It's not the rower, it’s the boat

Umang Vohra

August 24, 2021

Recently my family and I have developed an interest in rowing as a sport and have been keenly following matches. Watching this sport from the sidelines has taught me so many pivotal life lessons.

Rowing is the ultimate team sport. A perfectly synchronized teamwork coupled with endurance mental agility and enormous willpower. Each rower brings different skill sets and strengths to the team and harbors a shared purpose – to strike a good balance and make it to the finish line faster, stronger and with better timing than their competing teams.

It requires supreme effort, persistence and a collective will focused on the goal of propelling the boat through the water. The entire team must perform as a single unit, with each adapting to the strengths and shortcomings of the other. It needs every ounce of physical and mental resilience, using every muscle to make it through. Everyone works in unison to achieve a common goal. To get the team to win. Rowing is a challenging sport. Sometimes you want to quit. But every hour you put in on the water doesn’t just step up your rowing game but also builds character. Often, I draw parallels between this ultimate team sport and the Tiki-Taka movement- the language of collaboration and enterprise-first mindset instilled in each and every Ciplaite. The cross-functional teams come together perfectly in sync to help us win. The #OneCipla culture and spirit is all about celebrating strength in unity. We have also made a ritual of this at Cipla wherein the most remarkable Tiki-Taka stories and the people behind it are invited to our quarterly global townhall to share their success story.

And what we hear is yes it was not devoid of challenges, yes there were differences, and yes there were times we thought we have reached our peak and we cant go further, but it is really the story of the collective strength to achieve their maximum potential, it is the single minded focus of #CaringforLife, a team goal that pulls us through.

And in the end, the peaks and troughs, the adrenaline rush, the triumph of a team, makes it all worth it.