City, Citizens And the Corporate Culture

City, Citizens And the Corporate Culture

For an organisation that takes pride in harnessing synergy from a diverse workforce across the globe, it is important to have a fine blend of people and their vibrant culture in building one's organisational values.


Do you remember the TV serial Gul, Gulshan, Gulfam that was telecast on Doordarshan during the 90s? If you are a Millennial, you would obviously have an ‘oh really!’ kind of reaction to this question!


FYI, it was one among the many good programmes to watch out for during those good old days. And the reason for bringing this up is because – is the title of this write-up not sounding similar to this TV series? However, I am not sure to what extent the titles are synonymous to each other!


Well, each of us strives for a Swachh, safe, prosperous and a beautiful place to live. Whether it is our home, locality, city or the workplace, we take pride in the association that we develop over a period of time with the place and the people around us. Every city has a unique culture and its people form an integral part of the distinct identity of that city. One may interact with people from two different cities from the same MNC and you will definitely identify the unique flavour of each of the locations, which is treasured by the organisation.


People define culture


People make an organisation, and the city in which it has pinned its location has a major contribution in shaping up the overall organisational culture. Hence, while recruiting Talent and facilitating Training programmes in your company, it is very critical to have an understanding of the different regions, the people and their culture. And


If your organisation does not embrace and reflect the local culture, then it will not strike a good chord with the folks of that region.


Also, for an organisation that takes pride in harnessing synergy from a diverse workforce across the globe, it is important to have a fine blend of people and their vibrant culture in building one’s organisational values. A company which cannot celebrate its people, is not an ‘organisation’ in its true sense.


Let us take the example of Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Though both of them have always been contenders in the race to be India’s Number One IT Hub, both of them have had a very healthy competition with mutual admiration for each other. The workforce of Namma Bengaluru and Mana Hyderabad have definitely influenced and contributed to the vibrancy of the workplaces in these regions, just like any other region in the world. Let us understand the people from these two major IT hubs in our country.


Namma Bengaluru


1. Karnataka has an extraordinary speciality; apart from producing Bharat Ratnas like M Visvesvariah, CNR Rao and Bhimsen Joshi, to giving India the great Field Marshal K. M Cariappa and industrialists like N R Narayana Murthy, to boasting of having contributed almost half of the Indian Cricket Team during the 90s, it is like an India within India. It is the largest state in South India with very rich natural resources and cultural heritage.


Kannada is the official language of the state and the other languages of prominence are Tulu, Kodava, Konkani etc. In addition, different dialects of Kannada are spoken in different regions of the state. For example, the dialect spoken in Uttara Karnataka is very different from Dakshina Kannada and despite such diversities and differences, the people here have never really wanted to part ways by breaking the state into smaller pieces.


2. People from Mysuru and Bengaluru are usually multi-lingual and very accommodative by nature. They would try to speak in your language and would always like to make you feel at home. For a North Indian who may be struggling to differentiate between the various languages of the South, this is a very welcome place. Same is the case for everyone else in the world, and this is why this region has remained as a host to the IT hustle-bustle in the country for almost three decades


3. Embracing a cosmopolitan culture was natural for the locals here, as this region was one of the most frequented places for trade and also for film shootings - right from the time when the Hindi Movie industry had not been baptised as Bollywood. However, the irony, as most things in life, is that the people of this region were not truly interested in the commercialised form of movies. Instead, they always had a very keen taste for fine Arts such as Carnatic Music. However, of late, things have started to change, especially after a few good story-based commercial movies were made in the recent past.


Though the folks here are very welcoming towards other cultures, they take immense pride in their rich heritage and culture. And, you better call their language Kannada and their state as Karnataka rather than calling it as Kannad or Karnatak!


4.This region hosts many elite Institutes and Universities too, with some of them being one among the oldest in the country. Apart from being technically competent, it is observed that the communication skills of Graduates from this region are very good as compared to the other regions.


Also, the Mysuru region, in particular, has always been very well planned with all the required amenities. When compared to other cities of India, it is observed that the people of Mysuru and Bengaluru like to follow the rules of their land very diligently and the locals are sticklers to cleanliness. When you go around the city, the aroma of ‘Filter Coffee’ mixed with the cool breeze of fragrant air blowing through the numerous Jasmine markets, gives you a very refreshing and pleasant feeling


5. The biggest plus point of this region is the weather and the people here are truly blessed by Maa Chamundi, as this region has always been prosperous and protected, despite having rather unstable bouts of Government in the state.


When you work in an office in Bengaluru or Mysuru, you can distinctly observe that the aesthetics, cleanliness, flexibility and openness are second nature for the people and organisations here.


Mana Hyderabad


1. If there is one Indian city which is the true symbol of the so-called GangaJamuna tehzeeb in the modern Indian context, then it is Hyderabad or the erstwhile Bhagyanagar. There is something charming about this city, just like the monumental Charminar, the serene divinity of Birla Mandir and the majestic sets of Ramoji Film city.


Apart from producing the Elegant Azhars and the ‘Very Very Special’ Laxmans in cricket, it has also produced some great Badminton stars like Guru Garu Gopichand and Smashing Star Sindhu, IT professionals like Satya Nadella and many reel stars from Tollywood as well, whose dubbed movies in Hindi are a great hit in the North.


2. Here the people love their Movies, Teen Maar and Paan. One should not be surprised if Tollywood comes up with something bigger than Bahubali soon. The genuine craving for cinemas among the people here has created a market for such larger than life kind of portrayals. And, with Bollywood miserably failing to produce quality content movies, as was the case until the 90s, the nationwide market for Movies is wide open for the Telugites to pounce upon, provided there are no other strings attached which may stop them from doing so.


3. Hyderabad is a confluence of cultures where people from all parts of India and the world would feel at home. Barring a few politically motivated incidents of violence, as is the case in the other parts of the world, this City has been a true symbol of a progressive Modern India, with strong roots nurtured by their tehzeeb.


Some say that the other side of the coin is very dangerous and that it is just a matter of time before some notorious party is able to muster the required numbers to come to power and disturb the calm. However, some counter this argument that the city has stood the test of times for more than 400 years. They say, What didn’t happen then, can’t happen now! In fact, some strongly advocate that it should be made the second capital of India.


4. However, whoever visits the city loves the distinct identity that the locals carry. You will hardly find a Hyderabadi who does not love their Jannat-ul-Firdous attar. The aroma of Biryani and Chai is quite common in almost every major street in the city. However, nothing can beat the taste of Qubani ka Meetha with Vanilla IceCream. The uniqueness of the people here is that they seem to have the flamboyance of a Northy and the modesty of a South Indian! And of course, they are also equally competent technically.


5. All said and done, laying down the foundation of Hi-Tech City during the mid-90s has been a major game changer for this city to bring it on the global map as a major IT destination. Since then, it has also seen a surge in the industrial and overall development of the city.


One of the major challenges that is being faced by some of the world’s biggest cities at some point is that the locals begin to protest the ‘poaching’ of jobs by the migrants. In the Indian context, since there are only a handful of Tier-1 Cities, and there is bound to be cutthroat competition for jobs in these cities.


Though the state Governments definitely have absolute control in case of Government jobs, it is very difficult for them to influence or control such things in the private sector. If they remain to be too pushy they may force the MNCs to leave the state. Instead, the state Governments should focus a lot more on the overall development of the people and their region. Because, any mature organisation would definitely value a genuine connect with the locals of the land, but not at the cost of merit and the quality of talent.


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Keshav Sridhar is a HR Consultant & OD Specialist. A seasoned HR Professional, he wields an experience of 15 years and has worked with Google, Partygaming, Aditya Birla Group, BITS Pilani University etc. Keshav holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management. He can be contacted at


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