Tax Officer - Gambling Unit, MSTD
meets Helena Iris, Leader of the Kung Fu Panda team.
We saw you as the Kung Fu Panda leader in Team2016, tell us more about yourself.
My name is Helena Iris and I joined the Customs Department in January 2016. After four months of classroom training, I have been posted to different units of the Department and I am currently at the Surveillance and Enforcement Unit.
How did you find out about the Team Challenge?
I heard some of my colleagues talking about their participation in the event and as I was new in MRA my curiosity led me to look out for more about it. I was introduced to one guy who was no one else other than Yashvin Mudhoo. I came to know that he was the leader of a team which had participated in the event in previous years. He was very enthusiastic and willing to help. He told me about the staff welfare association and gave an overview of its activities. The Team Challenge was the upcoming event and seemed interesting and challenging.
"The build up process was in itself a very good example of
collaboration and team spirit among all team members. It
also helped develop and enhance good leadership skill in
me, which, am sure is very beneficial in my personal
What motivated you for Team Challenge?
It was Yashvin himself who really encouraged me to join the event. It was a great idea to have a full day fun with the MRA family. Being part of a group where we were all new recruits and barely knew the whole MRA staff I approached my fellow colleagues who without any hesitation wanted to come and make the most of the day.
Tell us what pushed you to come up with a new team.
It was again Yashvin who asked me to come up with a new team as he suggested I would gain a lot from it. The Kung Fu Panda was thus born in a matter of a few minutes and all the members agreed on the team name and logo. It was really exciting to see my friends collaborating and willing to help. They designated me team captain, something which I did not think about when we first decided to embark on this fantastic journey. Being designated as captain was a big responsibility and I really took this challenge happily. It’s true I had the support and advice from the Honey Bees team captain.
How did you proceed with the preparation of the team?
First of all, I visited the website of the MRA Staff Welfare Association to obtain maximum information on previous years' events. I also viewed the photos and video clips on the Association's facebook page. I attended the organising committee's meeting and saw how the other teams were preparing. We obtained clarifications on issues we were unsure about and gathered all necessary information to share with other fellow team members. One thing I must stress here is that the dedication and motivation shown by the Kung Fu Panda team were really inspiring. We were all very enthusiastic about Team Challenge. We started enjoying the event even before the D-day. We chose a soundtrack for our team and after discussion, we agreed for choreography. We finalized the colour and design of our shirts. Each member had a responsibility and we all cooperated. For example, one was looking for the design of shirt, another for quotation or steps for choreography. I had to ensure that all members were happy and no pressure exerted on anyone while ensuring that deadlines for payment, submission of logo and soundtrack were met. I had the full support of my team members, especially the girls, who would practice for our choreography daily during our lunch time and it was really encouraging to see the motivation of the team members.
Any personal experience you would like to share on your preparation?
It was very interesting to recruit new members and motivate them to join in. It helped develop our communication skill. I accompanied members of the organising committee to visit the venue of the event and this helped me in the preparation of our choreography. A visit is very important at the preparation stage. The build up process was in itself a very good example of collaboration and team spirit among all team members. It also helped develop and enhance good leadership skill in me, which, am sure is very beneficial in my personal development.
How was the D-Day at Le Meridien Hotel
On the day, it was really a joy to see the Kung Fu Panda Team on time. We started to meet colleagues from the MRA and we really felt a warm welcome despite the early morning rain spoiling a bit. Our experience, that is Kung Fu Panda Team, was memorable as we enjoyed every activity and we all made the most of this Team Challenge. As captain, I can say that there were joyful moments and laughter and sometimes it was challenging with a little stress. We learnt to work as team, to listen to each member and to motivate each and every one. We had a wonderful day and the Kung Fu Panda Team went home with a smile on their face.
How were the activities?
The different activities were well organized; not just physical but use of communication skills and strategy as well. There was a good coordination and all my team members participated in different activities. Our best souvenir is the kayak race, indeed well planned and interesting. The idea of rewarding each team with a specific winner certificate was very innovative and much appreciated.
The final word
A special thanks to Mr. Ujoodha, whose inspiration was instrumental to the organisation of the event. He has been very supportive and was always giving advice to help me with my team. It was a great opportunity to have fun outside work premises and being new recruits, the members of Kung Fu Panda felt at ease and the Team Challenge was amazing. I am also grateful to Mr. Yashvin Mudhoo, team captain of the Honey Bees, for his unfailing support whenever needed. Congratulations to the MRASWA team – well done guys!!!!!
Any recommendation that you would like to make?
It would be nice if we could take a group picture (all teams and the organisers).