Here's an inspiring story of Ram Krishna, a passionate cyclist working at Decathlon Raipur. "I first visited Decathlon to buy a cycle. Mujhe cycle lena tha kaam pe jaane ke liye. But cycling hi mera work and passion ban gaya. ( I needed a cycle to go to work, but cycling became my passion and work both with Decathlon.)"
This story is common with many other Sporty Humans of Decathlon, where one visits a Decathlon store to purchase something, and that eventually leads to them one day joining Decathlon as an employee.
"Before joining Decathlon, I did different types of jobs. I was working in a bike garage for four years. I also worked as a cashier and a peon, I had to ride 9 kilometers each way to get to work. I wanted to buy a cycle for commuting, my friend took me to Decathlon and told me that here we have good quality bikes at low prices," says Ram.
At Decathlon, one of the things we look to provide is a complete user experience when it comes to purchasing a product. We don't see our role ending the moment a customer makes a purchase, we are always eager to help you get the most out of your sporting journey. One of the ways we look to play together is having local communities where people can join together for cycle rides or runs. For Ram, joining the cycling community in Decathlon Raipur was a stepping stone to him joining Decathlon as an employee.
"I bought a Rockrider 300 from Decathlon, and I joined the Cycling Community too," added Ram. "I started cycling when I was around 11 years old. I went to visit a relative's place and tried cycling for the first time there. Where I grew up in Andhra Pradesh, we only had those tall cycles near our homes, I loved riding those. But I never looked at it as anything more."
Growing up, we are used to looking at career options from what we see around us. Having a career in sports is not something that a lot of us envisioned a few decades ago. While Decathlon is a sports retail company, the sports part is emphasized on and off the shop floor. And that leads to like-minded sports-passionate individuals coming together under one roof.
"Our teammates Anish Back, Ayur Joshi and Roshan Behra helped grow our cycling community a lot. Over time, I started leading some rides, looking for new places to ride to, to have new adventures. I also got to explore the places and get inspired to take on more rides with the community members and with groups like Tour De Raipur. There were also some professional riders, some who had completed very long races and traveled all over," says Ram.
For Ram, excelling has not always been about racing to be the first. There are other victories besides the ribbon at the finish line. "In some 600 km rides, some community riders asked me not to ride ahead and to ride with them as they would not be able to finish alone. I dropped back and rode with them. It is a really nice bonding experience to get to be a part of the Decathlon Raipur cycling community that helps us get healthier together."
"In 2018, I joined Decathlon's Live My Life project where we get to spend time as a Decathlon teammate at work. In a couple of weeks, I joined the company as an employee. I've worked in many different places. Where the bosses and customers don't talk properly to the employees, even use abusive language. Working with Decathlon, it feels like we're equals as a team. Here, we meet so many customers, some of them who also come in big cars like BMWs, they are so polite. It feels really nice to be able to help people explore cycling and to be of service. I also got to participate in rides like the No Vehicle Day ride with Ramkrishna CARE Hospital and I finished 2nd. It's an honor to be recognized for your passion," adds Ram.
"Pehle mazdoori jaise kaam karne ki hi sochta tha. Abhi apna man pasand kaam kar raha hoon. (Earlier, I had just thought of working as more of manual labor, but now I get to work in my dream job.)" says Ram with pride.