Raaj Dharmani, Delhi
Since my childhood, I believed in being unconventional & independent. I always looked for alternative ways of pocket-money, instead of asking my parents, which led me to work sometimes as a part-time sales guy or a freelance MR interviewer.
It was during my summer vacations in High School when I came across Elite Field Operations, a MR agency where the current founders of MX were employed. I worked with them on a project & made some money till my school re-opened (July’ 2000). At this time, I had never thought that our paths would ever cross again
The same year in September, my father passed away & I had to quit my regular school to start working. I went to TNS Mode (now TNS) & started working as a freelance interviewer.
As they say, destiny plays a major role in one’s nurturing & that’s what happened in my case. It was my 17th Birthday (5th Nov’ 2000) and I happened to bump into one of the founders of MX on my way back home from work. Upon asking, I got to know that he had started a company along with one of his colleagues in the previous company (second co-founder). He asked me to visit their office sometime, which I did the very next day. It was a small one-room setup in the same colony where I stayed. I was offered to be a part of the team as a freelancer, which I accepted.
If I look in the retrospect, it seems that fate had designed it all along as I consider myself fortunate to have met these two young entrepreneurs, at the start of their journey. I stepped in, not knowing what the future would hold as my sole purpose was to earn bread & butter. But today, I am privileged to call myself one of the first employees of this organization.
With each passing day, came in new projects, which brought with them a lot of challenges and great amount of learnings. Despite being a freelance interviewer (a deliberate decision decreed by them, so that I could work hard without time constraints and make more money to take care of my family, as I was the sole bread-earner), I was entitled to all the benefits & got respect and honor which was enjoyed by a permanent employee.
I worked as an interviewer for more than 5 years, for almost all the projects undertaken by the company, conducted field work for a number of clients. I learnt the intricacies of the industry which provided me with a base for understanding the trade and gave me the experience that I needed. Though I loved my work & company’s environment, but in order to make higher career progression, I decided to pursue different aspirations & moved out. Despite this change, I remained in constant touch with my mentors for continued guidance on every personal & professional aspect of my life & continued to update them on any developments (good or bad).
It was December’ 2013 while discussing with them about my personal life (I was getting married soon) & telling them how despite achieving so much in my career, I still felt incomplete as something was missing or wasn’t exciting left to do. I showed my keenness to come back, to which they said just one sentence – “Go resign, get married & come back. Your place is always reserved; in our hearts & organization too”
Today, when young lads from the inside and outside of the industry ask me, “What is the future of an interviewer?” I often point to myself with a grin and say – “You are looking at what your future might be…” because if a freelance interviewer like me can head a department nationally, then anyone can achieve the same with hard work & determination.
It has been a wonderful journey so far – from a boy, who had to leave regular education early, not knowing a word of English language to being proficient at it today & helping rookies with the tricks of the trade. In the coming years, I am sure that there will be many more accomplishments which I look forward to.
Raaj Dharmani, Proud Family Member