Just a few days before the COVID-19 lockdown began, Ayan Guhathakurta bought a new bicycle to replace his old, well-ridden one, which had just begun to give him trouble. A Jeeves technician, Ayan’s work has him visiting customers every day to attend to their service requests. At the time, he had no idea that his new cycle would soon be his only means of getting to customers near and far.
On June 3, 2020, Flipkart customer Sumanta Chattopadhyay from Kolkata raised a service request to address an issue with a mobile phone he’d just purchased. The lockdown was in effect in his city and public transport had come to a standstill. Naturally, Sumanta didn’t expect he’d get help until the lockdown was lifted. However, to his complete surprise and delight, a Jeeves technician showed up to physically examine his phone in just a few hours. It was Ayan.
When Sumanta asked Ayan how he managed to reach his house so quickly, he was shocked to find out Ayan had made a 25-kilometer one-way ride on his bicycle to service his request. The Flipkart customer couldn’t be more grateful.
“His honest approach towards his duty made me feel guilty,” says Sumanta, who posted his appreciation for the Jeeves technician on Facebook. “He has earned huge respect from my side. I pray to the almighty that he gets all the success he deserves.”
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For Ayan, an exceptional sense of duty is second nature. He was 19 when he joined Jeeves in 2018, after he was recommended by a friend in the service industry.
“When we are assigned a ticket, all that matters is the customer,” says the young technician, recollecting what inspired him to make the long ride to meet the customer despite the lockdown “I didn’t really think about the distance before making the journey because it wasn’t important. Besides, the trains were out of order and the weather was great, so I decided to ride to the customer’s location.”
Ayan, the only child of his parents, lives in Howrah, near Kolkata. He says that while his parents aren’t familiar with e-commerce, they are immensely proud of the work he’s been doing.
On a regular day, Ayan cycles to customer visits that are close to his home. For longer trips, he takes the local train. When the lockdown kicked in, all train services were halted. As it happened, his old bicycle gave up before the lockdown and he had to get a new one.
“I knew that customers needed me so I bought a new bicycle because I didn’t want transportation to get in the way of my duty to them,” he says. It turned out to be a fortuitous decision.
Commitment like Ayan’s is a quality highly valued across the Flipkart group, particularly at Jeeves. “Our technicians make us proud to be part of this family, and it always humbles us when they carry out their duties against all odds,” says Nipun Sharma, Vice President and Head, Jeeves F1. “Pandemic or not, Ayan has demonstrated exactly what being Customer First is all about.”
Ayan, who shrugs off a 50-km bicycle ride as if it were nothing, is an exemplar of this value. Though the coronavirus pandemic throws unique and unprecedented challenges before the service industry, Ayan is grateful to be doing what he does and to inspire his colleagues.
“We as front-liners should keep calm and listen to the customer’s problem earnestly,” he says, spelling out what keeps him going “By doing so, half the battle is won, and then we can provide a solution.”
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