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Interview with Mr. Mike Murali

On a lovely Monday evening, 15th of July at 6pm, we had Mr. Mike Murali, Chief Fun Officer and Director of Marketing, Capgemini, 2x Guiness record holder, 2x TedX Speaker, join Mr. Arvind, CEO of team.i on our Instagram live series  Expert Speak on the changing landscape…a plethora of opportunities.

Tell us about yourself:

Mr. Mike’s journey in the world of making people entertained started when he joined iGate, an IT firm, in the year 2006 in Bangalore. “Over here the founder of the company wanted to make and produce happy employees”. Thus a team, which involved him too, went on to research extensively on how to start a culture that will make employees feel engaged and happy. For this, they traveled around the world, met different people etc.

After that, the company acquired another company called “Patni Computers”, and suddenly their workforce went from 6000 epmployees to 20,000 employees. Mike took this as a challenge to get involved, and engage with all of them across different cities. “This was a great opportunity to set a culture among the organisation”.

Capgemini then acquired iGate, and introduced a post called “Chief Fun Officer” and handed Mr. Mike the position. “Thus after 14 years of engagement with the concept and culture of fun, the company designed a post called the Chief Fun Officer. I was more than honoured to take this responsibility and carry forward this culture ahead”.

In 2016, he was part of the live commentary panel of BCCI for the T20 Worldcup that year which was held in India. 

“Having done 2500 shows around 20 countries, this is the high I live on and its never going to saturate. I am just destiny’s child.  I consider myself very lucky to be able to follow my passion.” 

How was the lockdown period for you?

According to Mr. Mike, this period of pandemic has been like an opportunity for him. “It’s an opportunity to find a new part of you”. As a company, they have always stood by one thing and that is to not repeat the same thing. Thus, in January this year, their team made a full proof plan for the entire year which was different from last year. But in March, after the pandemic situation was announced, they had to change this plan fully. 

One of the plans was to focus and engage with people virtually from their home. “During the normal scenario, we had been doing the “Thank god it’s monday” show every Monday afternoon since 2006. Thus during the pandemic, We launched digital “Thank god its Monday”. We patch music from different users from different cities between the weekdays, and then we play this on a monday afternoon”. According to Mike, this was a great initiative and the numbers have backed this. A normal physical event of the show used to cater 1000 people. But with the digital platform, they were able to cater to around 25,000 people across 25 different countries, and its just been 8 episodes over the span of 1 and half months. 

They even launched another digital initiative which goes by the name of “Big boss”, where they are trying to change the concept of “Work from home” to Work, Fun and Home”. This is a show where they try to engage with the family members of the employees. “We did Family’s got talent and Spouse’s got talent show”.

“That’s how we took the challenge of pandemic and we raised the bar”.

Your take on the future?

“In my personal opinion, this is the new normal. The good thing is that mental wellness has got good focus. Technology is going to change everything. Now people are doing more events than earlier, only because of the presence of virtual reality. Now is the time, we need to focus on how to make 10,000 people sitting at home engaged and happy. Now is the time to sharpen our axe”.

Any Advice for the youngsters out there?

“Innovation isn’t about doing new things. When the whole world is falling down, you see this as an opportunity to do something new. This is called Disruptive innovation. I need to look to the future and not the past. You just need to channelise your energy in the right way”.

To watch the full video, head over to our Instagram page


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