An uber-stay interview of a Moolyan

a true story of flat tyre

A turn of events

Last week I had been to a client location. I met with the founder of the company and he had nice words about Moolya Testing. I also happened to meet our awesome Moolyans working over there. It was decided that I could Uber for Yogesh and Anjali because they needed to get down at BTM and it was on my route to home. It was about 830 PM, I finished the meeting and we came and sat in my car, I put the first gear and moved the car just 10 m and sensed a bit of sluggishness in the response. I knew something was wrong and hence I pulled over, came outside to discover that I had a flat tyre.

After apologising to Anjali and Yogesh and I asked them to get a real uber for themselves. Being late in the evening, they decided to go on. Just when I was wondering the next steps to get the stepney on, I found Vikash Pandey standing there asking me what happened. I showed him the flat tyre and first wanted to get some help.

What’s more important? Time or Money?

Most people fix the stepney themselves. This was a narrow road with vehicles flying by fast and very low street light. I decided to call for help from the Service Center and they were about 30 minutes away. I knew they would charge me 480 rupees to get the stepney on and in India people are seen to be fixing their own stepney and not call for help for such things. Something that I could do and save the 480 rupees if I wanted to. Instead what was more important is that Vikash was willing to wait till I get done with my tyre and I wanted to do something called “The Stay Interview”

Most companies do exit interview. Even we did it. At the time of people leaving – we ask them why are you leaving? How was your experience? Of course it is too late to learn it. I am used to doing Stay Interview over the last couple of years. I ask my colleagues – why are you here? Often. Turns out that this is an important question.

Stay Interview with Vikash Kumar Pandey

Me: Why are you here? I mean, why are you in Moolya? Why not elsewhere?

VK: I was a Network Engineer. I was not in testing. On searching something I discovered Moolya – the blogs and the people. I found it fascinating and I applied passionately and got an interview. After multiple rounds of interview and I was told I would get the job here. I was happy to join a place of passion. Over the last year + I have spent in Moolya, I have learned so much that I can clearly see the difference between Moolya and rest.

Me: Great. So now that you have learnt a lot, don’t you want to go out, use this experience and get more money?

VK: I see that I can get more money if I go out of Moolya, no doubt. I also see how people are when their background is not Moolya. They don’t seem to learn and they don’t seem to understand the passion. They want a 9 to 5 job. I see that being in Moolya I have become way better at what I do as compared to someone with several more years of experience in testing than me. So, I am focusing on keeping my learning going great.  I want to be in the company of people constantly learning.

Me: What is your vision? How do you want to be useful to the world?

VK: Useful, yes. First to my mother. She has taken care of me and I need to take good care of her. I also want to do something good to the world and I need more time to decide on it.

Me: What questions do you have for me?

VK: I was wondering why did we let the Tiny Owl blog post to happen? There were lot of negative comments about Moolya for it. Moolya is not a small company and we should not let our reputation be damaged.What do you think?

Me: Great question. Yes, I did notice some negative comments. Several years ago, it used to be tough to post in Moolya blog because my review was so harsh that nobody could pass through it. Those who did get a go ahead from me, felt like they scaled a mountain. They were tired and happy too. They didn’t want to do it over and over again. I wanted to keep the quality bar very high for posts that go out on Moolya blog.

As I picked up a lot of gray hair, I recognize that I am good because I made my mistakes and learnt from it. I want Moolya to be a platform for people to learn and that happens with making mistakes and correcting them. The very reason you are here. The very reason Moolya is doing good because people inside Moolya learn, continuously. I can prevent someone from learning if I prevent them from making the mistakes. So, I now let them do. For every blog post the marketing team posts – I send them my review. I don’t agree with them all the time. They learn from it.

So, previously I used to block before it goes live, now I coach after it goes live. And by the way, if someone does something wrong, me and the entire Moolya is there to stand with them to support them and do better. So, I let the Tiny Owl happen and I am sure it is a good learning for everyone in Moolya.

VK: I want to share with you an experience. I was traveling in a bus one day after office and some testers from LG were also in the bus. They saw my Moolya id and asked me, “We have heard Moolya Testing is different and we were curious to know how different do you test?” and I learnt that Moolya is not a small company, it is known to a lot of people.

Me: Oh yes. Moolya brand is extremely powerful. Moolya is known to be different and be good at testing. The testimony is the fact of how long our existing customers have been with us and how well we have been solving their testing problems. Added to that I think we are the best community focused company in testing and imagine the number of testing competitions Moolyans have been to and the number of events we have participated. It is really amazing. I am proud myself that the company I founded has come up to this shape. Plus, as you know the rate at which we are adding customers now, we are beginning to see a new growth of Moolya.

VK: Oh yes. I see that there are lot of projects coming now. Why are some of them short term and not long term?

Me: Short term is how all the long term began 🙂 For instance, X, that we recently started came to us for one time testing and now they have signed up for an year. So, short term is the first step for long term. Those customers who have liked our value have stayed with us for a very long time now. Also, we have not announced all projects. Some projects are confidential and cannot be announced to the company or public for a certain period our customers have requested it to be. Moolya always had great delivery but it lacked good Marketing and Sales for a long time. With the awesome work of Marketing and Sales team now, I can only tell you that we are looking to be growing great. As a matter of fact, we are thinking of hiring more – so this is definitely a good sign.

We all trade money to buy good time!

Meanwhile – the Emergency Roadside Assistance Service arrived, fixed the stepney, and I was happy to pay off the 480 as time is more important than money and the time I spent with Vikash was worth more than any money car service could have charged off me. On the way to drop where Vikash wanted to get down we discussed about our families and he got down near Marthahalli Flyover and I rode home feeling so good and thanking the flat tyre.

I hope I will someday get to uber for Anjali and Yogesh and be a good driver. To all you Moolyans like Vikash – you make this country proud for the passion. Moolya is proud to be associated with you. I am proud to be associated with you through Moolya. If you want me to uber for you, please feel free to ask. It shall be my pleasure to be your uber-driver whenever I visit a client location and I am on my way back or if I am on my way to a place you want to go. I drive smooth without honking.

Note: Vikash, if I have misrepresented, incorrectly paraphrased anything you said – please feel free to correct me. If I did a good job, please give me a 5 Star Sir, I get a bonus pay. 🙂

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