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Saturday, July 23, 2011

iQuest Consultants holds Annual Celebration : Commemorates 11th Anniversary

Members  of iQuest Consultants gathered at Central Park Hotel, Pune on Saturday night (16th July'11) for the annual celebration, this year commemorating iQuest Consultants' 11thanniversary. It gave us the opportunity to celebrate tens of thousands of stories, since its inception in the year 2000. The 11thanniversary was a great way to celebrate our association with our clients. It enabled us to focus on telling the stories of the many people who have been impacted by iQuest, from years to years.

The event was hosted to celebrate the joy of fulfillment & the rapport shared with the distinguished clients of iQuest. It was to celebrate in lieu of completion of 11 years in the industry. The theme of the event was “Hawaiian”. To start off, every guest was welcomed with the hawaiian garland by our volunteers from the Pune IT Team viz; Varsha, Susan and Dhanashree.

We had many of our clients gracing the occasion with their presence. Tech Mahindra, Quartics Technologies, Integration Infotech, Garware group, Thermax SPX, Finolex, M.E Energy, Max new york life insurance, Sandvik Asia, Optimus India Pvt Ltd, Phadnis Group, ISMT Ltd, iGate Patni, Euronet,Modular Mining, Anchorteck to name a few. The ex -iQuesters were also a part of the event to revel in the glorious growth of iQuest.

Annual celebration was also to acknowledge & accolade the iQuesters who had performed exceedingly well in the last quarter. Mr. K. V. Kartha ( MD & Owner of M. E. Energy) gave away the certificates & the mementos to the deserving winners.

Timely doses of entertainment kept the audience glued to the fun filled “Hawaiian” theme. We had  entertainment in the form of few dance performances, courtesy Bhavna (HR Team), Santosh and Dyaneshwar (Pune NON IT Team), Pooja (BFS Team, Pune), Suraj (HR Team) & Alisha (BFS Team, Pune).

A skit perfomance in the backdrop of the hindi movie Sholay was enjoyed by one & all which actually showcased the dynamics of recruitment process. It was a comic & satirical display of what a recruiter faces in his / her day to day chores. The play was enacted by Sadan ,Akriti & Nilesh (IT Team, Pune). We had few fun games too with even our sporting guests participating, the last being the word search game enacted by Reshma (IT Team, Pune). 

Ms. Sanober Golandaj (Senior Manager - Operations (IT)) gave vote of thanks as we neared the end of the evening. The DJ then spun his records & the floor was let open for dance, followed by dinner.

The evening was as much fun as the theme and thus everyone went home happy & contended.

Author of the Post: Ms. Seba Vipulsam (Senior Technical Consultant), IT Team, Kondwa, Pune

Monday, July 4, 2011

Donate Blood, Start Young........

“Blood is that fragile scarlet tree we carry within us”
-Osbert Sitwell
Quoted aptly by Osbert Sitwell, blood is indeed a scarlet tree of life which one and all can carry within us. Similarly iQuesters have been nurturing a dream which has grown from a sapling to a large flowering tree for over a decade. As a part of iQuest’s continuous endeavor to serve the society, a blood donation camp was organized on the occasion of iQuest Day. This event, a brainchild of the Director, Mrs. Usha Upadhyaya and the CEO, Mr. Devesh Upadyaya, was held in association with the Sassoon Hospital at the iQuest Premises in Kondhwa (Pune).  As often said ‘Desire to help needs to be backed up with proper guidance’, the event was conducted under proper hygienic conditions and using the appropriate safety precautions. At the outset, iQuest would like to thank Sasoon Hospital for extending their support and guidance.

The clarion call was answered with great enthusiasm, the volunteers totaling 55 in number lead by the CEO and the Director themselves. In all 27 iQuesters donated blood, while 22 were declared unfit for donation due to various reasons like less HB, under count or recent menses. This being a noble cause, many first time volunteers put aside their hesitations and apprehensions to lend their full support. “It has been a wonderful experience, especially for a person like me who has always been Noscomephobic (Fear of Hospitals).Frankly speaking, I feel proud to be a contributor.” says Rohit Fernandes, BD Head, Kondhwa.
               Those that were unable to participate in the blood donation were actively involved in the arrangements. The delicious snacks spread out for the volunteers ensured that there were more reasons for the glow on everybody’s face than just the good deed. Since it’s inception in June 2000, iQuest has been shouldering the social responsibility of nurturing careers at their nascent stages and serving as a beacon of hope for many working professionals. Similarly iQuest has served as a one-stop solution for fulfilling the Manpower needs for some of the most esteemed companies. On the whole it was an extremely gratifying day, which left a smile on everybody’s face.   
Author of the Post: Mr. Bipratip Chakraborthy (HR Intern - Kondwa Branch, Pune)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wake up, before its too late..... (Continued)

One of the immediate action is waste reduction. We have to cut the amount of rubbish to be burned. Do not waste resources. Go on recycling!!! Plastic bottles, cans, and used paper are recycled through a resource recycling center. Give away old clothes to someone or remake them. Do not throw away products only to buy brand new ones, one after another. Bring your own bags when shopping to reduce waste from plastic bags. Turn off unnecessary lights. Use public transportation, ride a bicycle or walk to avoid using your car or motorcycle. When you stop a vehicle for a certain time, turn off the engine to save the fuel. Grow trees and protect forests. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
Protecting nature and resources leads to the prevention of global warming. Slight efforts by each of us will make a big difference. So, the next time you leave your desk, remember to at least switch off your monitor, as the monitor consumes the maximum electricity as compared to any of the other parts of a computer. Remember to switch off lights, fans, air conditioners whenever you are leaving the room or leaving the house. Remember not to print unnecessarily if you can make do with a soft copy on the computer and save paper. Saved paper means saved trees.
For anybody who is interested in knowing more about global warming, there is an excellent English documentary style movie called “An Inconvenient Truth”
 I am sure you will enjoy it...
 Author of the Blog: Ms. Jaishree Mahalingam (Associate Team Lead, Kondwa Branch, Pune)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wake up, before its too late.....

What is global warming? Why is everybody talking about global warming these days? How does saving electricity help cut down global warming? How does saving paper cut down global warming? Why is global warming a problem and even if it is, why should we care about it or take any steps to prevent global warming? If you have ever had any of these questions in your mind, read on and you will know all….
During the past 4.6 billion years, the Earth has gone through climate changes over and over. The Earth, a magma ocean at the beginning of its history, has alternately experienced ice ages and warm periods. It is currently in the slow-paced warming period that started 20,000 years ago.
A supercomputer shows that global temperature will increase by about 1 to 5 degree celsius. The temperature rise causes melting of ice caps atop mountains and glaciers in the north and south Polar Regions. This causes sea levels to rise. If the sea level rises, low-lying coastal areas and small islands will be submerged. That would severely affect people living there. It is predicted that a 5 Degree C increase in temperature would melt the complete Greenland ice sheet, resulting in 3-meter sea level rise over the next millennium. Not only that, it would raise sea level by about 7 meters if all the ice on the Earth melted completely. Just imagine what would happen if all the ice on the Earth melted?
Do you know how the Earth’s temperature rises? Sunlight heats up the ground. The heated ground emits infrared radiation. The ozone layer absorbs the ultraviolet radiation from the Sun and warms the atmosphere. Meanwhile, the air absorbs infrared radiation, warming up the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide (N2O), and chlorofluorocarbons exist in the air. These molecules effectively absorb infrared heat radiation and are called greenhouse gases. These greenhouse gases play an important role in keeping our planet at a comfortable temperature without which Earth would be a frozen, ice planet. To put it in layman terms, greenhouse gases are like a “blanket” around the Earth to keep it warm. The problem is an excessive increase of these gases which increases the heat levels as well. You could say it is like being covered by many layers of blankets. The Sun’s heat keeps coming, but the heat is trapped by several layers of blankets and cannot escape making it hotter and hotter on Earth.
Now, you may well ask that if these greenhouse gases already exist in the atmosphere, what can we do to reduce global warming. Many of the greenhouse gases are emitted by human activities. We have to try to reduce the human-originated gas emissions with our efforts and ingenuity. Given below is a pie diagram giving statistics of which activities cause emissions. By reducing emissions, global warming can be prevented.

 To be continued .............................................................................

To know more about the ways of preventing Global warming, please re - visit the blog.....................

Author of the post: Ms Jaishree Mahalingam (Associate Team Lead, Kondwa Branch)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Always a Woman!

“She can kill with a smile
She can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child,
But she's always a woman to me”

They say it’s a man’s world. I say, we let them think so!
On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, this is a tribute to all those women out there who don’t just exist, they live; who don’t just breathe, they make hearts stop beating; who don’t just work, they inspire; who don’t just walk, they make knees go weak; who don’t just create, they give birth to life…..
There is a reason God made us like this. He gave us the heart to love like we do, the hands to care and nurture like we do, the head to take decisions like we do and above all, the soul to be a woman! Ask yourself this, “Who is the single most important person in your life?” and the answer will definitely be a woman. Because right from being a Mother and giving you life, to being a Friend and giving you advice and a shoulder to cry on, to being a sister that you bullied and loved nevertheless, to being a sister-in-law that you shared all your secrets with, to being a wife who loved like you never knew love, to being a grandma who told you funny stories about your Dad, to being the colleague that made office so much fun, a woman can do all that and more and make it look so easy!
And the most unique thing about a woman is her ability to deal with pain – not just physical but also emotional. We, in India, have been brought with a tendency to look down on the women that are going through their monthly biological cycles. Men crib that women get moody during “that time of the month” but that is just the bribe God gave us for making us go through what we do! Well, jokes apart, the fact remains, it is NATURAL. Not like women went and specially asked for it. So it doesn’t cease to amaze me as to why there is such a big stigma attached with it. There are communities in the country that don’t let women cook; don’t let them visit the place of worship; don’t let them go near plants during that time of the month. But what we forget is that THAT is what is marks the beginning of a journey where a girl becomes a lady. It is the phenomenon that says everything is fine and that the lady can someday give birth to another human being. This is probably why the same country also has communities that celebrate this occasion of life. There are states where this stage is celebrated with rituals and presenting of gold to the girl, where there is a proper ceremony and the parents present the girl to the world as a woman.
Being in an industry which is glorified by women, let’s take a pledge this Women’s Day that we will put the negatives of history behind us and be proud of who we are – a Woman! A woman who is capable of everything under the sun – Chairing boardroom meetings, cooking a gourmet meal, getting a makeover, designing and creating the kids’ fancy dress costumes, volunteering at an old age home – all in a day’s work!
Be the kind of woman, that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the Devil says "Oh damn, She's up!"
To close, I would like to quote Marianne Williamson, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Happy Women's Day!!!

Author of the Post: (Ms. Divisha Upadhayaya, Center Head, Bangalore Branch)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How it all began....!

You know how every time that you are at work, you don’t feel like working, just want to laze around and then your boss/supervisor comes and shatters that beautiful image to say “You think your Pappa owns this company!!??!!”
Well, in my case, I can actually turn around and say “Yes!” But that is where MY beautiful image shatters! For all those who thought working in “Pappa’s” company was a piece of cake, clearly never met mine.
So when I decided to not go down the beaten path of the on-campus placements in the IT industry and do something on my own, little did I know what was in store for me. In an attempt to make me learn things myself and stand on my own two feet immediately, I was given a seemingly simple task – Open an office for iQuest Consultants in Bangalore from scratch. The reason I use the word “seemingly” is that its sounds simple to do that when you just hear it, but ground reality is very different. From deciding the size of the office to bargaining for the rent; from deciding the location of the office to deciding the seating arrangement of it; from haggling with furniture manufacturers to bargaining with computer equipment suppliers; from taking a call on the capacity of the UPS to banging my head with Airtel.. phew!! and the list goes on. But that really wasn’t the biggest challenge. The biggest challenge was actually convincing people (brokers, suppliers, candidates etc) that somebody who looks like me (for all those who don’t know how I look, let’s just say that I have been mistaken for a 16 yr old on more than one occasion) was actually interested in setting up an entire functioning office.
And thus ensued the long days that had no lunch breaks, no work timings, min 3 hrs of travelling, bike rides behind weird men, sitting alone in office watching the electrician/carpenter make the place look functional, waiting for candidates to turn up, lots of disappointment and at times, tears…
Convincing candidates who turned up for interviews about the credibility of the company was an uphill task. But I am very grateful to the people who did join us and help kick start the operations. There were days when I thought to myself “What have I got myself into!!”
Well, the end result of all of this was 1st March, when a proud boss (and father) announced the opening, rather re-opening, of the Bangalore center of iQuest Consultants as we know it today. We have come a very long way from there and this past year has been more of a learning experience for me than my 4 yrs of engineering put together! Anyways, with a small pat on my back and big dreams in my eyes, me and the Bangalore team set our best foot forward to celebrate another year of working hard, laughing, partying, learning and living! Here’s to us and the entire iQuest family! Cheers!!

Author of the Post: Ms. Divisha Upadhayaya, (Center Head, Bangalore Branch)
iQuesters at Bangalore Branch


Friday, January 21, 2011

Sapling a Thought!

Dear iQuester

I find happiness in your happiness, and feel joyous in your joy
I celebrate your success with great zeal and always pray that you fly high

I strengthened our relationship, I gave you flowers
With a wish that you, always be ours

But I now realize, that the wish would die
When my flowers wither and the nature would cry

I now decide, I won’t let the wishes die
Neither will the flowers wither, nor would the nature cry

On your birthday, I now resolute
I will plant a life and let this thought root

Promise me, that you will nurture it with great care
As it will always be with you, when you have things to share!!!

(This thought of gifting a sapling on birthdays originated when we realized that the bouquets that were given were perishable and will not stay with our employees for a longer period of time. We always, wanted our employees to remember us in a form that they can associate themselves with. And this is what we ended up with. What could have been a best gift than a small shrub on their birthday! We initiated it in our head office and will implement it across all the branches of iQuest! I am sure the smile on a birthday will double after receiving life as a gift!)

Author of the Post: Suraj Pathak (Executive - Human Resources, iQuest Consultants)

Save your 'SKULL' Save your 'KAL'!!!

 “Wear Helmet, Drive Safe, Be Safe!!!”
If you've heard about “Motor cycling safety” 100 times from time to time, don't wonder why??? Coz it doesn't hurt repeating, but hurts a lot when a news comes about somebody's death or injury because of not wearing helmet. When we think about motorcycles we think about the feel of the rushing wind in our faces and our hair blowing back behind us. We think about looking cool as we speed down the road. What we don't think about is what happens to the human body when it is involved in a motorcycle collision with a car or a van. We don't think about the impact of the collision, the body being thrown clear and sliding along the road's surface until it stops on its own or until it encounters a fence or a telephone pole. So taking importance of helmets in to mind, I carried out a research in iQuest to find out that how may iQuesters have bikes and how many of them wear helmets & save themselves from those heartrending head injuries caused by the fatal accidents.

Helmet No. of iQuesters % age
With Helmet 26 31.46%
Without Helmet 85 68.54%
Total 121 100.00%
A great example has been shared as “My brother had a helmet but never used it. After 13 days of his marriage, once, while he was going out, I requested him to use helmet as I always use. Same day he met with a fatal accident and his right leg was crushed into pieces and his helmet was crushed into four pieces. By God’s blessings, I found my brother alive. Thanks to his helmet, due to helmet he got a second life. Till date, after 5yrs of that accident, he never forgets his helmet.” -- Nil Nayak, Associate Manager (Non IT)-Recruitement & Admin.

Your health and well-being is important to your families and close ones and I would certainly like each one of you to wear helmets at all times while riding your bikes and scooters.

I trust this would be taken in the spirit of social consciousness and personal safety & lets make a resolution for this new year to use helmets..... !!!
Author of the Post: Ms. Prafulla Char (Junior Technical Consultant, Kondwa Branch, Pune)
Research Jointly conducted by: Ms. Prafulla and Mr. Shrikant Patel (Technical Consultant, Kondwa Branch, Pune)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Transformation from Microsoft to Linux…

It was a regular fun filled Friday where one starts the day early, tries and winds up early evening so that one has an entire evening to socialize…Coming back to early winding up of work, sending reports, clicking send receive for the last time for the day hoping no more urgent mail pops up, also religiously addressing those mails so that there are no thoughts haunting over the weekends… by making sure everything has fallen in place I feel so excited to go to the bottom left extreme corner of the window which is a start button, but now to shut down my day's work. The happiness to bid everyone Bye & wishing everyone Happy Weekend is such Bliss, the exhausting week has finally come to an end a genuine smile reflects while waving off for the day. Little did I know what is in store…
I usually (if not traveling to Mumbai)catch up a new released film, have a quite dinner out with my husband , go back home, catch up some more interesting TV shows and crash on bed late night with a thought “Kal to Saturday hai, arram se uthenge”. The entire “Early to Bed Early to rise… phrase holds no meaning to me Friday night and coming two more days. These days really flies…
And I hereby get up the Monday morning thinking Gosh! A start of a long week ahead… and I start for office early. And to my dismay I reach to my work station just to find the message attached to the forehead of my Computer Screen “CAUTION: Before starting the comp, go and meet Sir along with Sanober"
(our Ops Head from the IT division). Thousand thoughts popped up Why, What did I do, How??? All my questions were left unanswered. And suddenly Swapnil (our System Admin in the Kondhwa Branch) clicks my mind, thinking he might solve the mystery. Quickly dial his extension & call him upstairs. And within few seconds I get the answer to all my uninvited Questions. It was a start of a new era within iQuest, Linux had taken over Microsoft. There were trials for few days and soon it followed with the training for all us iQuesters on Linux, Outlook has now taken over by Thunderbird, Excel to Spreadsheet. In a long run how better or at par it would be in comparison with Microsoft is still to be experienced. But yes, all welcomed it with open arms.

Author of the Post:  Ms. Shweta Rathod (Associate Manager, Non IT, Kondwa, Pune)