On 19 May 2015, Bhanu joined ANZ’s Bengaluru Service Centre Verification Team. ANZ was just his third job ever and he was looking forward to a positive start.
On 16 January 2016, just seven months after joining ANZ, he decided to visit one of the temples in Maharashtra.
But on the way to the temple, the car in which Bhanu and his family were travelling hit the road divider and they were thrown from the vehicle.
Local people helped them to the nearby hospital but Bhanu remained unconscious. A head injury and internal bleeding required immediate surgery. After surgery he was moved to the Apollo Hospital in Bengaluru but remained unconscious.
Bhanu had lost a part of his skull and four months after the accident he lapsed into a coma. He remained in this state for almost two years. He could see things around him but was unable to communicate. His family placed a television in his room to keep him engaged but he was frustrated at his inability to communicate and often felt sad and depressed.
Turning things for the best
In 2018 doctors used an artificial membrane to repair his skull and two weeks after the surgery Bhanu started showing signs of improvement.
His father and brother provided Bhanu enormous support and their belief in him is what helped him push through. But the ordeal had limited the family’s income.
When ANZ heard about Bhanu’s accident, his former team and ANZ’s employee insurance policies helped him meet his increasing medical expenses. But his inability to work meant he had to resign.
ANZ remained in touch with Bhanu’s father and brother as he made his slow recovery. Three years after the accident, Bhanu could get up independently and sit on the bed.
“I felt like a baby with people teaching me how to talk and walk,” he says.
Every small development was a significant milestone that made the family happy and helped build Bhanu’s confidence. Three months later he was able to lift his hands and slowly started speaking. The first thing he asked for was food!
He soon started walking with a stick and began to keep himself occupied by working on his personal computer. He remembers the effort it took to walk just a short distance.
During this period, what bothered Bhanu the most was his family’s reduced finances. He was eager to get back to work and start contributing.
Determination pays off
When Bhanu thought of going back to work, ANZ was his first choice.
Sanjay Purandare, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Head, recommended Bhanu focus on his health first. But when Bhanu insisted, Sanjay began sharing open positions at the bank as Bhanu worked on his resume.
Despite a few unsuccessful applications he continued to hone his skills and Sanjay shared another potential opening. Bhanu grabbed the opportunity with both his hands.
He cleared the voice assessment and interview and waited for the phone call – a call that would decide his future. It was the most anxious time of his life, he says.
The family’s happiness knew no bounds when they heard that Bhanu had aced his interview and would soon re-join the ANZ workforce.
In July last year Bhanu became part of the Australia Retail Team. He found his new team members very understanding and the culture was inclusive.
“ANZ is a great company. They don’t just focus on making profits but also on their employees. They deliver on their purpose of helping the community.” Bhanu says. “I am fortunate to be a part of ANZ. I want to express my gratitude towards the company by working hard and helping the organisation achieve greater success.”
Bhanu’s father added: “We cannot forget the way ANZ has acted like another pillar of strength for the family. We can never forget the support and will always remain grateful. It is truly an organisation with heart.”
Swati Akhouri is Communications Manager, Bengaluru Service Centre