Bangalore’s skyline might not exactly spark up with fireworks this American Independence Day but there is a section of the City which is eagerly anticipating the occasion — its MNC
Most of these multinational companies cater to clients who are based out of the
state and accordingly, their holidays are synched with those celebrated abroad.
So although many MNC employees don’t get time to themselves for Deepavali
or the Indian Republic Day, they are given ample leave around Christmas, Easter
and of course, July 4.
Metrolife caught up with a few of these professionals, who admit that July 4 has
now become an integral holiday in their calender — one that they use for de-
stressing and unwinding.
Marking off another country’s independence day on the calender might seem odd at first but Narendra K V, the CEO of a US-based organisation, explains that it’s a constant in many of his employees’ life.
“Companies like these are often more or less back office centres for organisations in the US — somewhat like an extended arm of that company. And in the USA, people don’t take holidays for Deepavali or Dasara,” he points out, adding, “it’s important to be available when the client needs one — this kind of 24/7 support is vital, which is why employees work during Indian holidays.
But if a client is not working on a particular day, then our employees here can take off — there’s no point operating when a customer doesn’t need you, so many MNCs give July 4 as a holiday.”
Although this may seem like a difficult concept to adjust to, Narendra adds that most of his employees have become accustomed to it.
“They understand — after all, they are interacting with the client,” he points out.
He’s right in this regard; Ranjit, a professional, admits that he’s now come to accept a new pattern of holidays.
“In my company, the way it works is that the people who are a part of the US shift always get a holiday on July 4.
There’s really no point working on this day, since the client isn’t either,” he
Ranjit notes that he treats this holiday as a welcome break. “I like to chill at home and relax, maybe catch up with my hobbies. It’s a brilliant time to unwind. The nice thing is that in July, there are lots of sales going on, so I take out time to shop. Since I’m a techie, I also like to play with my gadgets,” he describes.
Harsha, who works for a firm called Northern Trust, echoes this sentiment.
“I don’t interact much with the US clients, but do handle accounts from the States. So every year, those of us who work in the US shift follow the American system
of holidays. July 4 is no big deal, really — it’s just a day off in the middle of the week. I might go out and meet some friends, but I doubt I’d do anything too elaborate because I have work the next day.”
He does, however, admit that following another country’s holiday pattern can get tiresome.
“We don’t get holidays for Indian festivals like Deepavali, so I have to apply specifically for them. The problem is that everyone in the office applies for leave for that same slot — so it can get tough,” he reflects.