This month we’re shining the spotlight on India, featuring Sagar Sharma from the operations team – a long-distance motorcycling enthusiast who started out as a freelance market research interviewer.
Check out his answers to some of our questions below to get to know him a little bit better…
What is your role at Cint?
I am a member of the ‘Mighty Operations Team’, and my role focuses on quality, fraud prevention, and user experience in the online market research space.
How did you get into the market research field?
I started working as a freelance interviewer with Lintas India – now MullenLowe Lintas Group – when I was in college. We were given questionnaires and mock interview sessions and allotted residential or business areas in Mumbai city, where we had to conduct face-to-face interviews.
It was an amazing learning exercise – working on a variety of projects; meeting up with different kinds of people; hearing about their experiences and opinions across different categories such as travel, food, automotive, consumer durables, etc. While the payment per interview was extremely modest, the experience of meeting up with people from all walks of life and finding out more about their habits and attitudes made up for the modest payout! I believe that the experience and first-hand insight gained on the field in this way is unmatched.
What kind of music do you listen to while you are working?
Music is truly therapeutic. Since I work nights, soothing music relaxes me. It could be Hindi film hits, Sufi music, ghazals, classic, pop, rock or just plain instrumental music.
For you, what is the best way to start the day?
I am fortunate to live near a forest. Since the mountains are visible from my home, I love sipping early morning ‘chai’ (or tea, in English) with my Mum – sitting on the balcony, gazing at the mountains, chit-chatting and occasionally saying ‘hello’ to the chirping, airborne creations of Mother Nature! This chit-chat session is followed up with a morning walk or jog.
Who inspires you?
My Mother. She is more than 70-years-old, yet she lives life with the energy and enthusiasm of a 17-year-old. I owe my success and well-being to her. She taught me to respect everyone, never to give up, and to remain humble, modest, and level-headed at all times. She’s also an amazing ‘tabla’ (a pair of twin hand drums) player.
Outside of the home, it is Mahatma Gandhi who inspires me: An amazing man who conquered hearts. We live at a time when many spend thousands in order to learn leadership skills, mobilize teams, resolve conflicts and get people in a room on the same page. I find it amazing how he mobilized an entire country with his ideals of truth and non-violence. His teachings continue to span geographies and generations.
What are your favorite things to do when you aren’t working?
I am a trekking and long-distance motorbiking enthusiast. When I am not heading to the mountains, I love watching football, cooking, reading classics, watching movies, and listening to music.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Inside a tent in the Himalayan ranges.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
The twin towns of Dhanushkodi and Kanyakumari are 300 kilometers apart yet surrounded by the oceans and the sea on the extreme southernmost tip of India. Both places have stories to tell and are significant in the Indian cultural ethos. While Dhanushkodi is a quaint little village, Kanyakumari is a more urban tourist spot. The road that cuts through Dhanushkodi has the Indian Ocean on one side and the Bay of Bengal on the other. At a certain point, the land ends, and the two mighty water bodies merge, making it a sight to behold. It is also the closest point from India to Sri Lanka.
Kanyakumari is India’s other land’s end where the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, and the Arabian Sea merge, and the different hues of the three water bodies are clearly visible.
Both places remain on my radar for a motorcycling trip…
I reside in Mumbai; the financial and entertainment capital of India.
What are your favorite things about working for Cint?
Cint is an exciting place to work. My colleagues are awesome and the management is great. There’s learning throughout each passing day, while respect for one another and varied opinions are inherent in the fabric of our company. It is exemplary how the entire management has steered the company through the pandemic, whilst thinking about the welfare of their employees and sharing regular updates. This speaks volumes about our spirited organizational culture.
What’s on your bucket list this year?
I have started writing a book, which is likely to be published next year. I am also preparing for the 2021 Mumbai marathon. There are way too many destinations on my motorcycling radar; I’m just waiting for the lockdown to be lifted and things to be back to normal.
What was the last movie you went to at the cinema? What did you think?
I went to watch a thriller, starring some big names. I lost my ability to think, albeit temporarily, after watching it, haha…
Who is your favorite author?
If you could share a meal with any four individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
The guest list would include Mahatma Gandhi, Genghis Khan, George Bernard Shaw, and Socrates. A lot can happen over a sumptuous meal, and I am sure that there would be a lot to take away from this group’s conversations. And, yes, I will stick to my strict vegetarian diet plan only…
What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep – and why?
About 20 hours or so, if I remember clearly … We went mountain trekking, cleaned up the mountain litter, as per our usual routine, and then lost our way in a forest while descending; entering an even deeper forest infested with wild animals, including tigers. Don’t even ask how many hours I slept after getting home.
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