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Trust and respect extends across cultures


Trust and respect extends across cultures


Like many businesses during the height of the pandemic, Siliconchips Services had to close one of our physical offices. Once the worst had passed, two years later, we were able to get excited about reopening. It was strategically best for us to find new premises in a new area—settling on Chennai, in the South of India.


I am based in London, and with the reduction in travel, it made sense for my team on the ground in Chennai to scout out our new office, negotiate commercials and sign the agreement. I inherently knew they would make the right choice. After all, why hire a team if you cannot trust them to make crucial decisions?


We don’t talk about religion very much in the UK, but in India, it is woven into our everyday lives at home and at work. Being a Muslim who follows the Islamic faith, my team in India all follow the Hindu faith.


“For us, it is not an issue that we are from different religions. What is important is showing respect for others' beliefs.”


It is common practice in Hinduism to participate in ceremonial worship, or Puja. It usually consists of offering flowers or fruit to an image of a god. It may involve the waving of lighted lamps before an image of a deity. My team wished for a blessing for everyone’s good health as they returned to the office after COVID, and I was pleased for them to do this.


At 5:30 AM IST (1 PM UK time) on a warm August day this year, I joined our virtual Puja, performed by a religious priest known as a Pandit or Brahmin. It was a special moment attending with all my team in Chennai and their families.


I believe being a good leader doesn’t have to be complicated. It is the same as being a good human. Regardless of ethnicity, religion, status, gender or anything else that defines us as different, when we focus on our commonalities and demonstrate trust, respect and honesty, it is returned. When we give others dignity, they flourish.


I look forward to seeing our new office and meeting the team in person in early 2023.