reflect on me.
I want to be able to meet Chillibreeze’s expectation of me!
Doing things I never thought possible by me
I never thought that I will be have the capabilities to deal with officials like the Branch Manager of Banks, Tax officers and Chartered Accountants etc! I need to do this regularly as part of my job and find myself capable of it. I also generate and handle invoices for important customers, which is again a demanding job. It surprises me that I am doing things I would have never thought possible by me!
If I was not working with Chillibreeze I would not have learnt how to serve high level customers and serve them well.
I started here immediately after college and learnt the practical aspects of all that I had learnt theoretically in college.
Picnics & Parties too
Reading all that I has said you may think it is only work, work and work in Chillibreeze. This is not the case. We feel like a family and enjoy moments of togetherness through the day too.
Hope to do well
I want to do well and meet the expectations of my manager and our company. I feel a sense of ownership towards the company. I want to see the company do well and I want to rise to senior levels in the company. My prayers are that my wish be granted!
Are you interested, in finding out about the job opportunities at Chillibreeze, but have questions? See if you find an answer in these FAQs.
Come be part of Chillibreeze and play a role in its larger vision.
Chillibreeze follows a well–defined selection process which helps the company identify the best fit. It is not about qualification or work experience alone, it is about the type of person you are!
The purpose of Chillibreeze goes beyond being a profitable company. Through the diligent work of a healthy company we transform lives, create wealth, provide purpose and add value to customers, employees, families and community. As a role model Chillibreeze’s influence spreads throughout Northeast India and beyond.