Polyglot, movie buff, InterMilan fanatic and lover of Polish tartar: just some of the things Oltion manages to squeeze into his spare time when he’s not busy managing operations at our new Shared Services Centre in Katowice, Poland.
Tell us a little bit about your work experience in general and in Groupon.
I started working as a Customer Service agent in Tirana back in 2006 (nearly 11 years ago) and, though a weird twist of fate, ended up becoming a sales project trainer when I had to step in for a colleague who was sick and couldn’t speak: I had to run the entire training session on my own and was then asked to do it all the time. I’ve also worked as an interpreter in the Italian embassy in Tirana and co-founded a call centre business with a friend, which allowed me to combine the skills I learned in my previous roles.
After that, I joined Teleperformance Albania in 2009 as a Team Leader, supporting the Italian market where I was quickly promoted to Workforce Manager. This role was all about the numbers, from analysing arrival patterns on specific intervals, to producing forecasts and planning based on statistical predictions. I’m really into numbers, so I loved the job! I also worked as assistant to the COO which was a steep learning curve because I had to deal with all departments simultaneously.
What about when you joined Groupon?
Before joining Groupon, I worked as an Account Manager for one of Groupon’s vendors in Tirana. I started with Groupon in Dublin covering different international markets and recently moved to Katowice to take up a new role of Site Manager for the brand new Shared Service Centre which services the US and EMEA markets, so the challenge is huge! I love that I get to meet my team every day – I used to work remotely all the time, so seeing folks face-to-face is a nice change.
I love that I get to meet my team every day. I used to work remotely all the time, so seeing folks face-to-face is a nice change.
Site Manager for the new Katowice SSC… sounds like a big job?
Well, yes. It is! My role is essentially all about helping support the team managers, leaders and agents who have to provide Groupon’s customers with top class service in a timely and helpful manner.
One of my main goals is to identify ways we can improve our service: this means that everyone, from managers to agents, has to fully understand the process and spot how we can drive efficiencies. This, in turn requires us to capture data, identify patterns and make small changes that ultimately drive productivity and enhance the customer experience. It’s up to me to create the atmosphere and provide the tools that help my team achieve that. Again – it’s a lot about numbers, so I love it!
What are your ambitions for the Katowice office? What do you like the most in your job? What do you like the most about working @Groupon?
The Shared Services Centre in Katowice represents a major green-field investment in Poland for Groupon and I want to help make sure it becomes the leading example of a modern, vibrant place to work. Places like these are always moving and evolving so harnessing that sense of perpetuum mobile – or constant motion – will allow us to scale and grow in a smart way. On a personal level, I want to be the kind of manager that inspires and leads by example: someone people can rely on, with an effective strategy to help make life easier (and less boring!) and bring the performance home.
The relaxed environment is one of the best things about working here. A lot of firms still have very grey, corporate spaces and a formal atmosphere, but our aim is to provide our teams with the space to enjoy their work without the need to wear a suit and also give them room to relax and take a break. Work/life balance is really important. Folks here tend to love their table tennis – I might even join them one day for a game, if I have time 🙂
Have you spotted any differences between the Dublin and the Katowice office you just joined? How about your home country and Poland?
Albania and Poland have a lot in common, not least because of our shared history, but also in terms of how we approach life, so I felt right at home here very quickly. I want to explore a bit too, visit the Baltic sea and the Pomeranian region and I love languages, so learning Polish is definitely one of my goals.
The Dublin office is quite diverse and international – it’s one of Groupon’s main engineering and marketing hubs, so it’s a real melting pot of different nationalities and skills. That certainly would be one big difference between Dublin and Katowice but I believe we will turn this office into an international piece of Katowice in no time!
Katowice is a great city: it’s vibrant and bustling full of people. What I’ve found here is that people are extremely motivated, hard-working with lots of energy and are eager to learn.
Also, working here means being part of a huge international company, so there’s great value to being able to collaborate with multiple departments all around the world and get to know the people from different cultures and backgrounds.