A WONDER CALLED ANDY Posted on: September 19, 2016 15:13:07

DOMINIC COSTABIR shares his latest interaction with HTI’s Senior Training Manager Annadas Israel, better known as Andy…

“Andy, why are you holding your stomach in and pushing your chest out... trying to impress me?” I said this irritably. Andy grinned as only he can, with broad pearly white teeth set in a chubby face, “I'm not, Sir. This is my normal (sic). I've started to work out.” I didn't argue; 70 percent of me wanted to believe it, while the balance 30 percent remained sceptical.

The next day, while briefing him on a team building training session, I realised he was too deeply involved to fake a stance. I interrupted my own briefing, “Andy, you’re looking great! Stomach's gone in and your chest is looking tough.”

Andy laughed as only Andy can, genuine joy and pride set in a chubby face. “Sir, I took your last firing seriously and decided to work out. I joined a gym and since two weeks, I'm regular.”

I've been firing Andy for maybe 12 years now. Great kid with a genuine zest for life. His background is rags, but ahead of him I see riches. So I keep pushing him. He falters, rises and flies. Then repeats - falter, rise, fly... But each time the flight is higher. The one thing that has never changed is his CAN DO attitude. “Andy, we need 300 brownies!” He looks at you as only Andy can, determination set in chubby face, “You'll get it, Sir. When do you want it?”

Andy joined HTI as a janitor and is now a Senior Training Manager. He has now moved to Delhi. Taking the pain of separation from family and home, he is working on one of HTI's favourite partner's projects - Azure Center of Excellence (ACE). He is learning their unique cuisine from Jayanti Duggal, Food Director, Azure Hospitality, while simultaneously training Mamagoto's pre-opening kitchen team along with Chef Bhupendra.

He assists Rajat Saha (Head North) along with Training Managers Nidhi Amarpuri, Rahul Sawant and Debratha Pradhan to service HTI’s other partners and establish our dominance as the preferred outsourced training department in the North.

Andy, along with Rajat, assisted me for an outbound Management & Adventure Program (MAP) for Azure’s leadership team. Just as we are about to board the bus, Andy exults, “Sir, you know my family (wife Padma, kids Christina and Eric) will be joining me in Delhi for Diwali, right?” It's an authoritative statement-cum-request delivered in the disarming way only Andy can, complete with broad beam. I smile, “Yes! And I look forward to the day HTI can allow you to take them to Singapore, Malaysia and Europe too.” Surprisingly, Andy doesn't flash his normal broad grin… instead his eyes mist up in his chubby face.

My eyes moisten too. “Andy buddy, the world and I are waiting for you to 'arrive'. Don't keep us waiting for long.”