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A safe haven

Building a safe haven

In times of crises and calamities, an employee’s safety and comfort comes first for us

On 29th August 2017, as Mumbai submerged under the flood, Star’s HQ became a refuge for 800-odd employees stranded in the office. As the city outside came to a standstill, the efficient Administration department were quick to think on its feet and ensured business continued as usual inside Urmi Estate.  

The Administration team were the real heroes behind the scenes, who kept everything in order during this time of complete uncertainty. Despite the chaos outdoors, the stranded employees were served a hot meal for dinner and power cuts were averted due to effective preparation. 

The top management kept a pulse on things, constantly monitored the situation and stayed in touch with HODs to ensure all teams were safe.

Just like home

The mood was one of panic and anxiety, and with experience, the Administration team knew their first order of business: To tell employees to stay put inside the office.

“We had already experienced the 26/7 floods in 2005, and we knew it was a bad idea for anyone to leave – as it is the most risky. We went downstairs to the gate, we stood there to physically check and stop people from leaving. A few employees who attempted to go home, returned soaked and scared,” says Sunil Kumaran, AVP, Administration, Star India.

We assured employees that we will keep them safe in the office, and arrange for food and water, no matter what.

Preparedness leads to comfort

The rainfall didn’t cease and the situation grew grim, and the Administration team selflessly continued to work towards ensuring there was food and water, and planning effectively to keep the office up and running in case of power cuts. They stayed in touch with electrical authorities to be updated on the latest news.

View from the Star HQ on the day the city submerged under the flood.

“We have three diesel generators, but we were worried in case we needed to be here longer. So, we arranged for extra diesel to ensure we had electricity for 26-28 hours, in case there was a power outage,” says Kumaran.

They stocked up on bread, butter and biscuits sufficient for everyone to spend the night in office. Since it was the monsoon season, the team had already stored up water for 15 days.

We were ready with our plan B, and we continued to strive for Plan A – a hot meal for dinner for 800 people – a near impossible expectation in this panic-stricken time.

With goodwill, three vendors promised to send meals by 8.30 pm. And they did. There was also Biryani.

“I felt I was in the lap of luxury during this horrible time. There was hot food, electricity, Wifi… I even went up to the 32nd floor and thanked the Administration team for taking such good care of us,” says Sushma Parameswaran, Consumer Relationship Management, Star India.

“After dinner, some of us got together and watched a movie. It was the best decision to not leave the office premises,” says Sohini Chaudhury, Brand and Marketing Strategy, Star India.

“At Star, we believe in going the extra mile to ensure our employees are taken care of, feel warm and comforted in times like this. Each and every employee is our responsibility, and we are all one big family,” says Amita Maheshwari, President and Head, Human Resources.

Kumaran and his team were in contact with top cops and news agencies and they kept employees updated with the latest information on water-logged streets, status of railways, and power cuts. We advised employees on routes and recommended they leave only once the water had receded.

We don’t leave any stone unturned and we go the extra mile for our employees, for our Star Parivar.

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