Ratheesh Rajan – Training Team Lead in Chennai

Ratheesh Rajan – Training Team Lead in Chennai

RATHEESH RAJAN

Training Team Lead
Chennai, India
Joined: 2012

Ratheesh helped to launch our Chennai site in 2012. Nowadays, he’s on the Global Learning & Development team where he has trained new hires and trainers in both India and the U.S.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

When Groupon Chennai started, there was only one shift: the day shift. Eventually, the requirement for a night shift at the Chennai office arose, which was initially met with some opposition. My then manager, Prabhakar, rose to the occasion and took charge, bringing in staff who wanted to work the night shift without having to move anybody against their wishes. His strategy was mindblowing and unforgettable!

Tell us about your job – what does a typical day look like?

I am from Global Learning and Development. My team and I do new hire training, facilitate “train-the-trainer” sessions with the vendor team, work with the service delivery team to improve their metrics, and partner with the project management team to implement their projects. My job is to allocate trainers to conduct training. I also will pitch in for facilitating training often. This year, I trained 9 groups of new hires continuously from July to October at our Bangalore site.

Who or what inspires you?

My job and the challenges that come with it. Not a week goes by without someone asking me how I stay motivated. My response is always the same. I do not believe in finding motivation from the outside. Passion is more powerful than any extrinsic motivational factors. If one is passionate about something, it is all the impetus one needs. Therefore, I always look within for inspiration.

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

In January 2013, I got a Gchat from one of the Chicago Area Managers saying that I was selected to attend a Team Lead interview. I was so excited because that was my third month of joining Groupon. I was able to clear all the rounds and got my offer letter as Team lead. Along with that, I was given a brand new, shiny laptop. That was the first time I was ever using a laptop for my self. I will never ever forget that moment which I am so proud of.

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

I was doing a new hire training in Chicago a year ago and despite the fact that my entire day was spent in the office conducting training, I was also given a big project to work on at the same time. I literally had to stay back at the office to download/attend project calls, then go back to the apartment and work on the project. For a week, it is was almost 14 to 15 hours with my laptop doing this project. Luckily, I was able to complete my tasks and the project launched right on time.

What’d you do before joining Groupon?

I was working with Sutherland Global Services when Amazon.com was their client. When I heard Groupon was opening its start-up office in Chennai, I was so excited and applied for it believing opportunities are very high in the startups.

What was your first impression of Groupon as a workplace?

My first day at Groupon showed me that there was freedom in empowerment. Allowing employees to dress to express themselves was refreshing to me as someone from an organization with a strict dress code.

So comparing your role at Groupon to similar roles at other companies, what’s the difference? Why Groupon?

I have done training roles in my previous organization, but those were product- or region-specific; I never got a chance to work in the global environment.  A couple of years back, the Global Learning and Development team was formed at Groupon. From then on it was learning every day, challenges every day, projects every week.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

Being a trainer, I am the bridge between all new updates and agents who interact with customers to provide them with exceptional service. Unless I do my best to equip and inspire agents they will not be able to do their best for Groupon’s customers. As a proud Grouponer, I try and live by the mission and values in everything that I do.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I take good care of my things (my bike, my shoes, etc.,) and talk to inanimate objects (when nobody is watching of course!)

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be?

I would like to run a Health and Fitness Club.

 

Groupon Chennai

Aditya Athalye – Software Development Engineer in Bangalore

Aditya Athalye – Software Development Engineer in Bangalore

ADITYA ATHALYE

Software Development Engineer III
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2017

When he’s not writing code that incentivizes consumers to use Groupon, you might find Aditya singing ghazal or performing recitals for his team in Bangalore. 🎤🎶

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favourite Groupon memory amongst many is the first potluck I attended in Bangalore. It was a wonderful day of celebration where everyone brought home cooked food and since we have people coming from various parts of India, we got a taste of the many diverse cuisines across the country. The potluck celebration was made even more special for me as I got an opportunity to perform a tabla recital which was appreciated by one and all.

What was your first role at Groupon and what are you up to today?

I joined the Global Subscriptions Team—part of Push Marketing Engineering—for a month or so before moving to the Incentive Service Engineering Team. Today, my day-to-day activity involves understanding feature requests, converting them into a workable design, writing code for it, doing code reviews and document reviews within the team, and debugging production issues reported by the business. I love the variety of interesting requirements we get and since incentive service is part of the the purchase funnel, it is incredibly critical to the business. I am also fortunate to be working with a very passionate team of engineers and I learn a lot from each one of them.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve worked on so far?

My biggest challenge so far was working on a feature that would allow selective overriding of discount stacking for deals on ILS. More than the technical aspect of the problem, it was the coordination with many stakeholders and getting the relevant information from them, especially since teams were distributed in a way that made it very interesting.

Tabs or spaces?

Tabs converted to 4 spaces 🙂

Vim or emacs? Why?

I have worked with Vim more than Emacs so I am a little biased towards it.

Show us your favorite view from the office:

How does your work connect to Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

The Incentive Service Engineering team deals with promotional pricing which works to entice users to register on the Groupon platform and make purchases. We try to ensure that this process is as seamless to the user as possible and in conjunction with other marketing services, ensure that Groupon as a brand reaches out to the millions of users and makes them consider Groupon as the preferred choice for local commerce. We are also trying to come up with innovative features aimed at providing lucrative options to end users, such as free shipping discounts, single flat price, discount stacking on sale deals, and bucks-based discounts.

What do your parents think you do?

This quote is in Marathi, “पैसे देतात पण अगदी पिळून घेतात,” which literally means that software companies today pay people well, but squeeze the life out of them.   🙂

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

I find that promotes healthy competition and provides opportunities to grow.

Where were you before joining Groupon?

I worked in enterprise software domain for the most part of my career prior to Groupon. Enterprise had a different set of challenges whereas internet companies have totally different ones to contend with. I knew about Groupon since I bought my first tablet from Groupon in 2013. I just happened to stumble upon the Groupon job opening on LinkedIn and applied.

What’s your favorite part of your team’s Software Development process?

Apart from the methodical process we follow for every feature we build, I enjoy the energy and passion of everyone in the team when we run into production issues and each one compliments the other in a successful resolution of the issue.

What are your favorite languages?

Java and Python for programming. Sanskrit for others.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

I love singing (Hindustani classical, ghazals) 🙂

Groupon World Headquarters

Groupon sponsors Nasscom Product Conclave Conference

Groupon sponsors Nasscom Product Conclave Conference

Groupon sponsors & sends keynote speaker to Nasscom Product Conclave in Bangalore

Groupon participated for the first time in the Nasscom Product Conclave as Platinum Sponsors and we also sent our own keynote speaker—Senior Director of Engineering Phani Kumar Bhogaraju—to present on the topic “The Five Imperatives to Scale up Products.” The conference itself had over 2,000 participants, which provided a lot of great networking opportunities with national and international attendees.

Kannada Rajyotsava Celebrations in Bangalore

Kannada Rajyotsava Celebrations in Bangalore

Kannada Rajyotsava

Kannada Rajyotsava Celebrations at Groupon’s Bangalore Office

Karnataka Rajyotsava is celebrated on 1 November of every year. This was the day in 1956 when all the Kannada language-speaking regions of South India were merged to form the state of Karnataka.

Raghavendran – Engineer in Bangalore

Raghavendran – Engineer in Bangalore

RAGHAVENDRAN VC

Engineer
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2016

Raghavendran describes the excitement of working at a global tech company focused on empowering local businesses.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Groupon Engineering challenges are some of the most fascinating challenges I’ve experienced in my life. I will always remember September 9, 2016: the day when Groupon’s EMEA software stack migrated from our Swiss data centre to the Dublin data centre. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have been involved in such a huge data centre migration. I remember that night when the office was filled with employees buzzing with energy, everyone fully focused on achieving that engineering feat.

What inspires you?

The day-to-day challenges, talking about scaling, and millisecond responses drive me to perform at my best. The magnitude of the engineering services we own always remind me that I am working at the tip of an iceberg and there is so much more to learn and experience. Also, the talks I have with my director, Phani Kumar, inspire me to excel beyond borders.

Your role exists at other companies…so why Groupon? What’s unique about it?

The opportunities to work across tech stacks combined with the fast-paced environment and inclination towards performance and scalable systems: only Groupon can provide such challenges. Groupon provides such unique technical challenges and it’s up to you to mold everything to help your career grow.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

That it was a startup at a global scale!

How does the work you do impact Groupon’s mission of becoming the daily habit in local commerce?

My team owns the connection between customer and local businesses: the actual voucher that a customer buys and redeems at a merchant! So we truly connect both worlds and try our best to make this connection look effortless, simple, and elegant.

What’s your biggest accomplishment so far while working at Groupon?

Getting Groupon onto the Unity platform was a major organisation goal in early 2017. Functionally, things looked simple but later we started facing significant performance issues with countless engineering challenges in terms of scalability and performance. After a major overhaul in architecture and design of the existing systems backed up with countless sleepless nights, I helped Deckard roll out in EMEA. This was a major achievement in my career at Groupon.

What do your parents think about your job at Groupon?

They say: “stop typing and go to sleep.”

If you could do anything else for a day, what would it be and why?

I would love to meet our merchants and listen to them talk about the impact of Groupon on their business. It would be great to talk to them and understand the issues in reality.

Tell us something about you that would surprise us.

I would love to play soccer as much as I code.

Groupon World Headquarters