COVID-19 Success Stories -
India Team & Pratik Panchal
Adjusting to life during COVID-19 for our India team required a bit of a cultural shift, according to Pratik Panchal who heads up our India operations. Every logistical effort was made to ensure employees had the resources they needed to successfully continue their work from home, largely facilitated by Mitkumar Patel of the India IT team, including safeguarding employees from IT security threats- a common issue faced when users are not operating on the protected company server. Pratik felt that the provisions put in place by KMK made the transition much easier though, in terms of updated infrastructure, technical enhancements and general support from upper management.
One of the benefits that has arisen out of this pandemic has been the shift in hiring practices. Prior to COVID, new hires were local to the India office or would relocate to be closer. Now candidates are not limited to one particular city or state, as they are able to work remotely thanks to the provisions that have been put in place. We’ve actually hired more during the pandemic than we have over the last two years in India, and that’s largely due to the geographical expansion of recruitment efforts.
To keep employees connected during this time, Karan Pandya (Lead – Talent Acquisition) and other members of the “Fun Committee” organized weekly virtual Zoom events for employees to check in on one another. They also held virtual game nights where employees were able to come together on a more personal level as they were able to introduce their family members on-camera and have them participate in the events.
On a more personal level, Pratik says working from home has given him an opportunity to teach his son who is seven years old about his career and the importance of hard work. He’s also gotten to introduce him to many of the coworkers whom he interacts with every day, “If I was working from the office, he wouldn’t know who Michael (CEO, KMK) is or who Melissa (Dir. of Advanced Analytics, KMK) is but now he knows everyone and you can see that it interests him to learn about them,” Pratik said.
Unfortunately, India is now battling this second wave of COVID-19 and the situation is pretty dire. In response to this, Pratik has been working closely with our CEO, Michael Karbachinskiy, to organize ways in which KMK can offer assistance to not only our employees in India but to the community at large. They are in the process of identifying charitable organizations to get involved with specifically in the more rural areas of India where support is not as easy to come by. They hope to be able to provide support to medical staff and first-line responders, donate personal protective equipment (PPE), or donate food to hospitals and other medical facilities.