Today we get to know Faizal, the Global Leader of Direct Tax and Transfer Pricing. Faizal joined Groupon in June of 2014 and felt palpable excitement in the office from day one. A self-described “fixer,” he explains how Groupon gives him the opportunity to dive into multiple challenges within the organization.
What did you do before coming to Groupon?
I led Wal-Mart’s global e-commerce tax group and covered state, local, international, transfer pricing, local, country tax, etc.
Why did you decide to come to Groupon?
It was the opportunity to join a very innovative organization. I would say at heart I’m a builder and a fixer. When I came to visit the office, the energy I felt when I walked into the building and walked the floor was (and is) a palpable, positive energy. People here want to win—they’re not just here to collect a paycheck. The vast majority of people here are in it to succeed and win. When you have a group of people that are striving toward that same goal, it’s infectious and exciting.
What has surprised you most about working here?
The breadth of issues. Some people may view that as a negative, but I view it more as an opportunity. Coming to work here, you’re going to see a lot more issues that cover a broader range of topics than at most other companies and you’ll have more opportunities to dive into these things and drive value.
What has been the biggest challenge?
I would say resource constraints. Resource constraint is the great equalizer where ruthless prioritization and multitasking are the keys to success. This helps issues get the time they need for resolution with the right mix of internal resources and advisors.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into Tax at Groupon?
Have an open mind! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes people feel daunted with the volume of work and issues, and because they don’t want to give the wrong answer, but you need to ask questions to understand what’s going on. Unless you’ve already worked at a startup, the speed with which we move and operate is beyond what most people have seen. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help and ask lots of questions.
For people that want autonomy and the ability to drive value early on, Groupon is the right place for you.
Funniest thing that’s happened at the office?
There was an associate who sits on a Salesforce ball (Groupon-speak for “exercise ball”) at her desk. Well, one day there was a point at which she got really relaxed and started to slide off the ball. It actually took her a full minute to fall off because she couldn’t find her balance. Finally, she fell to the floor and everyone in Finance stood and gave her a standing ovation.
If you’re interested in working on the Tax team, or just want motivation to do your taxes, click here to view our open positions.