I happened to be visiting the Cisco India office to catch up on some leftover work on my India vacation. Having spent a major chunk of my life growing up and studying in Mumbai and around but never really having had a chance to actually work in Mumbai, I’ve always wondered about what corporate environments in the city are like. And hence, it was interesting to get some first impressions at the Cisco India office. This happens to be on the 2nd and 6th floors of ILFS building in Bandra-Kurla complex which is an area in central-suburban Mumbai which has got a string of major corporate and government office spaces. The building by itself, as all other buildings in the are quite grand from the outside ….
… but just wait till you get inside the building after passing through the metal detector and X-ray scanners and walk into the lobby, the arches are 2-3 storeys high and the interior is a huge 8-9 storey high open space right till the roof with offices of the periphery. It really gives a great roomy feeling and the lobby seating area is a great place to have a cup of coffee or discussion. And the whole place is built top to bottom corner to corner out of granite and I noticed over half a dozen staff occupying themselves full time with keeping every nook and corner shiny and sparkling at all times. The whole place is lit by plenty of natural light from the roof, and the top 2 floors have open seating as well.
Walk up to the 6th floor, and its interesting another IT heavyweight vendor right across your door.
As you enter into the office you’ll notice there’s no virtual office assistant business here, as opposed to elsewhere in san jose buildings. In fact, there is a whole crew consisting of lobby admins, security and associate staff to take care of all your logistic needs. And the personnel are stationed round the clock throughout the week. They will make you unlimited free express coffee delivered right at your work desk or anywhere else, and a selection of sandwiches is also available for about 60 cents a plate. The omlette sandwich I had was very well done. Speaking of which, Cisco India has also taken the “no-free soda” policy very seriously indeed. There are soda cans in a cooler available for purchase at also about 60 cents a can. To ensure that the policy is strictly followed, the cooler is secured with a solid steel lock.
The office balcony has an open view stretching out about 10km, which is a HUGE deal in Mumbai. Its really airy with the strong afternoon seabreeze providing much needed temperature moderation and air circulation to the city’s otherwise hot and toxic air. You can notice the residential high rises in background which is the Bandra skyline, reflecting on the city’s construction boom. And just adjacent, like everywhere else in Mumbai, lies in a stark contrast, the other grim realities of India.
I had quite a productive day at work. I personally don’t mind (in fact, sometimes prefer) collaborative workspaces which is what they have in Mumbai, and got settled quite comfortably. I would have sure had a more productive day if the internet connection was 5x faster, but cant complain with what was available. I didn’t have to muck around with any of my credentials or network settings and everything just worked. It was great to interact with the sales teams dealing with the products I work on and share insights with them. And I had a great way to finish off the workday consisting of 3 rickshaw and 2 train commutes on Mumbai summer day with a cool refreshing glass of freshly squeezed sugarcane juice !!