e25’er: Nalini Kothari
Current location: Auris Metro Central
Consuming: Super Rings and Lindt 85% cocoa
I landed in Dubai in the first week of April and was blown away by how much it had changed since I was last here. The weather had gotten warmer but so had the welcomes. I was met at the airport by a friendly chauffeur who went on to give me a brief lowdown on all the famous buildings on our way to the hotel. Speaking of iconic buildings, the Burj Khalifa being the tall beauty that she is, evoked the greatest excitement in both of us.
Before I begin to describe my encounters in Dubai, let me start with introducing myself. I am Nalini Kothari and I have come to Dubai to be a part of the amazing e25 team! While a lot of employers speak of autonomy and freedom, seldom do they translate in spirit what they promise in letter. And I was glad to have found with Emaar a company that truly delivers on what it promises.
My mind was a mix of happy and sad as I got to the hotel, but my beautifully done up room and the amazing view it offered raised my spirits instantly. I had been in Lyon last year as part of my student exchange and was one day hit by this strong nostalgia for all things Indian – the people, the food, and the language. But, as I walked around Dubai, I realized that was not going to happen here. In a lot of ways, it just felt like home.
The team had planned to meet for dinner – a way to learn more about one another before we hit the ground running. We had decided upon Logma – a restaurant that serves lip-smacking Arabic cuisine. As a vegetarian, my food palette is often limited, but I am always up for trying what a new cuisine has to offer. And delighted I was as I suck my teeth into Halloumi – a kind of chewy, brined cheese that I took an instant liking to. It soon found its way into my wraps and sandwiches over the next few days. Ali was missing from this rendezvous and was hilariously photoshopped into the team photo.
On the first day, we had a series of meetings scheduled with the top brass at Emaar. They spoke about their journeys and the values that had held them in good stead till date. There ran a thread of commonality between all of the meetings – that failure is the biggest teacher in life, with each of them stressing more on the learnings from their failures rather than their successes.
The week ahead was choc-a-bloc with trainings. The next day was dedicated to MBTI profiling. We had previously undertaken a test to understand what our Myers-Briggs Personality type was and the day was spent understanding how our individual personalities would lend to the overall personality of the team. Funnily, all but one member of the team were extroverts as per the results of the online test, but as the day progressed, we came to realize that in our personal dealings most of us were introverts. And that may be because the workplace tends to favour extroverts and pushes us towards being demonstrative. This has been the subject of much debate and remains rather inconclusive.
Over the next two days, we were part of an entrepreneurship boot camp with Mr. Anthony Mills. It was an intensive training involving various fun activities, as we started on a systematic approach to establishing a start-up. There were long brainstorming sessions and crazy ideas got thrown around the table. But as they say, every new idea looks crazy at first.
The week ended with a meeting with Hadi, followed by a fantastic dinner at Hashi, Armani Hotel which serves authentic Japanese food. You’d be amazed to know how adept they are at customizing their signature dishes to cater to vegetarians. We walked out of the hotel to a breathtaking view of the Dubai Fountain and the promise of an exhilarating journey that awaited us!