Zuari Cement, Italcementi, CTG and 11 years of experience

Few things in life are so evident and so attracted to our lives in hindsight! My association with M/s. Zuari Cement (the erstwhile Texmaco Cement) and with M/s. Italcementi Group has been a good example of one such unconscious connection since my childhood.

I'm generally a good observer of things and I've developed this skill over time that I learnt most of the things I use at my work place or at home looking and observing how many other people were doing better than me at that particular point of time.

I am particularly fond of looking at the logos and remembering the brand names since my childhood.

The old Texmaco logo of 'Ramaiah' mason (mestri as called in Telugu) with a spade in hand was the symbol of their cement factory. This advertisement and branding was so popular during the years of 1990s that whenever we used to travel to Yerraguntla from Proddatur for taking the 'Rayalaseema' express to Hyderabad.
Then the logo of Texmaco remained the same but the name got changed to Zuari Cement. As an observer, I couldn't understand the reason why also due to my age at which I couldn't understand how the corporate branding works!

Then Zuari Cement Ltd logo was very common for many years and it stuck in my mind till the time I was invited for a campus interview in 2004 during May at our Sri Venkateswara University's affiliated 'KSRM College of Engineering'.

It was the first time I learnt that Zuari Cement has been a joint venture between M/s. Italcementi Group and the famous Indian KK Birla Group since 2001. When I saw the potential of possible visits to Italy and working abroad to gain international experience, I opted to join Zuari Cement though I had the choice to make either to complete my M. Tech ( having qualified in GATE 2004) or to start my work career!

For some personal reasons, I opted for the job and entered the Zuari Cement Ltd site at Yerraguntla. My entry wasn't without competition though as is the normal practice for a young engineer fresh out of college. In 2 rounds of interviews and group discussions (at our college and at Bangalore Corporate Office) I had confidently and positively competed with about 20 people all more or less similarly qualified and got finally selected.

It was on 15th July 2004, I formally joined in my first job at Zuari Cement Ltd at Yerraguntla site as a 'Graduate Engineer Trainee' in a batch of 7 people selected overall, 3 for Mechanical and 4 for Electrical and Instrumentation disciplines.

The very first year was very tough because we faced certain kind of immediate supervisors who weren't professional but my self belief and my faith on the Italcementi Group and its 'charter of values' that inspired me to go through those testing times.

Having said that, there were some very nice seniors with nice work ethics who guided me and my friends well. We toiled hard to learn the process of the factory operations, maintenance and finally got promoted as 'Senior Engineers', exactly 1 year after we joined, on 15th July 2005.

I was never shy of dreaming big, and such realization of my dream has happened within 1.5 years after joining in the form of Junior Engineers' Training 2005-06 organized by Italcementi at their head quarters at Bergamo.

We were interviewed through video conferences and were very nicely supported by our then Managing Director and Human Resource department head as eventually I and some of my friends from Yerraguntla and Sitapuram have got selected for this 'great' overseas working opportunity.

We were a reason of pride for our well-wishers at Zuari Cement and a reason of jealousy for all those who tried to suppress our growth due to their petty politics, but for me and one of my best friends, it was a moment of triumph as our hardwork and efforts were somehow recognized and we got an opportunity to express ourselves well in a multinational environment.

JET 2005-06 was a training program organized by Italcementi with about 35 young engineers coming mainly from Italy, France, India, USA, Canada, Belgium, Egypt, Bulgaria though there were people of other nationalities also.

With groups formed with multinational backgrounds, it was a great challenge and joy to work with colleagues with different cultures and backgrounds. We enjoyed our time, learnt different languages and became very good friends while achieving our objectives. We made two sessions of such training where we learnt the technical aspects of our business and projects and we made our presentations.

Immediately after this training, though we were supposed to go back to our home country, some of my Indian friends including me got an opportunity to continue further due to our relatively better performance.

I got chosen for CTG SpA, the consultancy company in our group. Then, fortunately I got the opportunity to work for the same Zuari Cement "New Burning Line" project, and I was overwhelmingly happy knowing about the turn of the events.

I found a great work environment and was in good hands, and all my past experience at site had immensely helped me to give proper inputs to my seniors at Bergamo, who appreciated me and valued my presence to work with them.

I acquired all the required skills to work in a multinational environment despite my language problems (with Italian) but achieved the objectives. I was sent to our consultancy partner company offices to work for our project, posted at site for few months to supervise some surveys, collect information and finally we got all the things done for the big job to be commenced at site, the construction of a 5500 new burning line from the crushing department to the cement dispatching.

The years 2007 to 2011 mark a great challenge and reservoir of experience and satisfaction to me as I took on many roles in the interest of the project and my company CTG and I have always achieved the results and earned the trust of my management.

This experience made my management recall me back to Bergamo to work on a further 10 projects (2 major, others minor and medium ones) in 4 years time from 2011 to 2015.

At the end of 11th year of my experience, I'm still here working for the 120 MW Wind Power Plant project at Gulf of El Zeit, for our Egyptian Subsidiary Italgen Misr.

And my enthusiasm and love for my job continue to grow, as I explore ways to improve myself and to help others to the maximum, thereby helping myself, in achieving common goals and my personal goals.

(To be continued next year ......!)

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