Mug Holder of the MonthSay hello to Jeeju, our October Mug Holder.

At Toit, our customers have always been our primary focus. They’re the ones who bring life to the place, create memories and end up giving the place its familiar, friendly vibe.

And there are so many different kinds of people who come through our doors daily, that we wanted to get to know their stories.

The Kudix Mug Holder of the Month is our little way of celebrating our customers, and their unique stories.

He manages people, processes, and his passion for tennis, on a daily basis. Almost. Say hello to our Mug Holder of the month, Jeeju.

Why do you think you were selected as the Mug Holder?

That’s a good question, actually.
I guess it’s because I’m a familiar face here, because I hang around here a lot.

That should be the reason, I suppose.

That is? Nothing to do with the amount you drink?

*laughs* No, I don’t think I qualify to be a drinker per se.
I mean, I come here more for the vibe and ambience, and the crowd that you normally get to experience here.

Have you always been a beer drinker?

Yes, I am. I moderate my drinking though. I really do it mainly for the company I have, and the people that I hang out with. That’s what is more important to me.

How did you first end up at Toit?

I don’t remember. I just hopped in here quite a few years ago, with some of my friends and had a couple of beers.
I love the beer here, and I’ve never felt anything else matches up to the quality of beer you get here compared to the other breweries I’ve been to.

So that’s definitely one factor that pulls me in. And the food too!

Many times I’ve come here not for the beer, but for the food. And with my family. And they all loved it as well.
Toit is unlike other pubs, which usually have a very young crowd. Here, you get a mixed crowd and the diversity makes the whole experience very different.

Are you from Bangalore?

No, I am from Ernakulam in Kerala.
It’s been about 12 years since I moved here. I did my MBA here, and I’ve been working ever since.

What do you do?

I work at an investment bank, in HR heading a particular function.

Is your job fun?

Yeah! I love my job, and the firm that I work for, otherwise I wouldn’t have stuck on for so many years. 

Since you’ve been coming here for a while, any memorable event that stands out?

The experience here has always been very pleasant, and it’s mostly talking and sharing life conversations with friends. So no particular one that stands out as such.

Is your work intense, dealing with people in such an intensive field?

My job involves a combination of people and processes.
Yeah, my passion towards HR has been related to understanding how people work and how we can build that aspect of the firm, per se.

It’s always been close to me, and that’s why I chose this stream and even did my post-graduation in that same stream.

I believe myself to be more of a logical thinker. Adopting processes to suit people’s needs and bring out the right elements to develop a project, focusing on not losing people, and investing in the right places are the core aspects of my job.

What is a recurring theme in terms of the issues people face?

A lot of times, it is to do with the cultural fit.
Everybody has different backgrounds, and expectations coming into a firm, and not many people get adjusted to all kinds of firms.

Sometimes there is a mismatch in expectations—the firms sometimes move at a very fast pace and the people cannot keep up.
And vice versa as well, when people don’t get the level of motivation or engagement they expect from a slow-moving firm.

That’s one aspect.
The other is all about attitude. Being open to change, as well as the ability to adapt to change.

Leaving aside skill sets, which are a given, problems revolve more around how people are tuned.

Is it hectic, managing people? Do you get time to do other things?

Weekdays are quite hectic.
I work for a global firm, and you end up working long hours.

You need to be heard, especially if you hold a leadership role, and you need to speak on behalf of the region that you represent. It’s an important aspect of your work, and that usually means that you need to be available at times that might not be the most convenient.

That’s quite demanding in itself.
And cutting through the global noise of everyone else, demands a certain amount of commitment and navigating through different strengths.

Do you have any hobbies that you like pursuing when you’re not working?

Well, Friday nights I’m usually here unwinding.
I do play a lot of sports, especially Tennis, and I have a small group of people who share the same enthusiasm.

I play badminton as well, and I think I’m pretty good at both. *laughs*

I used to play cricket for my college, so I enjoy that from time to time as well.
Weekdays, if I manage to get home early, I do manage to get out there in the court and knock a few balls. But that’s rare.

I find weekends are the best for this.

Are you generally a very motivated person?

Honestly, there is some level of motivation I derive from watching Roger Federer. I am a big time fan.
When I’m low on motivation, I watch him and get inspired and just get out there on the court.

Otherwise, I’m very passionate about tennis, so I don’t need too much of a push to play, but maybe a little when it comes to being regular. 

Do you miss Kerala? Any plans of going back?

I like Bangalore. In a lot of ways, I’ve gotten used to Bangalore.
But at the same time, I’m not averse to going back to Kerala because my extended family is there.

I don’t have plans in the near future, but that is a very relaxed place compared to Bangalore