All posts by Sharanya Bharath

Chaos, My new found Friend!

Jallikattu is the word of the month in Chennai. Before January 2017, this word just meant the sport played during Pongal in Tamil Nadu. But today, this word for many means Positivity, Strength, unity, Protest, Victory and Chaos. Personally, I do not know which word to associate myself with and I am nonchalant about this whole issue. I assumed the protests to end on Sunday (22nd Jan) as a fresh week was ahead and also the news articles were claiming that protesters were asked to leave that night! I am positive that the breed I belonged to, assumed the protests would end and planned their Monday just the way I did!

I had a school visit scheduled for Monday and I left the Report Bee office around 10:30 AM with Pallavi.  We managed to reach our destination well before the expected time and had a successful visit. I love visiting schools just for their infrastructure and feel.

As we came out of our meeting from the school, we heard about the protests being continued in the city. The well-organized silent protests had suddenly become violent! We got news that the ice house police station vehicles was burnt and there was complete chaos in the city!

Obviously, reading news like this, Pallavi and I wanted to head back to office immediately! We booked a cab and left for office. The cab driver, was an active participant of the protests. He had an A4 Sheet of paper stuck in his car saying “I SUPPORT JALLIKATTU” with a picture of the bull. On reading the news and looking at his active participation, I started having a conversation about what was happening. Our conversations were constantly interrupted with calls coming in, giving us updates on what was happening in each area and families asking us to get home soon.  With one of the calls the driver got, I overheard him saying he was heading straight back home! (I had to find out if he stayed near Kotturpuram. Just to make sure!)

Me: “Anna, where do you stay?”

Driver: “Ponneri! You guys get down here! I am going home.”

Me: (attempt of creating a sentimental dialogue) “Anna, 2 girls travelling alone. We do not know this area also. Only you can drop us safely. Please reconsider and drop us!”

Driver: “No Madam. I need to get home! I am sorry!”

Me: “Alright. Please drop us at the nearby bus stand atleast. Incase, we do not get another cab, we can take the bus back!”

We managed to book another cab and reach office safely. On our way, we spotted a lot of route diversions causing traffic. Protests were happening in all areas! I have never felt unsafe in Chennai. But, that day at 1:00 PM in the afternoon I did!

I decided to leave home as soon as I reached office. Manasa (a new joinee in Report Bee) and I decided to walk it back home.

Walking back home I noticed that 100’s of people were stuck on the road, waiting patiently, not knowing what to do. The exact same situation I faced few hours back while coming back from the school visit. Just as how I felt unsafe, I realised that all these people waiting will be feeling the same too! I decided to spread some cheer and positivity as I was passing by and do my bit to ease tension. Here are the things I did on my way:

  • Since I love to talk, I stopped and chatted with as many people as I could. My favourite of the lot was meeting an aunt and uncle waiting to go to Thiruvanmiyur. (Something told me they were on their way to see a potential bride/groom. Don’t ask me why! :)) Their car was stuck right in the middle. So, while I was talking to them, I told them to step out and get some tea from the nearby tea shop, in case they got hungry . They thought I was really sweet and cute suggesting that. I didn’t know how to tell them I was serious!
  • I met a lot of my friends on the way. Funny way to catch up with long lost people! 🙂 I met my very own class teacher who taught accounts in class 12. She used to be one of my favourites! The joy I had while meeting her on the way was such a happy moment for me!
  • We spotted so many vehicles still finding their way to Kotturpuram to head to various areas (Adyar, airport mainly). Manasa and I managed to get as many people as we could to reroute and find another way. They all thanked us and were grateful for the updates!

Yes, Chennai was chaotic on 23rd January. Yes, I did feel unsafe. But I learnt that given any situation there is always some positivity that can be created and I am happy my new friend taught me that.

Why every school is important to us!

June – The month where we from Report Bee buzz the most! With the fresh start to a new academic year, we have our happiness team welcoming the existing schools back, wishing them all the very best for the year; Creation team introducing new features, enhancing the existing features to make sure our users, the teachers enjoy the product even more! And Growth trying to connect with more number of schools and sell our product. After all, June is the peak time of sales!

As a member of the growth team, I am well aware of the entire process we go through to implement Report Bee. To me, it is the toughest job. Our product speaks for itself, so you might wonder what is there to convince. Let me take you through the entire process.

When a new school even remotely expresses their interest in Report Bee, we grab that opportunity. We call the concerned person at school and try and schedule a demo with the Principal.

A Principal, is the Prime Minister of the school. Starting the day at 8 AM or even earlier at times, they have meetings throughout the day. Principals to me, are super human beings. Try waiting outside their office and in a minute, you will find atleast 5 people who walk in and walk out of their room! So, imagine how difficult it can be for us to just get an appointment to talk about Report Bee.

After all the follow ups, we finally manage to fix an appointment. Even though a time is agreed verbally over phone, it gets postponed, no doubt! Working with over 400 schools we completely understand the life of the principal. I guess that is why we end up having a personal connect with almost every principal we talk to, irrespective of whether Report Bee is implemented or not. By the end of our follow ups, we have our moments together sharing what we eat for lunch!

I could say growth is an energetic team with a never say die attitude, but another reason for all the follow ups we do with every school is the target we aim to achieve by the end of this year. With a humungous pressure on us, every positive moment with a school only gives us hope. So, if you were a principal of a school who has shown interest in Report Bee, you can imagine the follow up phone calls you would get from this team. We use strategies to even call them at specific days and timings. The only thing constant is our smile and the talk we have with the principal.

Finally, after all the follow ups, the principal agrees to give us time for our product demo. The product speaks for itself, so the demos generally end on a high note. The colourful designs, the instant graphical representation, the user friendliness of the software are all the key reasons why a school agrees to implement our product.

But no. The story does not end there. A decision for a school to implement Report Bee not lies only with the principal but at times, also with the higher management. Phew!

After giving a demo, I am generally on a high. But when the principal says that she will get back after consulting with the management – my high drops to low! One drop instantly. Need to wait again.

After countless follow ups again, the school finally sends a confirmation email saying they have agreed to implement Report Bee in their school!

That is the moment we from Growth wait for! All our effort in closing one school to just receiving this email, gives us more energy to march towards our target for this year.

With a huge happy heart, we from Report Bee invite all the new schools to the family. We know your time is precious. Our service will be top notch to ensure your school, a member of our family is always happy and will never have to go through this process of finalizing another product software such as ours!

Spring is here! Join our community!

Date : February 24th

Time: 6 AM

I was home trying to decide what to wear for work. It was a special day at Report Bee and I wanted to look my best!  By chance, I found a new salwar set to wear and got dressed quickly.

I reached office at 8.30 AM. My colleagues, Jayashree and Siddarth were already in. Siddarth, pacing down the hall was trying to keep his cool. I could say he was nervous! The collaboration room was already filled with chairs. Lavanya, was running around to get snacks and tea ready, keeping the necessary stationery required and ensure everything else was in place!

While Rbians were hustling and bustling to make sure everything was perfect, I found a lady dressed in a beautiful blue and pink saree waiting at our office doorstep. I smiled to myself. Yes! We had our first guest coming in. To be sure, I went upto her and enquired,

Me: Hi Mam, Can I help you?

She: yes. Report Bee, right? I am waiting for my other friend to come.

Me:  Oh Sure mam! You may please come and sit inside.

Smiles all over, I got back to my desk waiting for the rest to arrive. One by one they came, got seated and finally we were ready to start!

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Siddarth took over the stage and had the entire audience listening to him in rapt attention. That day, I learnt he could actually be loud when he wanted. Halfway through his presentation, slowly a few questions were being raised, discussions starting to take place and we had Ideas popping right up from this astounding audience!

That moment we (and I speak for all RBians present that day) felt WOW! Our small dream was becoming a reality! A dream of having teachers, encouraging discussions among them, giving them a place to speak and share ideas, to make them feel like they were the most important person around!

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How did we do this?

Report Bee launched its first teacher workshop for teachers on Data, decisions and beyond. We had 15 teachers from various schools across the city attending the workshop. Through this workshop, teachers learnt the importance of data, how decisions can be made with the help of data and learn the difference between intuition and data driven decision making.

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It was important that we, from Report Bee conducted this workshop. When we say ‘we are a data visualization company, we have close to 8000 teachers using our product’, it goes without saying that it is in our hands to ensure that they understand the importance of our product in full and reap it’s benefits!

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A small thought became a dream and grew to be a reality. Today, Report Bee can proudly say, we help teachers to discuss, ideate and learn with one another. We are a community. We are a team. Join us. Help us blossom. After all, spring is indeed here!