TeamWorks is a Bangalore based startup founded by Ujval Shankar, Selvin Arockia and Anju Bhatia. They help organisations to build a bond between their team with the help of experiential & fun based learning programs.
As founders of TeamWorks, we believe in following the BEST principle – Breathe, Eat, Sleep, Talk only TeamWorks.
We got an opportunity to talk with Ujval, one of the co-founders of TeamWorks and see what he has to say. I am sure his interview with us will inspire you.
Give a brief info about your startup?
TeamWorks is a team building and team bonding enterprise which helps organizations in bringing their teams together through experiential and fun based learning programs. These interventions help the teams to collaborate and work in harmony for enhancing team performance, resolving conflicts and managing change effectively.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
TeamWorks was started with the need of bringing in experiential & fun learning ways of team building & team bonding for corporates, start-ups & academia. Our main reason was to make learning Fun & Experiential with activity-based programs.
With increased focus on employee engagement, employee retention and making their brand a Great Place to Work, organizations are looking for solutions whereby they can create high performing teams that work with the five C’s crucial for team success: Collaboration, Cooperation, healthy Competition, Creativity and Managing Change. This has led to an increased need for team building and team bonding interventions that are provided by us.
Since all the founders are professionals with rich experience in training, employee engagement and human resource management, we decided to start TeamWorks to focus on helping organizations becoming a great place to work.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
Ujval Shankar, Co-Founder & Team Building Coach.
Has over 18 years of experience in Human Resources, Training & Development, Employee Engagement & Relations, Employee Branding, and Rewards & Recognition. He has worked in the Human Resources and Employee Engagement function of First source Solutions Ltd and 24/7 Customer Pvt. Ltd. He has also worked with Oberoi Group of Hotels in the Customer Service functions. Ujval has been rated as one of India’s best Experiential Team Building Coach (Asia Pacific Outsourcing Forum ratings 2012). Ujval is also a certified Art of Living faculty & trainer and has been teaching the Art of Living Stress Elimination workshops since 2010 to individuals and corporates.
Ujval has represented India at the Asia Pacific Outsourcing Executive Forum 2012, China – HR Conclave for Team Building & Employee engagement best practices He was awarded the Big Leap Award 2011 Best Employee Engagement HR award for 7Inc Ltd.
Selvin Arockia Co-Founder & Team Building Coach
Selvin has a career spanning over 15 years in the domains of Human Resources, Training & Development, Employee Engagement and Rewards & Recognition. In Employee Engagement, his areas of specialization have been designing activities and events solely for Team Building workshops, Rewards & Recognition, Leadership workshops and Fun at Work initiatives. He is also specialized in Employee Engagement Initiatives, Employee Retention programs. Selvin has worked in the Human Resources and Employee Engagement function of Accenture India Ltd & 24/7 Customer Pvt. Ltd. Selvin practices the Art of Living stress management techniques & volunteers for the Art of Living service projects.
Selvin has been awarded the Alchemist HR Award 2009 Accenture India for Mentoring & Coaching in HR and also the Accenture Career Progression 2005 HR high performers award.
Anju Bhatia, Co-Founder & Leadership Skills Trainer
Anju is a leadership skills trainer and has over twenty years of experience in managing and establishing L & D functions. She has vast experience in Hospitality, Banking & Financial Services and IT/ITES sectors and has worked with organizations like Jet Airways, Standard Chartered Bank, Accenture, Goldman Sachs and Capgemini. She’s an alumnus of IIM-Calcutta and her core fields of expertise are Leadership Communication, Leading Change, Situational Leadership, Innovation, Strategy and High Impact Presentations for leaders. She is also an HR consultant and advises corporates in building competency mapping and performance management systems.
Anju is also an Art of Living teacher since 15 years and is a certified faculty for the Art of Living corporate leadership programs ‘Achieving Personal Excellence’ and ‘Excellence at the Workplace’. She is a member of NHRD, ATD and speaks at various HR forums for B- Schools.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
We are based out of Bangalore and we work out of a co-working space. Since Bangalore offers a superb eco-system for startups, it gives us easy access to clients, networks and investors too. When we are not in client locations or traveling for team building sessions, you will often find us sitting in coffee shops and chai points brainstorming with our partners. These are the places buzzing with start-up enthusiasm, and here we also find startup founders sitting at the next table discussing their strategy with potential suppliers and customers. We have often found clients this way and have done many team building sessions for startups whose need to bond is more than anyone else today. Hence working in such an eco-system is the best place for us.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Innovative and effective solutions to address team issues are our key concern. Our team interventions need to address intrinsic challenges in teams, such as building energy, enthusiasm, teamwork, harmony, creativity and innovation, collaboration, cooperation and healthy competition, managing change and even sales and marketing skills.
Providing world class, innovative and experiential team building solutions, which are unique, fun based and customized to our clients, is our prime focus and keeps us awake at night!!
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
The team building and experiential learning industry is small and unorganized. Most of the players are freelancers or team building camps created by ex-army men.
But these are not direct competition for as we offer our services at any location of the client’s choice – off-site resorts, business hotels in commercial cities and even in client premises. So we are very flexible and unique in that sense.
Further, we have a unique proposition – custom built learning and gamification which directly addresses the issues of the team. Our team building engagements are very unique and innovative. We customize every intervention for each client, by doing a need analysis, understanding the challenges and gaps in team performance, and providing tailor made solutions that help the clients bridge these gaps. We offer a wide spectrum of solutions ranging from ‘design-build-collaborate’ activities to theatrics, fun-o-logy, team-o-logy, paintworks, chef-a-thons and CSR based team building activities – like Miles of Smiles, Wheels of Hope, Toy-Factory & many more.
Finding new, innovative and creative experiential activities for teams is a way of life for us. And the quality of our materials and facilitators and team coaches truly makes us world class. This is evident from the large number of testimonials we have from our esteemed clients. We have an impressive list of clientele ranging from small and mid size start ups to large multinationals, and they always come back to us for their team needs, and this itself is proof our client service excellence.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
As founders of TeamWorks, we believe in following the BEST principle – Breathe, Eat, Sleep, Talk only TeamWorks. The first three years are extremely crucial for any startup and you need to give your Best to building the brand. Once you reach out to a sizeable number of clients, and keep on enhancing your products and client services, then clients start coming to you repetitively, and new clients also start approaching you because the brand starts speaking for itself.
Hence we would give this advice to every start up founder – give it your Best in the first three years. We knew that there would be hardly any work-life balance, and we were prepared for it. Ultimately, it’s the passion for our team building programs that drives us to give our BEST.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
Currently, we are a boot strapped company, and by consciously maintaining cost efficiencies, we are comfortable this way. Maybe a year down the road, when scaling up becomes the key focus, we will look at raising funds.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
There are so many run-of-the-mill training and team building companies, and the biggest misconception people have is that we may be one of them. This is because the market is flux with freelancers who have hardly any expertise to offer. We realized that the way to overcome this misconception is to offer extremely high quality and highly innovative team building solutions, and to build and strengthen client relationships by meeting their targeted requirements. This approach has paid off and our clients know that we have an edge above the rest.
What gets you excited about this company?
Our love and passion for teams and team building, and the immense opportunity this provides us to be creative and work closely with our esteemed clients. This is what gets us excited and keeps the adrenalin high.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Our day usually starts very early with more than one hour of yoga and meditation. Since we are Art of Living followers we strongly believe that creativity and success happen when you go inwards and tap into that vast source of creativity within. It also helps us keep our enthusiasm and energy high through the rest of the day and through challenges that come our way.
The rest of the day is spent with the client teams, engaging them in high-energy fun learning activities – it is such a ‘present moment’ work for us that we don’t know how the entire day went by. It starts with indenting and sourcing our gamification material, setting up the venue with the right equipment and ambience, providing the context, execution and finally de-briefing the experiences and learning. Our work involves a lot of travel and as a team we ourselves get to bond with each other while working together. This field involves a lot of hard work and our motto within the team is to have fun while working…after all, on a lighter note, we believe in ‘practicing at home what we preach’.
The days we are not involved in team programs, it’s all about meeting and working closely with our clients to make sure that they get tailor made interventions that work best for their teams.
And of course, two to three hours of research and brainstorming happens every day to invent new and creative gamification ideas for teams. Scanning the market for the right props and at least two to three rehearsals before we launch a new gamification product and learning activity.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
All the three founders have known each other from many years and we all come with a strong background of employee engagement, leadership development and talent management. We all had the same vision of helping organizations build ‘High Performing Teams’ and this is what brought us together. And of course common values as practiced in Art of Living were the crucial things that bond us together. It is extremely important for any startup to have founding partners who share the same vision and values.
Know a great startup story or want to share your own? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you. For more updates follow Bangalore Insider on Facebook.