As Dec 2021 started, I was a little worried. All our new year trips were booked out. All trip leaders (full/part time) were going to be busy Dec 25 – Jan 2 week. Even Radu (Ops Head) would be leading a trip. Who would handle the back end/bookings/social media while all of us were away.
We wanted to rope in some interns and train them before the week came upon us. As luck would have it, we didn’t. 2-3 days before we were all to leave for our trips, an idea hit me.
The OHOT Tribe. For those who don’t know, there is a set of 30-40 trippers who are absolutely loyal to us, biased and more. I have a pattern. I like certain kind of people – decent, loyal, high EQ, nature loving. If I get close to anyone, I end up speaking of them on different trips, in my posts, and the strange thing is whenever such people meet each other, they also end up becoming close to each other. There is automatic warmth they all display to anyone who is close to me. I know I can count on these people for anything – on trips, in life. Even when they come on trips, they help me out with everything, and most people end up thinking they are part of the brand.
A few of them were already on my new year trip. I sent a text to seven people – Changu, Anindita, Srinath, Mounika, Jagriti, Sivaji and Abha. Asking if they could each give 1.5 hours to help out with OHOT’s back end and operations for a week. Actually, I already knew their answer before they said yes. Obvio.
A plan, a schedule was made for the week. and a whatsapp group called ‘OHOT’s Back up Team’
But what suprised me that week was how they all were. Every day each was volunteering to work for longer than their ‘shift’, each would send texts “you go out, I’ll handle the page for two more hours” etc. My team works till 8-9 pm. These guys were sending mails and replying to queries at 1 am also. One of these days, Changu wrote on the group ,”log kaam karne se usually bhaagte hain, yahan people are queuing up to work more…” And Ani replied saying how she felt proud to do something for the brand. Every day on my Lakshadweep trip I’d see niceness on this WhatsApp group and would randomly start smiling.
The actual team was all out in beautiful locations with trippers having fun. These people were working for us even on weekends, on new year’s Eve. Happily so.
What’s success for a brand or a person? A lot of money, raising multiple rounds of investment, having a big organization?? Sigh, when will humans become a little more sorted 😉
For me, OHOT’s biggest success and happiness will always be these friendships, these moments. For me, personally, I don’t feel I deserve this love and affection at all, but it humbles and overwhelms me a lot, that people who were unknown just a couple of years ago, can be so so nice to me and are my closest people in life now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart 💓