OFFSHORE EVENTS : To relax and reunite as a team

For the SMBXL family, an average workday is a maze of desk-discussions, meetings, and interacting with remote team members on Teams. But our 4 day getaway at Chikmagalur shook up the routine! Surrounded by misty mountains, gorgeous waterfalls and coffee trails, the 2021 offsite gave our team members the chance to explore themselves, our team dynamics, and everything that we at SMBXL stand for.

Preparations for the offsite were underway months before the event. Planning committees were set up, plane tickets booked, and the team members divided into groups. As the day of the offsite grew closer, the office was suddenly full of groups discussing, strategising, and executing their ideas to win the biggest competitions the offsite had to offer!

Our journey started by flying into the Bangalore airport. After a long, sometimes hiccupy bus journey, we arrived at bay Java Rain, our home for the next few days. An ideal environment of nature mixed with functionality, Java Rain gave the team members the opportunity to be relaxed but also invigorated. With steaming cups of jaggery coffee, we came together to discuss the past, present and future of SMBXL. Over open dialogues with founders Prem Thudia and Preeti Ubale, we discussed the history, the vision and mission of SMBXL.

Our days at the offsite were a mix of activities and presentations, but we prioritised fun in both! While we had marketing, HR and senior management all discussing what was in store for SMBXL, the mood was kept lively with quiz-show formats, group games, and even dance performances. With teams competing in a Shark Tank-esque pitch to sell products such as therapy robots, mobile makeup salons, cowdung skincare and talking alarm clocks, team members were fired up and passionate to grab the best investment for their make-believe products. With bonfires, dancing, treasure hunts, and excitement, our nights were colourful and joyous.

Another highlight of the offsite was the black light Fashion Show where teams competed against each other for the most jazziest, glow-in-the-dark outfits and concepts. Thrilling music and unique interpretations were the norm of the day! With teams choosing themes such as sports, wild cats, penguins and more, the Fashion Show completely in-the-dark was an amazing sight to behold.

But the natural beauty of Chikmagalur itself was not left behind: while some of our team members embarked on a misty trek up the hills, others chose to walk through coffee estates and soak up the culture and knowledge of the local population. A bumpy trip to a waterfall will likely never be forgotten, and nor will the refreshing cold spray of that rushing water!

The theme of the offsite, and the biggest takeaway, was best encompassed by the viral song Jerusalema which our CEO Prem introduced to us on Day 1. As Master KG, the creator of that viral hit said: "it started from a single beat." The trip, and our interactions with our team members made all of us at SMBXL realise the same thing: This is only the beginning. There is much to do, and more to grow, and we'll do it together. It was with the feeling of infinite possibilities being open to each of us that we departed Chikmagalur- renewed, refreshed, and energised for making history!

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