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Celebrating a Decade with Pukaar

From Work Experience to Senior Web Developer

The first few minutes of my interview with Ravi is spent debating what his job title should be listed as. Eventually, he settles on ‘web developer’. Although that is definitely part of what he does at Pukaar, the truth is, the list of what he doesn’t do would be far shorter than the list of what he does do. This year marks ten years since Ravi joined the team, and in light of the celebration, he’s ready to talk about his journey with the organisation, the changes he’s seen and his hopes for the future.

Ravi had been at De Montfort University studying computer science when he’d seen an advert for a voluntary position with Pukaar News. At the time, he’d been keen to have hands on experience that he felt he wasn’t getting from university. After arriving for an interview and speaking with founder, Romail, he was given free rein of the company website with just one warning: “Just make sure you don’t break the server”. Following a part-time voluntary role, he was given a permanent, full-time role with the organisation.

He’s seen the modernisation of Pukaar in the ten years he’s been here: “Back then, we were all about local news in Leicester. Now, if it involves a computer and you need it done, we can do it. Marketing, social media management, websites, hosting… We do it all.” Ravi loves the variety that diversifying our services
has brought to his role: “I love to be working on many different things. My day goes so fast and I can really get involved with everything.”

For Ravi, it’s not often that he leaves his work at work. And if he’s not doing it, he’s thinking about it. “It
sounds sad saying it, but this place is my second home. Sometimes if I don’t have anything to do in the evening, I will come into the office and happily get on with my work. The comfort I feel here is the comfort I feel at home.” I ask Ravi what his favourite thing about working at Pukaar is, and he immediately says “freedom”. “Being here, if someone finds a better way of doing something or finds a way of working that will be beneficial for the rest of the team, we’ll change our way. That’s really important to me. I don’t like the idea of having to do something the long way round, just because it’s the way it’s always been.”

After having been with the organisation for so long, Ravi has seen the inception and completion of many different projects and is used to having a hands-on approach whenever required. “We don’t have a job title here. You have areas where you’re junior and then areas where you’re senior.” He does admit however, that there was a time when he felt out of his depth: “The team were working on the Toronto Curry Awards and I got a call from them saying ‘You need to come to Canada, we need you here!’” A week later, Ravi was flying over to help with the technical production of the event. “I didn’t know whether to be nervous or excited because I wasn’t prepared to receive that call. I knew nothing about production in relation to an awards show.”

However, Ravi says it was the team’s encouragement that helped him navigate the experience at the time as well as the company’s ethos: “Everyone here is encouraged to ask for help and we all help each other out – everyone’s always willing to give you advice. And that’s something I love here and hope continues in the future.”

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