The past few months have redefined many things in our lives, including the way we work to how we take care of ourselves and our loved ones. The pandemic challenged us in many ways we had never imagined until now. It tested our resilience. I am proud to say that at Persistent, all our colleagues’ #Persistent, #Confident and #WeAreInThisTogether attitude prevailed.

The journey so far has been heart-filled and tough. We lost some of our beloved colleagues, and some colleagues lost their loved ones. This untimely loss has forced us to deal with grief on an unimaginable scale.

At Persistent, we take pride in our inclusive culture and our commitment to our core values of being #Persistent, #Ingenious, #Responsible, and #Confident. In the face of adversity, our values continue to unite us, allowing us to see beyond these challenges and rise above them. When it comes to our people practices, we follow an ”Employee First, Customer Always” philosophy. With that, employee wellbeing has been our focus since the inception of Persistent and more so during the current pandemic. 

War needs Warriors: Sensing the escalating impact of the pandemic early on, members from HR, administration and the Persistent Foundation formed the Persistent Warriors group with a singular mission to help our employee and their families win the war against COVID. They set out to offer a wide range of support including finding testing facilities, tracking the availability of beds in hospitals and with oxygen, the availability of medicines, providing psychological counselling and so on. In extreme situations, these teams have helped employees relocate across cities to find specialized medical treatment and in some unfortunate situations, even supported cremation services where families were afraid to step forward. Each member of the Persistent Warriors has gone above and beyond the call of duty to support their colleagues and families.

Tough times aren’t planned: While our employee benefits provide adequate medical insurance coverage with the additional options based on employee’s personal needs, we know that when times are tough, one can ever be prepared enough. #WeAreInThistTogether is a far more powerful way to remain together as we weather the tough times. The Persistent Employee Benefit Trust (PEBT) was set-up a number of years ago with the same view. Employees become a member by contributing a nominal sum of ₹2 per day. The money generated is topped by executive management and employees who voluntarily contribute more. PEBT helped employees ease their financial burden when they faced a medical crisis during current pandemic.  

Care is in the heart and has no boundaries: At the onset of the pandemic, we realized that providing additional insurance coverage was the best way to help our employees. We felt #Responsible for safeguarding their health and wellbeing and activated the COVID insurance policy not only for employees and their dependents, but also for our frontline teams including housekeeping, security, and contractors. While financial help is important, helping employees take time off to look after their own families’ health was equally important. We made our leave-related policies flexible, allowing employees to provision for additional time off. During the second wave, we enhanced this further by creating a leave donation platform, allowing team members to donate unused leave to colleagues in need of additional time off.

Life must go on: The loss of our colleagues is irreplaceable and helping grieving family members to get on with their life is important work. To support that, we started distributing funds equivalent to one year’s salary to surviving spouses in the form of an annuity. We also extended medical insurance to surviving members for two years. This program is designed to ease any immediate financial burden and family members can prepare themselves to become financially independent in due time.

Supporting Our Extended Communities: As we witness waves of infections, particularly in India where the number of daily cases has surged, the impact has been heart-wrenching for the underprivileged and our extended community. As one of our longstanding values, we feel a responsibility to support our communities in every way we can. Persistent has committed to a donation of ₹250M (US$3.3M) towards pandemic relief, rehabilitation, and research. The Persistent Foundation has been actively driving relief efforts across India, the United States, Canada, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Israel, bringing relief to many and directly saving lives each day. We are grateful for the many contributions from our employees, vendors, partner NGOs, and the Foundation team and for their tireless work in making a difference in the lives of so many people.

Breaking the Chain with Vaccinations: Vaccinations have brought about tremendous hope. We have vaccinated over 8,000 employees and family members so far and continue to get more vaccinated. We are proud of our employees and their dependents doing their part to break the spread of the virus. We are #Confidentthat this brings us closer to a new dawn, one where we can come back to our offices with a renewed vigor to #SeeBeyondRiseAbove.

I am humbled by the collective efforts of our teams, employees, families and partners. They have helped us stay focused on our “Employee First, Customer Always” mantra and to achieve business growth.

As the Chief People Officer at Persistent, I want to personally thank every employee and their families for their tenacity. I could not be more grateful for the dedication and commitment shown by Team Persistent. I am especially thankful to our HR, administration, the Persistent Foundation and Persistent Warrior members for their tireless efforts.