It’s no laughing matter planning the roll out of full fibre to more than 150,000 premises, yet you’ll find a comedy corner in our delivery team – in the shape of Network Planning Engineer, Pratik, Ogi’s resident funny man.
When Pratik moved back to Ebbw Vale for a role at Ogi, combining his two passions – comedy and network planning – was the ‘dream come true’ moment.
With around 20 years’ experience in the telecoms industry, Pratik joined Ogi’s delivery team, supporting and planning the ambitious roll out of south Wales’s newest full fibre network.
The Planning Engineer-come-comedy MC says he’s “been overwhelmed by how supportive everyone has been both in and out of the office” since joining the company. Pratik offsets the complexity of his day job by running comedy nights in pubs and clubs, titled Same Again Barman, using his surname ‘Barman’ as his stage presence namesake.
Comedy has always played a big part of Pratik’s life, but it was social media that gave him the platform he needed to thrive.
“Comedy has always had my heart. I took courses to learn stand-up but it wasn’t until years later that things finally started to take off – thanks in part to being online. I found my ‘old school cabaret’ style and started performing at pubs and venues across London – and I was able to sell out by promoting them on platforms like Facebook.”
When Pratik moved back home to Ebbw Vale, his comedy career took a break, but when Ogi’s People Experience team found out about his hidden talent, they jumped at the chance to support his Welsh debut.
“It comes across as such a positive and vibrant place to work; but what took me by surprise was how invested the company really is in its people.”
Ogi helped Pratik secure his homecoming gig, providing space at the Cardiff Arms Park, a box office guarantee and promotional support.
“My biggest gig yet took place at the Gareth Edwards Lounge at the home of Cardiff rugby, made possible thanks to support from right across Ogi – they literally wanted to do all they could to support me.”
While not ready to give us his day job just yet, Pratik has gone on to take the local comedy circuit by storm, brining big name comedians to Wales – often for the first time – mixing his unique blend of humour with stand-up and observation comedy.
“I’ve done some really cool things since my homecoming gig, like hosting an online comedy show, presenting a radio comedy programme and I telling my jokes at the Camden Fringe Festival.
“Although I’ve been doing my comedy for a while, I still get nervous stepping onto stage. But as soon as I get that first laugh, I know it’s going to be OK.”
Away from the spotlight, Pratik continues to plan Ogi’s network roll out, all the while dreaming of the day, he’ll have is own Good News show on the telly.
“I love what I do, and having my work family sharing and supporting my passion has helped put me at ease. They really are a brilliant bunch.”