Connecting Dots, the Student Way
Student Spotlight is all about Connecting dots, the Student Way and through different perspectives. My Student in Spotlight this week is Aamer Ahmed. He connects me to some fond memories of the early millennium and my trainer days in global cross-cultural training.
Thoughts of K C Janardhan, Edited & Curated by Aarthi R Nandakishore
A Quick Prelude to Connecting Dots, the Student Way: In The Four Seasons Plan, I briefly described how my quest for the letters A-Z literally took me around the World from America to New Zealand. The journeys also got me exploring a new role during the early millennium, as an American, Australian, British, Canadian, European and later Global Cross-Cultural Understanding trainer. My work mainly involved the BPO segment that was just taking shape in India.
Looking back, I have thoroughly enjoyed investing my talent capital across various multinational ventures being set up in India during this decade of destinations (2001-2011). In no time, BPO became a glorified profession and a new world of opportunities. I saw many youngsters, including doctors and engineers, auditors joining the BPO sector for higher salaries.
Those days, companies made this Global Cross-Cultural training compulsory for new employees to understand and connect better with their global customers and serve them better. This training was also a finishing school for many raw talents. It helped them connect better with the art of communication and presenting themselves with the First impression, making the Best impression and the Last impression leaving a lasting impression, be it Visual or Auditory.
My global travel experience on a shoe-string budget and detailed planning helped me in connecting dots, the student way with both on-the-spot humour and cultural harmony. I had so much to share from my journeys and local living experiences in the pre-Google times. My detailed profile explains this experience in greater detail. What also helped me was my collection of in-flight magazines. I still have all those magazines carefully preserved in my library at J’s La Quill.
Inflight magazines from various airlines across the globe.
Majority of the trainees came with deep-rooted discomfort with the British culture. People embraced English, rushed in to train in English, yet I remember being ridiculed for being dressed like the typical English gentleman, in a three-piece suit with different hats and my British accent. Even today this intolerance continues. Year 2011 onwards the BPO industry weaned off naturally so did my opportunities in global cross-cultural training. When Aamer connected with me after 10 years, I also realised that most of my trainees have settled well in other professions!
Some modules of my personality development program, Be Your Master also became part of this training program as value adds.
The year 2010: Aamer underwent the two-week training program as a newly joined BPO employee. I was their Destination Trainer for Expedia, a Travel and Hospitality company. For the uninitiated, a Destination trainer is one who talks and trains about tourist destinations. I took them through approximately 162 places across the globe on PowerPoint presentations, the Geography, seasons, time zones, interesting places, local culture including their food, clothing and shelter, their dressing, dining and social etiquettes, do’s and don’ts, the best seasons to visit and the best deals for stay and travel.
I remember him as a shy 19-year-old with immense potential. His call a few weeks ago was a pleasant surprise.
We connected exactly 10 years post his training! He fondly expressed his value for my value adds from that single workshop and updated me on his personal and professional progress since then. I felt genuinely happy as a teacher-trainer. What followed in conversation were some cherished memories. The J’s Quill Group wishes him all the very best in his career and future endeavours.
I said it before, I say now again: As Teachers, We Open The Door…You Enter by Yourself.
Aamer now talks about his complete learning experience from that workshop in a Quick Q&A with us:
How did you get to know and meet Mr Janardhan?
KC was my destination & culture trainer way back in 2010 when I first started my career in an organization called 24/7, now 247.ai.
What Influence and impact did KC have on you?
The larger-than-life personality, those designer glasses, royal suits, British Accent, the Satire and healthy sense of humour. Although slightly intimidating at first, the man has an art of soon changing his tone to a very comforting one the moment he senses that the crowd is getting
overwhelmed. That was a moment I knew I was going to become an L&D Professional one day. Above all, KC gave this young boy a dream with just his presence.
Can you detail the memorable 10km journey with KCJ in his car, 10 years ago?
This instance is very close to my heart. My office was inside a tech park in Bengaluru. I had to walk a kilometre to reach the main gate to arrive at the nearest bus stop.
I was very new to the organization and one among the 25 trainees from KC’s batch. This was only the second day of training. I started my long walk towards the gate. It surprised me when a car stopped next to me. It was KC in the driver’s seat. He asked me in his deep tone voice: Hey, Aamer, can I drop you at the gate?
And to my luck, this ended up being a 10 km long journey – from Embassy Golf Links to M G Road. KC asked me about my family, who all stay in my house, how many siblings I have and from where I come. He also gave me some career advice which I remember till date. I owe my current success to the experience with KC and his training.
“KC’s Value Adds, add value even today,” – Aamer Ahmed, Senior Learning & Development professional with Simplilearn
My first thought was how did such a big man put the effort to remember my name. I was a shy middle bencher who never got noticed in the crowd. It takes a Man of character and experience to remember an introvert trainee like me by name right from the Day 1 of training.
What were your learnings from this two-week course?
KC adds a special touch to every line he uses and to every experience he shares. I am a testimony of what one can become if you follow the right role models like KC.
I picked up three accents in two weeks, the art of using a sense of humour in your deliveries, a trademark dressing sense from this Man of Style and Aura.
To summarize, KC adds value to your career and your personality. An experience which you would never get through mainstream or traditional training styles.