Annual Strategy Meeting in Pune, India

Our Senior Business Team has just returned from a great trip to India.  The purpose for us coming together from three different countries and many U.S. states was to participate in the Affinity Express annual strategy meeting.  Every September, we hold a series of sessions in which we share plans and opportunities and come to agreement about our direction for the next year and beyond.  In addition to segment leaders, the heads of production, finance, marketing, human resources and technology all play an important role.

Affinity Express Senior Management

The Senior Business Team and Board Members

We start getting ready months in advance of the strategy meeting.  In partnership with CEO Ken Swanson, my role is to work on the overall themes, the structure of the sessions and the templates for each member of the team.  I interface with each member of the SBT and help them formulate their presentations and objectives for 2011, ensuring that they synchronize with the overall goals for the company.  I even get involved with the logistics, setting and managing the budget and handling details down to selecting the menus.  As you can imagine, the days before we head off to destination city are a flurry of activity.

Affinity Express Team at Dinner

CEO Ken Swanson with VP of Graphic Services Rajendra Magadum

At one of the evening events, we had the Senior Management Team of Affinity Express India attend.  Local leaders of the different services, technology, new client implementation and more got to know the Senior Business Team better and offered their perspective on our business.

Affinity Express Business Meeting

Meeting in progress

As always, the meetings were very productive and more than worth the effort.  We were lucky enough to have two members of our Board of Directors join us:  Peter Maquera and Fred Ayala from LiveIt Investments, Ltd.  Thanks to all of their experience with business process outsourcing companies (BPOs), they asked insightful questions and provided reinforcement on the plans we outlined.  Now it is a matter of our prioritizing and resourcing, as there is so much this passionate group wants to accomplish!

We also had a chance to spend time with each other at dinner and to catch up on our families and outside activities.  For a mostly “virtual” company, the ability to meet face-to-face is invaluable for building relationships that will continue to serve us for many months to come.

Affinity Express Management Team at Dinner

The team at dinner

Affinity Express Designer at Work

A designer at work

The trip was not limited to meeting rooms and restaurants.  In fact, my favorite part was when we visited our production facility in Hinjewadi. There I had the chance to meet many of the team members I interface with on a daily or weekly basis.  Some I hadn’t seen in more than six years.  Others, I had never met in person before.  All were incredibly welcoming and interested in hearing the latest company news. I just wish we had more time to spend together.

As a group, we also toured our new production location.  This amazing facility is in a campus environment with many of the top business process outsourcing companies in the world.  Not only will we be able to expand the size of our team in India, we will have an added incentive to lure the best talent available to support our clients.

Affinity Express Designers at Work

VP of HR Tinna Hall with designers in Pune

Sunil Garde, president of India Operations, and his entire team worked hard to ensure that everything went smoothly and we had a wonderful time.  I was very impressed by their efforts.  I would encourage all our clients and prospective clients to visit Pune and/or Manila to meet these teams in person.  You’ll see first-hand why Affinity Express has grown to be the largest BPO exclusively dedicated to advertising and marketing production solutions!

In the meantime, it is good to be home and over the jet lag.  But the strategy work isn’t over (it really never can be).  We have action plans to refine, initiatives to outline and budgets to develop!

More pictures here.

About Kelly Glass
Kelly has been vice president of Marketing at Affinity Express for nine years now. She drives company strategy and all marketing activities.

One Response to Annual Strategy Meeting in Pune, India

  1. Pingback: Eight Tips on Organizing a Great Event « Affinity Express Blog

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