Into the 3rd year of the continuing pandemic, we can say now that we are somewhat starting to accept the new normal. However, it came so suddenly and with such intensity, that swift adaptability was important to navigate through this new reality. The DAAD regional office ensured that the academic exchange between the Indian subcontinent and Germany continued, despite various restrictions on international mobility.

This has been made possible by the zeal and continued determination of many people who work in the background. Today, we celebrate the work of one such team and take a glimpse into the Administration & Finance at the regional office.

The music of the ‘administration and finance’, as they like to call it, is performed by the trio of Neha Jain, Pradeep Singh Gusain and Jitendra Kumar Mishra. One sees that the jokes and puns that trigger when they are together beat the monotony of financial files and administrative emails.

Pradeep remarks gleefully, “The fact that I can get a cup of tea and have a job done at one call, is enough motivation for me to come to work”. At home, he struggles not to get tricked by his two mischievous sons. Along with his quips, Pradeep looks after the financial accounting as per Indian laws and a variety of administrative and IT responsibilities.

If she is not hiding behind her desk, scanning through a contract, she is probably running around to discuss it with the director. From a small lose tile in the office floor to the need for an advanced video conferencing system, one finds it all on Neha’s long to-do list. Neha heads the administration and finance department and is also responsible for human resources at the regional office. Yet, managing enough time for her young one remains at the top of her priorities.” I am hopeful that the schools would soon start opening, so that my son could be more engaged, the lockdown period has been mentally harsh on all kids”, remarks Neha.

‘We needed someone to get the files from the top shelf quickly, hence we hired you’ was one of the first remarks that Jitendra (6 feet 3 inches) received from Pradeep after joining the DAAD. However, what was meant to be a joke, has become a reality of the Administration team. Be it accounting or managing business travels, creating videos, or managing a studio for livestreaming of events, Jitendra is the go-to person for the colleagues.

The pandemic did not just bring in new challenges but also showed the true strength of this team. Their excellent teamwork transformed the traditional office of DAAD India into a modern, hybrid workspace within weeks after the lockdown started.

Kudos to the administration and finance team!