On Tuesday, August 29th, Mumbai received the heaviest rainfall since 2005 and was completely paralyzed, crippling road, rail and air services, inundating homes and taking the lives of more than 10 people. Thousands of people were stranded for hours before they finally reached their homes. Cars were left behind by owners in flooded streets.
Situation unfolding in the Cimpress India office
By 1 pm water filled in the electric panel of one of our main office buildings, forcing us to switch the electric panel off. Fifteen minutes later, our data center was also shut down. Most of our team members’ shifts start at noon, and despite the increasingly bad weather, everyone made it to work. They had a choice to turn back and go home, but braved the commute – some taking up to 4 hours to get to work! Some supervisors went to meet their team members wading through the water, guiding them through alternate, less flooded routes.
By evening everyone from A Block (our office building without power) moved to the C Block office where they still had electricity. Many of us tried leaving the office thinking we could make it home but had to turn back.
As the waters refused to recede even past midnight, we made the best of the situation. Transforming our office into an IMAX dome, we had a long movie night accompanied with Mumbai-style vada pav and other delicacies. Many team members managed to catch a few winks of sleep. Others managed to have a quick darshan of the Lalbaugcha Raja and Kalachowki Ganpati (with no serpentine queues due to the floods).
Dedication and teamwork
Despite not having slept the night, many team members started to work on their backlogs on Wednesday morning. Those that did make it home the day before came in early for their shifts to relieve colleagues who had been at work through the night, others to cover for colleagues that could not make it to the office; some graphic artists stretched beyond 9 hours, while others reached home early Wednesday morning and were back to work by noon.
Some had their own flood situations at home. Some others made it to work leaving their better half – their bike mid-way to work and then went back with colleagues to drag it back to work at midnight, then took it to a garage in the morning and continued to work. Each team member had a brave story to tell, exhibited an indomitable spirit and chipped in on Tuesday and Wednesday without any enforcement.
Their dedication didn’t go unnoticed. Many of the teams within Cimpress that we provide graphic services and support to were surprised and impressed to find their queues cleared and workflows under control. Our key stakeholders put our safety first and checked in with us to express their concern and appreciation for our handling of the situation.
We are very proud of the Cimpress India team, grateful that everyone is safe, and in awe of the support and cooperation our team members showed in this extraordinary situation. Their dedication to our company and our customers went above and beyond.
Contributed by Bernice Pires, Associate Director, Cimpress India