Pepelwerk Bonus Podcast: Kim and Giri Talk Work and Global Teams
Kim Kelley: Hello everyone. This is Pepelwerk podcast, another special edition of sorts, getting everyone that’s a part of our audience on the talent and the employer side familiar with the Pepelwerk team, and today we have Giri. Giri, will you introduce yourself?
Giri Ram: Yep, sure. Hi guys, this is Giri. I’m a basketball player and a bike follower, motorcycling enthusiast, actually. And just [inaudible 00:01:02] that’s me personally.
Kim Kelley: Okay, well, Giri has actually worked with Pepelwerk since what we would call is the beginning, and we’re almost a year into Pepelwerk and we’re really excited about hitting our one-year milestone. But will you please let the audience know what you actually do for us?
Giri Ram: Oh, sure. So every product has a vision, so I’m just making sure that that vision is captured by our user experience and passed along to rest of the team, so that they understand everything, and they capture it right. So…
Kim Kelley: With that … Oh, go ahead. Sorry, Giri.
Giri Ram: Oh, sorry. Go ahead.
Kim Kelley: No, finish.
Giri Ram: Yes. I kind of run the head of product experience.
Kim Kelley: Yes. In the Pepelwerk world, we don’t deal with a lot of career hierarchy mess. You are either the boss of what subject matter you’re responsible for, or you’re somebody who is learning to be a boss. So Giri is our boss of product experience, like he said and what that means for you, our audience, is if you don’t like the way a button looks, you have to blame it on Giri (Laughs). But, if you do like the way that you are experiencing the tiles, and the way that the tiles interact, and how you flow through the system, send Giri a shout-out through the Pepelwerk social media. I know he’ll appreciate any accolades that you get, because he works very hard to make sure that your user experience is sharp and with the least amount of disruption. Giri, what are the skills that you use every day to do your job?
Giri Ram: First of all, just to describe my job in that perspective, first I gather everything in pieces, like, okay, this cream, the layout should have these sort of thing. Then first I picture it, and I put in on notes on a paper of how [inaudible 00:03:00] paper where I write down everything and I keep it on the floor. I visualize it and everything comes together in the place, so, yeah, that’s the way I work.
Kim Kelley: So for you, it’s a combination of first a creative process, kind of like you’re taking an idea and you’re trying to map out visually what that looks like, right?
Giri Ram: Yep.
Kim Kelley: Did I get that right? And then you apply your technical skills, and what are your technical skills?
Giri Ram: The medium I use for my visual, for my imagination to come through is sketch for now. Then whatever that medium that is available or like[inaudible 00:03:45] which are useful in certain aspects, so whichever is good that is utilized to its strengths and make sure that I capture it right.
Kim Kelley: So one of Giri’s strongest skill set is binding the gap and I don’t even know how you would describe that in your talent profile. You can just say master of finding the gap in the story because Giri is so conscious of the way, conscious… did I say that right? Conscious of the way a user experiences a software or not really just software, but anything that’s trying to get a user to achieve a certain result. Of course, for our talent users, the end result is getting them matched with work and for our employers is obviously just the reverse. I don’t even know what we put, I think that’s technically what we call it. You’re just… your skillset is finding the holes, and you’re an expert at it, because you can do it really well. So what do you think are your personal attributes, the things that make you, that make you successful in working with people.
Giri Ram: One of the most important things that I found out was that my OCD is really helping me here (Laughs). I want to push for perfection, so I don’t mind putting in the extra time. I just want something, if I’m putting out something, to be perfect. So, that’s one of my personal characteristics that’s come into light up the joint before, that made me realize that it’s very valuable.
Kim Kelley: Yeah, I knew well… Giri I definitely appreciate your pursuit of perfection and your work ethic, and you know I think you honestly care. You care about what you’re doing.
Giri Ram: Yeah. For everyone, part of their identity is the work that they’re putting out and I’m one of the persons who don’t think work is something that you have to do for money. That’s basically defining you, and it’s part of what you’re growing and what you’re leaving behind as a legacy. That’s why I am too cautious on[inaudible 00:06:05] and I kind of push for it.
Kim Kelley: One of the things that I think is interesting when people ask me about how I built Pepelwerk with a team from a team perspective is how hard or how easy it is to work globally. We’ve had team member in Thailand. We have one team member who is traveling everywhere. He was in Europe. Giri you are in India, you’re in Bangalore. We have people on the West Coast, the East Coast in the US. The company is actually headquartered in Dallas. What do you… do you think it’s hard working in a global environment? If you do think it’s hard, what do you think makes it hard.
Giri Ram: I actually don’t think it’s hard, if you find the right tune for it I think it’s more useful because basically instead of passing the day, you are working from one, let’s say for example if you’re working from Dallas, you’re working half a day and then you’re resting from evening to the day morning, you are taking your rest and taking your personal time. During that time, you are capturing the remaining work and we are making sure it is done, so it’s actually twice the time so it’s easier and much faster for me if you look at if that way.
Kim Kelley: And what tools have you contributed, what tools do you think make us successful, working as the team, globally? Maybe not a tool, but what do you think makes us successful? Because I think we work really great as a global team.
Giri Ram: Yes I agree, to that with Kim actually. One of the major things that we do is making sure that we are all on the same page every day. Or meeting twice or what number of times we catch up. We just make sure that each and everyone is knowing what they have to do and what they are responsible for, and as a team, where we are heading to. So that basis of communication is more important and that’s really good; been working for us actually.
Kim Kelley: Yeah it’s so funny because people always think that as a new software system or a maybe even a new hardware that comes out that makes global teams work but, I totally agree with you Giri, it’s our communication that makes us work and that’s something that’s just the base. You have to get your base right of communication and then all the other widgets that you add around it to improve efficiency are really what I think help the overall outcomes of the group. So I’m glad to hear you say that.
Kim Kelley: So let me just kind of recap before I answer, or before I ask you the last question of the day. So if Giri were to ask, and he does by the way, everybody that works for Pepelwerk including me, we all have a talent profile because if you wanted to work for Pepelwerk, we had to make sure that you actually used, and have the talent experience. So Giri’s talent profile, he would have for his skills, he would have a hole filler, UX (user experience), user interface, project management, his attributes are that he’s incredibly detail oriented. He is OCD in the pursuit of perfection. He has amazing work ethic and he actually cares and enjoys his work. I mean, I don’t think that anybody can put that on anyone talent profile but we hope that that’s the outcome, right, of the talent profile.
Kim Kelley: So my last, and of course if Giri was to put his location or his availability, it would be that he has an open schedule, because we work when we need the work done. None of us really work on a set schedule. And his work authorization is in India, but he will soon be working in the US under his H1B after Pepelwerk hits our one year mile stone, which I’m super excited about, getting Giri to an L.A. Laker game. And he has the ability to work remote, so he’s global. And so that’s what Giri’s talent profile would look like, or does look like, even today.
Kim Kelley: So Giri, my last question to you is, what do you want people to know about Pepelwerk?
Giri Ram: For this I might have to touch, take a step back, and explain to you really before I joined Pepelwerk. My entire vision was like, I always imagined a world without money or parents. Just enjoying what you’re doing and just doing what you were enjoy. And when Pepelwerk, when I started working for Pepelwerk, I saw a product which is a first step toward that vision. Because for me, that’s the reason I was more involved with it, because I saw, okay, one of my visions is part of Peopleowork and I want to be there. But the next town of Pepelwerk, we start. Kim you would agree, we started the bases of okay, we are going to connect people to work and then we are defining their career. We are defining what they work like because we have, we are defining how they can expand their careers, what they can do. It’s like one stop solution for the kids or anyone who has just come, who is getting new to work place or who is just looking for the first work or the last, under work maybe. It’s just a one stop solution for all of them to redefine how they view work as and what they view their work life as. And that’s one of the best things I have seen from Pepelwerk actually.
Kim Kelley: Well good that’s exciting. What I just have to pull out for any of our employers who are listening, I’ve got actually three separate messages for, our audience is so broad, for our employers, what excites me from a CEO prospective with my leadership hat on is that I’ve provided an opportunity through Pepelwerk for Giri to be who he is, where he needs to be, work when he can work and truly excel. It’s one of my, I think, Giri, and seeing Giri’s just all in attitude for Pepelwerk, it clearly has a lot to do with the fact that it’s a compliment. The employer has that responsibility to their talent to let them excel in order to drive the business mission forward. And we’re lucky that Giri had an alignment with the vision because I don’t think that he would be as passionate about Pepelwerk and the solution if there wasn’t an alignment there.
Kim Kelley: And then for a talent perspective, just to reinforce why we built a talent-centric solution, we want talent to create their profile and download the app, create their profile, and play with it because when you expand how you’re presented as your work brand and your skills and your attributes, and all of those things, that’s all of those elements that make you you in the working world. It’s exciting to see that actually come to fruition with the Pepelwerk team. Is there anything else Giri, you want to leave our audience with?
Giri Ram: Actually to add to the point, you just summed it up pretty great actually. To add to the point, if the team that you’re forming has the right characteristic and they’re bought into the vision and regardless of what you do, if they are bought into the vision or if they are bought into the way that you are gonna approach it, that enjoyment, if it global or if it is in one place it doesn’t matter, it’s gonna work. So that’s what we are trying to capture I guess.
Kim Kelley: Well I think that is a great note to end the podcast on. Thank you Giri, for allowing me to have your attention. I know we have always a lot to do but I really am, I know that the audience will appreciate your story. That the talent users, especially our younger generations who’s getting into the workforce, anybody who has aspiration of taking their creative and technical skills into defining a user experience, that you’ve provided some insight into how you work and how you become successful. And Pepelwerk audience, thank you for listening. As always put your comments in the comment box, let us know if you like what we’re doing. If you don’t like what we’re doing, as long as it’s constructive criticism I’ll always listen to you. But if you’re gonna be nasty, don’t put the post because I’ll just delete it.
Kim Kelley: But at the end of the day we are passionate about providing you the tools to create the work life you want to, it’s up to you to use them.