Work Culture

Illumine is built on a Contribution Culture. People join Illumine with the purpose of self-actualization and making deep, long lasting contributions to the collective and to society.

Striving for continuous improvement & excellence at work

“Illumine is a place where people are encouraged to evolve, and not just perform. For example, there is a tool called the RFG sessions (Reflections for Growth sessions), where 2 team members and 1 non-team member help us reflect and work out concrete ways to improve on various dimensions of ourselves and our work. It’s a very positive and enabling way to help people grow.”

Working in a flat organization, with respect for practice seniority

“Illumine is a flat organization. There are only 2 levels of hierarchy – junior and senior practitioners. And everyone is encouraged to voice their thinking, when a solution is being built. Senior practitioners have spent between 1.5-2 decades going deep into their areas whether it be cognitive measurement, or learning architecture, or knowledge modelling, or engagement.”

Managing Collaboration and Depth Engagement

"Illumine works “silolessly.” Solving every challenge and building solutions involves a matrix of practices (and practitioners) coming together to collaborate. At the same time, Illumine’s work demands hours of silent work & study with deep thinking through and attention to detail."

Combining freedom with performance

“Illumine is a place where even the very young are given tremendous freedom. But one is expected to perform. Young people have the freedom to think of new ideas, and find new solutions to realise the outcomes they are owning. However, if one’s preferred mode is ‘waiting for instructions from others’, then one will find it very difficult to survive in Illumine.”

Delivering value while operating in a collegial environment

"Illumine doesn’t have a rigid hierarchy and a rigid seating structure with cubicles to box you in. People at Illumine move around all the time, they float about sharing ideas and having discussions with other team members & practitioners giving the office a collegial vibe. This is important to produce new and exciting ideas."

Making contribution to society a priority every day

“More than 25-30% of the work done by Illumine each year, is done pro bono – for schools, colleges, and social institutions. It’s a place that cares deeply about society and its outcomes. Pro bono projects range from cognitive change programs, awareness quizzes, role-model films and audio-visuals, which are disseminated to the larger public in collaboration with volunteering agencies.”

Building a contribution culture together as a collective

"In the entire period of lockdown, a forum called Illumine School was run twice a week to help people gain new perspectives and build resilience."

Working in a nurturing environment that supports long-term growth

“Illumine invests hugely into building its people. About 45% of people have stayed on here for between 10-25 years (in a company which is 25 years old). Illumine is a place that nurtures and gives to people, and people give of themselves in return.”

Working in a gender-free collective, united by the identity of being knowledge practitioners

“Illumine is a gender-free collective. Over the past 25 years, there have been more than 65% women practitioners at any given point of time. As projects and teams come together, our shared identity is that of being ‘knowledge practitioners’, and that’s what each of us aspires to become more of every day.”

Synthesizing Knowledge and Action

"While working in the plane of knowledge, it is easy to get lost in abstraction and elaborate intellectualization. Illumine’s work demands going deeper into knowledge and at the same time synthesize ideas for the purpose of building products, achieving outcomes and driving results."

Managing Yourself

"Illumine doesn’t believe in ‘formal’ measurements of people. We don’t use the ‘carrot and stick’ approach when it comes to people. We don’t micro-manage people at Illumine. Each person is on a path to be self-managed and self-motivated with deep inner responsibility and ownership of the outcomes we are chasing. This is especially hard to do when there are no deadlines hanging over your head."

Caring for our people and their well-being

“People in Illumine go all out in caring for each other. For example, if anyone stays back late (especially women), there is always someone available to ensure your safety in getting home. Or if you are seriously unwell, the whole team mobilizes and rallies around you to get you all the help needed. If anyone is new to the city – there will be someone or the other at Illumine who will open their homes to you and offer you all the help you need to settle in.”

Synthesizing innovation & ambiguity, with structure & discipline

"Attempting to build unique solutions for clients means working with processes that require high-levels of innovation – in which solutions and ideas are continuously evolving dynamically, products are getting re-iterated, etc. This brings in a great deal of ambiguity. At the same time, working with large clients means working with tight deadlines / milestones and delivering quality consistently. Managing these two forces is super hard."

Everyone is building Illumine together

“If anyone faces a problem or finds something missing, people usually take initiative and find solutions together with the help of team members. For example, if one team member experiences the lack of a particular facility in Illumine, they simply take it up and make it happen, not only for themselves, but for everyone in the collective.”