It isn't easy to say if the new work culture adopted by the Reliance Group in India's largest start-up Reliance Jio, led by Chairman Mukesh Ambani, has raised the rank-and-file a few notches higher in hierarchy or made the top management come a few steps down.
However, it appears the "open office" concept Jio adopted this week has been a hit.
To give an insider view of that eventful Wednesday, 4 November, Ambani walked into the "TC22 building" at the sprawling Reliance Corporate Park in Mumbai with his close confidant Manoj Modi.
Minutes later, his son Akash Ambani â€” a Brown University alumnus â€” ambled in, dressed in a pair of black trousers and a tucked in white shirt. No private elevator, no assistants taking notes. No liveried stewards either â€” the food stations were self-service.
Even the security for Ambani â€” the richest Indian, ranked 36th on Forbes list of the world's 100 most powerful people â€” maintained a respectful distance, despite the Z-category status, which is India's highest security level with a cover of 36 personnel, accorded to him by the Union Home Ministry.
Akash's twin sister and Yale University graduate Isha Ambani was out of the focus area, engrossed in a chat with Jio and retail veteran Pankaj Pawar in another part of the hall.
But, she is no less important as the twins conceptualised the open office for Jio and delivered it in six months.
At the epicentre, in walked human resource head Sanjay Jog from his workstation. He had a query, but did not have to wait for an audience. Modi was seated and the father-son duo preferred to stand. They pondered over Jog's slides â€” and in 150 seconds the meeting is over.
Then, Ambani took a small round and complimented the team with a smile. Initially, there was an apprehension, but the folks were encouraged to keep working and not get up for a customary greeting. Then, Akash left for his own work area to the right of the hall.
Back at his workstation, Ambani and Modi spoke for another 10 minutes. By then, others had settled down. A larger review happened over video.
Suddenly, one realised that the working day had spilled over to midnight â€” as has been the case often.
However, the team saw it as one day closer to delivering Jio.
So, how did it feel to work in the line of sight of the bosses? One Jio leader quipped: "Hands-on but walls-free."