The pandemic is taking fathers on all sorts of journeys they may never have been through otherwise. Having a new baby is always a welcoming adjustment but the pandemic has made it more multifaceted than ever. My second baby boy was born in the midst of a pandemic. With my family being thousands of kilometers away from me, in addition to the restrictions that come with travelling to India during the pandemic – there are thousands of fathers like me, who are unable to be with their family at such pivotal points of their life – a time when they’re unable hold their newborn baby. In the virtual world, things are done much differently. My youngest boy is 48 days old; I see him every day but I’m yet to hold him and give him a hug. Even with all the chaos, having him in my life has been a bonus.
Coming from Capital City of Kerala, India, my father is a retired policeman and my mother a housewife. Over the years I’ve come to realize just how much my father has done for me and my younger sister, and I’m extremely grateful. He did everything in his power to give us what he never had. He did everything in his capacity to provide us with the best education, and unconditional love and acceptance. Whether it’s providing me with all the amenities they never had, paying for my engineering degree or being there for me when I suffered from slipped disk, my parents have been by my pillars of love and support. It’s because of their prayers and good wishes that I am where I am. I got married to my wife Arathy in 2015 and I’m blessed with two sons. Just as my dad is my hero, I hope to be as good a father to my two boys – Abhimanyu and Arjun, as he has been to me.
From working in Mumbai to Qatar to Kuwait to Abu Dhabi and back to Qatar, I’ve travelled and learned much more than I could ever imagine. Almost 10 years with Kent, I started off as a planner in a remote site, 200 kms away from the city of Abu Dhabi. When your work is project based and on-site, the relationships formed during a collaboration on a project are a huge part of the success of a project. Not only did I learn how to work better with different people on a regular basis, but also build positive relationships. I learned to manage obstacles more efficiently, often learning from failure and making changes as needed. I learned to rely on myself as much as I rely on my team because there were times, I was working on project planning alone, and there were times I was working with a bigger team. The most challenging projects I’ve worked in was the initial mobilisation and team building set up for K414 project, for which I’ve received Best Employee Award from the client side and NPCC K565 project – these two projects moulded me to succeed for what was to come – the pandemic. Covid has brought about its own challenges but we still managed to execute the jobs with half the manpower and great support from Tim Butler. It’s a win (with lots of hard work behind it).
In addition to being an E&I Norms Coordinator, I’ve recently taken up the responsibility for being a Continuous Improvement Representative which brings me more opportunities to drive the organization toward efficient operations. This has been possible because of the support from my managers throughout the years and I want to show my gratitude to them. The best advice I’ve received is by someone I consider my mentor, Sikandar Hayat. All my tensions melt away as he smiles and says, ‘Take it easy & keep it simple.’
For any new joiners, I would like to say… Word hard, work smart, come onboard with a can-do attitude from the beginning of your journey, learn as much as possible with every interaction with your seniors, and you are bound to find your place at Kent. The results you’re looking for may not be immediate, but it is definite.