BlackPepper: Well-woven Work Culture Delved in Innovation & Creativity
In today’s economy, competition is global, capital is profuse, ideas are developed within seconds and people are willing to change jobs often. In this kind of environment, all that matters is talent and the best talent is worth fighting for. Hiring quality professionals has become a challenge. Even more challenging is retaining capable employees. Incepted in November 2009, BlackPepper Technologies has taken the employer-employee relation to a higher level by building strong relationship with its employees. The company has been successful in delivering high-end semiconductor solutions by building, nurturing and developing high-performance teams. BlackPepper’s world-class engineering talent is handpicked from top semiconductor companies across the world. They constantly groom their engineering teams under the concept of Lean Tall Engineering™ (LTE) – more engineering capability per engineer. To be successful in BlackPepper, one must have strong engineering capabilities, passion for excellence and BP Values – and above all, be a fine human being.
The company is moving with a mission of creating an organization that is fundamentally rooted in hardware and recognized as the gold standard in product realization. BlackPepper runs workshops called “Yes, I am BlackPepper!” for their employees which supports their mission, shape the culture, and reflect what the company values mean.
A True Expert to Rely
In today’s fast growing business world, top leaders set a clear direction. This is where the founder of BlackPepper Technologies Harikrishnan Puravankara hogs the limelight, as he has a clear understanding of the business landscape which meets all their business objectives. To fulfil their mission to provide world class services in differentiated product engineering capabilities for global semiconductor and system companies, Black Pepper offers comprehensive turnkey solutions across Consumer Electronics, Automotive, Medical, Industrial Automation, Defence, Wireless and the Internet of Things. The company’s distinct functional units include Logic Design & Verification, Design for Test, Physical Design, Board Design, Analog & Mixed Signal Design, Post Silicon Validation, Yield Optimisation, Supply Chain Management, Industrial Design and Embedded Software. BlackPepper’s AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning) and DL (Deep Learning) driven solutions cater to applications like ADAS, Predictive Machine Monitoring, Autonomous Platforms, etc to state a few. BlackPepper is actively transforming itself into a company that is squarely at the heart of the product end user experience.
A People-Friendly Organization
A positive and vibrant work culture is built over time with the proper attention, so BlackPepper fosters a proactive learning culture whose key element is employee productivity and job satisfaction, which results in true loyalty. The firm has created and nurtured a culture of professional and personal excellence that goes far beyond the regular call of duty. Harikrishnan Puravankara, Founder and Director, BlackPepper, says, “To us, titles and designations are irrelevant extensions. We are ever ready to lend a helping hand, whether it is for a social cause or for a colleague who is tackling a challenge at work. The firm is built on family values rather than conventional corporate priorities.
BlackPepper is a forward-looking organization with an inclination towards employee engagement built around credibility, pride, fairness, learning, recognition, and camaraderie. To help employees identify with the company’s values and goals, the firm developed an efficient employee engagement plan based on the extensively researched Great Place to Work (GPTW) framework. The plan, which was finalized during early 2016, aims at building and nurturing a culture that, reflects transparency and is boundary-less, encourages learning aligned to business needs and objectives, recognizes and values the employees for their skills and depth of knowledge, nurtures high-performance among Pepperites and creates an environment where the employees take pride in their work.
Jei Narayanan, COO, asserts, “We link our values & culture to our behavioural competency framework – every Pepperite (we prefer to be called) has Customer Centricity, Effective communication, Learn-ability and Leadership (CELL) deeply embedded in them.”
BlackPepper takes pride in its dynamic team of 270+ engineers that drives the development and delivery of its solutions. The company firmly believes in creating wealth for the employees and unlike most of the start-ups, BlackPepper does not allocate ESOPS’s but has designed a unique model called, ‘Pepperite Ownership Agreement(POA)’, which entitles the employees to own undiluted percentage ownership in the company. The company plans to list with a valuation of about USD 1Bn and we hope to see all the employees with substantial personal wealth from their equity ownership.
At BlackPepper, they truly believe in the philosophy of collective entrepreneurship and encourage an environment where every single Pepperite is encouraged to think freely, innovate tirelessly, question fearlessly and be deeply involved in every facet of the BlackPepper story.
Ensuring Safety, Equality and Growth of Employees
BlackPepper believes in ensuring safety for all employees and more so for their women staff. They have implemented POSH(prevention of sexual harassment) polices at the work place and the necessary guidelines are strictly adhered. The company’s primary culture is in building the workplace as a family environment; hence protection of every Pepperite becomes everybody’s responsibility.
Being an employee centric organization, the company not only offers a healthy and progressive work culture but has come up with creative office spaces which offer an interesting combination of fun and work to aid in high employee engagement. By bringing beautiful minds into the company, giving a wonderful atmosphere to explore the impossible and innovating the future, BlackPepper is creating most innovative, cost effective, and commercially viable products that are creating huge impact on society. Additionally, induction training is conducted for new employees to help them understand and absorb BlackPepper’s culture.
The company is made up of integrated mix of both fresher’s those who are flexible and keen to learn and experts entrenched with 15+ years of experience. To keep these aficionados up-to-date with the latest technology trends of the industry, the organization has developed the Learning Academy of BlackPepper (LAB). “It is one of our earnest efforts to provide continuous learning and development opportunities to Pepperites. It focuses on imparting technical and behavioural knowledge, covering a wide gamut of enablers and business programs tailored to the company’s goals. In order to make it more engaging and constructive, it is gamified, made accessible across devices, and extremely interactive,” shares Jei Narayanan.
Their leadership team, in partnership with HR & L&D, has been brainstormed and designed with an objective to augment the skill sets of the resources in line with the requirements and in turn build the firm’s Lean Tall Engineering™ (LTE) framework – more engineering capability per engineer. With the help of the Learning Academy, they aim to create a knowledge pool of trained Pepperites. Together, these Pepperites will not only provide the skills required for the new practices at BlackPepper but will also cater to the manpower needed for customer projects.
While BlackPepper motivates and engages employees in a way that they can move mountains to accomplish the goals of a concern, they also propel the teams to maintain a work-life balance through numerous team events which build team spirit. At the firm, all major festivals, birthdays, marriages, new born, company annual day, company team outing, all gets pleasant attention and participation. Even Pepperite’s individual, team success and contribution gets special recognition. The company which is growing in a sustainable manner is looking to expand globally in other regions soon and further equip their human resource.