Adrian Marafioti – Sales Director for ANZ in Sydney

Adrian Marafioti – Sales Director for ANZ in Sydney

ADRIAN MARAFIOTI

Sales Director – ANZ
Joined: 2018

From recording an EP at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee to leading a legendary sales organization in Sydney, Adrian talks about joining the Groupon family and the little CEO who keeps him grounded.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

Working for a company with a great culture (or energy as I like to refer to it) was extremely important to me. Throughout the recruitment process I knew that Groupon was different and as soon as I started, I quickly realized just how special the energy within Groupon was. Not only is it a dynamic, fast-paced environment where the people are experts in their business, everyone supports each other like a family so they can be the best they can be. I feel fortunate to have been accepted into the Groupon family.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

I’ve received lots of great advice over the years but one that has stayed with me is to “Be yourself because everyone else is taken!” I love this because, like everyone, there are times that you doubt yourself—be it in your working environment or everyday life. For me, it’s about trusting who I am and backing myself. Doesn’t mean you will always be right, but at least you’ve been true to yourself and done it your way.

What are the most important qualities in a teammate for your organisation?

Trust and respect! If you know that you can trust the person next to you—both to support you when you need as well as provide honest feedback when required—that breeds a healthy environment. Respect is also critical. If you are able to respect everyone in your organisation, irrespective of their role or title, people feel valued and part of the family and overall goal. If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself!

What’s an unusual job you’ve had in the past? How did it shape you into the person you are today?

Not so much unusual but more a defining moment. Growing up, I’d regularly help out in our family business for some pocket money whether that be sweeping the loading dock, cleaning out the bins, doing the filing or any other odd job that I could manage.

On one occasion I didn’t feel like going in to help out and chose to stay home instead. I remember my dad coming home and handing me a payslip envelope (as was the case then). Thinking I was still getting some pocket money, I was disappointed when I opened it and there was only a photocopy of a $20 and $10 note inside!

An early life lesson about work ethic and the value of hard work. My dad certainly got his message across!

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’m not the only recording artist in my family (I say that with a grin on my face!). I’ve actually recorded a 4 track EP at the “Birth Place of Rock ’n Roll”: the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis. Now, whilst I didn’t go on to be as famous as the likes of Elvis, Johnny Cash, and B.B. King who all recorded in the same studio, at least we had a go! I know some people might think this is a joke given my recent karaoke performance, but I can confirm it’s true!

What have you done when you’ve encountered setbacks in your career?

One of my philosophies in life and in business is to use every situation, be it positive or negative, as a learning experience. One of the things I do is set some regular time aside to reflect on either a period or a specific situation. When you suffer any setback, it’s often easy to point the finger and pass the blame. The more difficult option is to take a deep breath, remove the emotion, and look at what you’ve done to contribute to the situation. Having this approach allows me to take the learnings and apply new actions, only this time with a new mindset.

Who or what inspires you?

My little girl Chloe—or my CEO, as I like to call her—is undoubtedly my inspiration. I recently heard someone describe the feeling they felt after just having their child, saying, “It was like opening up a new chamber in my heart.” I don’t think I could describe it any better! My little CEO is a strong, caring, thoughtful, fun-loving person who comes from a place of love. She is an old soul and is wise beyond her years with the most special inquisitive nature. Simply being around her puts life into perspective and inspires me to be the best version of myself, every day!

Join my team!

 

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work? 

Outside of my family, my one true passion is golf. My father put a club in my and my younger brother’s hands when we were three and five, respectively. Ever since then, golf has been a major part of our lives and something that still connects us to this day. The golf course is a place where I feel most at peace. Having said that, being a very competitive person, it’s also very frustrating, so I’m always reminding myself how lucky I am it’s not my day job. I’d be a very poor man if it was!

I also love to collect vinyl. Being a big fan of my 60’s and 70’s soul and funk music, some of my most treasured albums are from that era. A great Friday night for me these days is chilling out with a glass of red wine and listening to some of Bill Withers or Donny Hathaway. I’m probably showing my age here, I know!

Describe your leadership style.

My leadership style is very much through empowerment. For me, it’s about ensuring everyone knows their roles and responsibilities and clearly understands what success looks like. My role then is to support and guide my team to achieve both their personal and professional goals, whilst ensuring we remain accountable along the way. I also thinks it’s critical to celebrate your success. Who doesn’t love a little reward and recognition!

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?

I would be an F1 race car driver! I’ve always enjoyed fast cars and the thrill of going fast. Being behind the wheel of such a powerful machine without any restrictions would be awesome! The fact they also get to travel the world to some of the most amazing places full of all the glitz and glamour is also a bonus! Or maybe that’s just my inner fantasy of living a “rock star” lifestyle coming out!

Describe your job in 10 words or less.

Support the team to be the best they can be

What’s your favorite local business?

Frankie’s Pizza: live music and great pizzas. The perfect combination!

Rhys Burns – Merchant Services Manager in Sydney

Rhys Burns – Merchant Services Manager in Sydney

RHYS BURNS

Merchant Services Manager
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2017

What do nerf guns, the song Sandstorm, and rolling out a merchant center for businesses in ANZ all have in common? They sum up Rhys’ quirky experience as a Groupie in the always-energized Sydney office.

Tell us about your job! What do you do? 

The Merchant Services team is speaking to merchants all the time: both before and after they go live! Whether it’s showing them around Merchant Center, helping them perfect their availability on the Groupon Booking tool, or shedding some light on a finance inquiry, we’re always trying to help! Plus, we’re often a regular point of contact for merchants, so we try to make every interaction and experience positive and memorable!

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

Rolling out Merchant Center v3 for AU and NZ was a great experience. I was really lucky to have some great help (Mike, Eniyan, and Anuj: we did it!) to try and keep the implementation as smooth and seamless for merchants as possible. The Groupon Merchant Center is an awesome piece of tech that really empowers merchants when it comes to their campaigns. It’s a one-stop shop to see how everything is performing and it gives merchants an unprecedented level of visibility…as it should!

To roll this out for Australia and New Zealand, I got to work with some incredibly talented people. Early morning calls with Project Managers in Chicago, early morning and late evening calls with Product Managers in Berlin, working with Ireland to send out emails to Australian and New Zealand merchants; it was a fantastic opportunity to work with some of the company’s best…especially when it involves video calls in pyjamas!

You *can* have fun at work.

You seem to be having an awesome Groupon experience so far….so if you had to sum up what it’s like to work here, what makes it great? 

It’s hard to put your finger on just one thing…working as part of the Groupon Australia and New Zealand team has been a blast so far! I think there’s an inherent ability to strike the balance between industrious and fun. There’s a lot of noise on the floor (to which I’m a major contributor – sorry team!), and that becomes quite infectious. You just don’t get that in a corporate environment, where the only sound you can hear is the water cooler bubbling.

You could be in the middle of a negotiation with a merchant when all of a sudden the megaphone starts to blare out an important announcement across the floor (“Fade Alert! Angus Muffet is back in the building, sporting a splendid short, back, and sides number. A round of applause, everyone!”) or Sandstorm drops over the speakers (or as our Head of Farmers calls it, “Sand dune”) and output levels increase eight-fold for three minutes and fifty two seconds.

Having unfettered access to some incredible minds is immeasurably beneficial and something that is so rare outside of the Groupon ecosystem. To know that I can pick the brain of the Finance Director of Australia, New Zealand and Japan to sharpen up my business acumen (“So, Brislo, EBITDA… that’s a funny word, isn’t it!), or the CEO of ANZ & Japan teasing me (previous topics have included what I’m wearing, my haircut, and endless barbs about sporting teams I support), are all a testament to how accessible people of this caliber are for all of us…it’s fantastic!

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

We try to make life as easy as possible for the merchants that work with us. A happy merchant has plenty of downstream impacts… Happy customers -> Merchant wants to do another deal/tells their friend about their Groupon experience -> More deals, and more merchants -> Increased Frequency -> the Daily Habit!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

There are honestly too many to name. Two that come to mind would have to be:

1) Pop ‘N Punch: We celebrate the tremendous efforts of the Operations team prior to Christmas with some amazing prizes! Names are drawn out of a hat, and the lucky Groupie gets to come up and pop a balloon or punch a box, revealing a prize. Last year, we had a trip to Fiji, a trip to China, return Business class flights, plus much more!

2) Steve Traplin, our CEO, did the Vinnies CEO sleepout, where he roughed it on the streets for a night to help change the lives of those experiencing homelessness. To help raise funds, we held an auction where Groupies could purchase the right to put management through: Free coffee for a month (Steve’s shout!); Egg Roulette; Hot Wing Challenge (with a hidden Carolina Reaper pepper!); throw a cream pie in Steve’s face…and much more.

Bobby Mulligan (my boss) and I had the pleasure of hosting the evening (Groupies bought the ability to put fake eyelashes on us and give us a fake tan that was at least 5,432 shades too dark for my complexion!), and it was even more fun than it sounds!

Who or what inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere. If I ever need a real kick up the bum, I love reading the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I remember walking in for my interview with my current boss Robert Mulligan, and getting on like a house on fire. As he was showing me the sales floor; there were darts from Nerf guns flying everywhere, and balls careening towards people. I like that you have to work hard, but can pop your head up for a couple of minutes of fun, too (if you dare remove yourself from cover!)

What advice do you have for future aspiring Groupies?

Get stuck in! Work hard, be yourself. There’s no safer place for it. Meet as many people as possible, and always take the time to walk over and have a face-to-face conversation, even if a chat/email is easier.

Have you won any awards?

I was lucky enough to win the Make Life Less Boring Groupon Value award at the end of last year. Everyday, I get to come to work and be a part of a team who make my life less boring, so this award really belongs to them.

Siddhartha Subramanyam – Account Associate in Bangalore

Siddhartha Subramanyam – Account Associate in Bangalore

SIDDHARTHA SUBRAMANYAM

Account Associate, Finance Shared Service Team
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2016

Pronouns:  Him/His

Siddhartha’s earliest days at Groupon included a trip to the much-loved Australia office, where he met his Groupie teammates from down under. Nowadays, he’s climbing the accounting ladder in Bangalore.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory is my first official work trip. On my first day, my manager asked for my passport details and told me that I would be flying to Australia and other APAC countries. I was stunned and surprised and was so excited for the opportunity! Later, when we checked in to the hotel I was still shocked; I had to keep checking myself over and over, asking, “Am I seriously in Australia?” That moment was priceless and unforgettable. So far, I have visited four Groupon offices and hope to visit the rest someday.

That’s a heck of a first week!  Can you tell us about the Australia office? We’ve heard so many good things.

The Australia office is AMAZING! When I was at the reception, each and every fellow employee asked us, “Are you comfortable?” and, “Let me know who you want to meet.” They’re so caring, it’s wonderful! They made an amazing first impression on all of us. Later, we meet the local Accounting team: Aline, Angela, and Roy. They work together very well; it was so amazing to see them working together in a supportive environment.

What was your first role here? How did you get to where you are now?

My first role involved handling APAC’s accounts payable processes and payments. It was a new process and I had to learn it from scratch. We successfully rolled it out and it is still running smoothly today without any hassle. Currently, I’ve had the opportunity to learn the general ledger. I hope to surpass expectations and make that process as easy as APAC accounts payable, as well as improve my skill set in this new area.

Tell us about your job! What do you do exactly? What do you love about it?

I basically handle payments and queries for APAC countries. What I love the most is the people all around the Groupon globe; interacting with them feels amazing.

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

When my team and I worked on stabilizing the APAC process, it was my biggest challenge because we had to learn the process from the beginning.  We needed to coordinate with the local team, conform to their schedule, and maintain tracking systems. My role was to manage queries and process payments to various APAC vendors, and because I was in charge of the money, I needed to take the utmost care. I had to check and re-check everything to avoid double payments and make sure all payments were valid. I was working with the local accounting team for AU and they were coordinating very well and learning their procedure and processes, and it wasn’t anything I had ever done before. At Accenture, I was just in charge of processing invoices. I had never made payments, responded to queries, or communicated with vendors before.

What did you do before Groupon? How did you get here?

Previously I was working at Accenture as an accountant. I liked my job but I was not fully satisfied. I felt like it was not the right platform to showcase my talents. When I started looking for a change, one fine day I got an email about the Finance openings which were more well-suited to my skills. I applied for the position, and here I am! Groupon trusted my abilities and I proved myself to Groupon.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

The day I started working here, it felt like an amazing opportunity. The infrastructure was wonderful, amenities were better than I had seen before, and the colors were so peaceful, just like I wanted. I feel lucky to work at Groupon.

Can you talk about the culture of the Bangalore office a bit? You mentioned the infrastructure and amenities….what do those look like? 

The Bangalore office just wows me! We have a lot of programs and activities every month like celebrating festivals, birthdays, games, trips, self-enhancement programs, health camps, volunteering, and a lot more. As you can see from my photos, the office is very colorful. Groupon green is everywhere: the desks, sofas, outside seating area, which are so well designed. This gives everyone a positive feeling about Groupon. They also provide some refreshments like snacks, soft drinks, Friday fruits, etc.

What sort of teams and people are you working with on a day-to-day basis? What sort of exposure are you getting here that you didn’t get at Accenture?

Here, I work with a lot more people. Every day, I work with accounts payable team, payments team, and the general ledger team. At Groupon, my role gives me so much more scope and opportunities than the limited role I had at Accenture. Most importantly, employee satisfaction is the BEST at Groupon. Management focuses more on this aspect and makes sure each and every employee is satisfied with their role and the environment here.

Where can we find you outside of work? 

I’m an adventurer and food nerd. I like going to cafes, pubs, and visiting local tourist attractions. I’m a movie buff as well.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’m a bit talkative, I always try to interact with new people. I love to make people laugh.

Have you won any awards during your time here?

Yes of course! Global Star Performer award, team award, and a Groupon-y Gratitude letter I received from Australia.

Katrina Bryce – Business Development Manager in Sydney

Katrina Bryce – Business Development Manager in Sydney

KATRINA BRYCE

Business Development Manager
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2016

This former Rugby champion and consummate salesperson has her eyes on the prize – working hard so she can play hard.  Katrina loves working for this quirky and inspirational company.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have three:

  1. Walking into the office one morning to find a riding blender smoothie bike in the kitchen.
  2. Meeting and hearing Tristan Miller at this year’s conference. This man ran 52 marathons in 47 countries in one year. It was such an amazing story to hear.
  3. I also loved Friday afternoon trivia we had for a short time, which always brought the LOLs.

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it? What does a typical day look like?

I am a Business Development Manager, or as I call it, a hunter. I work within the beauty health and wellness, leisure, food and beverage and services space. I love that it’s so versatile and never gets boring.

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

A particular merchant I was chasing (hunting) for over a year finally signed. I would hear from him for a few days and then wouldn’t hear from him for a few months, then he would come back to me again…this went on for 15 months. I normally walk away but he kept popping back up. Persistence pays!

Who or what inspires you?

Richard Branson. A leader needs to be able to take risks and Richard Branson is an explorer and a ground-breaking entrepreneur on so many levels. He has created an organization that can run effectively without his presence. That is the sign of a great leader. He sets goals that exceed expectations and achieves them.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

That is had a very relaxed atmosphere and was a place for long-term growth.

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

By signing high-quality merchants and making sure they provide our customers with great choices so that they continue coming back to our site to purchase.

Describe the proudest moment you’ve had at Groupon.

Signing Cuckoo German Restaurant in Melbourne over the phone. This merchant had been pursued by a few Groupies over the years, and I was the one who finally got them on board! The merchant was reluctant to sign as they had been around for over 60 years and were already successful. I managed to convince them to run an afternoon tea and dinner campaign and it managed to sell out in just four days. I finished up on 243% to target last month (April 2018) with some of my other deals doing well, too!

Have you won any awards?

I won the Commonwealth Games gold medal!  And my team won the Sales World Cup in 2017.

What is your favorite conference room?

Fair Dinkum!

What do your parents think you do?

My mum asks me daily who has bought my deals and what I have been up to at “Scoopon.” I’ve tried correcting her many times but she still gets it wrong…whoops! She thinks the customers are buying the actual deals directly from me.

Where were you before you joined Groupon? How did you get here?

I’ve worked in sales for eight years now. I was a sales manager at one of my last gigs and have worked in both the insurance and IT sales industries as well. I had bought Groupons for years before I started working here so wanted to work for a company that I believed in…which lead me to apply.   🙂

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work? 

I love to travel a lot…I’ve been all over the world. I enjoy tanning at the beach and going to the gym. I find enjoyment having cocktails with my friends and listening to music. I play netball and I wakeboard.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?

I would want to work as a Wall Street investment banker. That intense environment would be hectic, but only for one day… I wouldn’t want to live at my desk.   😉

What’s your favorite local business?

Illuminate Cosmetic Medicine in Newtown!

Your role probably exists at other companies aside from Groupon…so what makes your role at Groupon unique? 

I believe in what I am selling. I love Groupon and I love that a merchant doesn’t have to physically pay to work with us until a voucher is sold.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I was an exchange student in Canada at the age of 15 and was selected and played for the Provence Ontario (state) in women’s rugby.

Helen Ly – Senior Business Development Consultant in Australia

Helen Ly – Senior Business Development Consultant in Australia

HELEN LY

Senior Business Development Consultant
Australia
Joined: 2013

For Helen, a Senior Business Development Consultant, the success of having generated over 3MM in revenue is only second to the relationships she carefully cultivates. Her customers are her extended family, as are the children who benefit from Helen’s charity work.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Receiving my Million Dollar Club plaque for the very first time.  🙂

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it?

I engage with local businesses on a daily basis about how Groupon can be a part of their existing business marketing plan. I work remotely in Melbourne, Victoria, and am on the road 80% of the time. If I’m not working out of my car, I’ll be working out of a cafe or from home! It’s almost my 5th anniversary with Groupon Australia, too!

What I love most about my job is the merchant. Meeting new merchants and learning more about how they run their business is not something you can do with any ordinary job. I build enough trust for them to respect me and let me work with them to help grow their business. I am most satisfied when my merchants refer me to their friends and family to look after their business’ wellbeing and growth.

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

Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart would be the most challenging account I’ve recently worked on. I take full responsibility to ensure that all stakeholders are 100% happy with their deal. It was a multilocation deal with multiple franchises. Rather than risk information getting lost because it was coming from so many different locations, I dedicated my time to go out on site and walk through the whole process with management (both head office as well as store management) and with the staff just to be sure they fully understand how everything works. It was more challenging on the front end, but I think it was worth it.

Who or what inspires you?

I seek inspiration from everyone. Where I see weakness in myself, I find the strength in my friends and colleagues and learn from them. I draw inspiration from my customers, too. I love walking down the busy streets of Melbourne and knowing every single business owner by name…and they know mine as well! This reminds me that I am doing my job well and know my market.

“I seek inspiration from everyone. Where I see weakness in myself, I find the strength in my friends and colleagues and learn from them.”

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I got married last year and instead of gifting my guests with bonbonnieres, I donated the funds to Build-A-Bear as a partnership to give sick children in the hospital their very own teddy bears. In March of 2018, my husband and I visited the Royal Children’s Hospital and, together with Build-a-Bear and their charity Challenge Australia, we held a workshop to build bears with the kids in the cancer ward and also dropped into the rooms of the sick kids who were in isolation. It was an experience that I am truly grateful to have been a part of.

There are a lot of amazing Groupon stories. What’s your biggest accomplishment?

I am most proud of my accomplishments in my role of Business Development in achieving 1MM in my first year at Groupon, and my 2MM in the year after. Consistency is crucial to success and I thrive to maintain that and to exceed every time. When Sales transitioned to a hunter/farmer model, it was difficult at first, but I got through it and made my 3MM last year! That’s a win for me 🙂

What’d you do before Groupon? How’d you get here?

I worked in events planning and sales in Sydney and London. I moved to Melbourne with my now husband (we met in London) and saw an opportunity with Groupon, so I applied.  

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work? What are your hobbies?

I have two furbabies that occupy my time, and I’ve recently bought a house.  Also, shopping at Bunnings has taken up a lot of my time. Perhaps that could be a new hobby?

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?

I would be a Forensic Scientist because the data never lies.

Harmony Day in Sydney

Harmony Day in Sydney

Everyone Belongs at Groupon Sydney’s Harmony Day

Harmony Day has grown to become a significant annual day for Australians to come together and celebrate our nation’s cultural diversity. At Groupon, we’re a diverse bunch and inclusiveness and diversity is at the core of what we do. Harmony Day is about inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of belonging for everyone and this year, the message of Harmony Day is Everyone Belongs.  

Inclusion and Diversity at Groupon matters. It makes us smarter, leads us to better decisions, and helps us understand the needs of our merchants and customers. We want Groupon to be a great place to work for every employee—a place where people from different backgrounds and experiences feel that they belong and can do their best work to support our mission of becoming the daily habit.  

To celebrate, everyone brought a food dish from their cultural heritage. To pay it forward, donations were required to eat and all money was donated to NASCA (National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy) which is a charity supporting Australia’s Indigenous youth community. NASCA designs programs and workshops aimed at responding to various challenges the Aboriginal community faces by empowering them through educational, sporting, and health programs, and instilling a sense of cultural pride to counteract racism. We also had a special Groupon guest speaker: Cesar Comissi from our National Sales Team spoke about his childhood as a migrant coming to Australia from Peru. He also talked about what his culture means to him and how it has shaped him into the man he is today.

Harmony Day links to our value of Respect, Integrity and Inclusion and solving problems the right way together. It’s because of our backgrounds and life experiences that we have different skills and different views on how to solve problems. It’s always amazing when we get to collaborate with people from different walks of life to solve problems together, as we learn new things which we may not have previously known.  

It also links to our Community value, as we have merchants that partner with us from different diverse, cultural backgrounds. We offer culturally diverse deals on our platform including Thai Food, Indian food, Italian food, Lebanese food, Sushi, Thai massages etc. By featuring diverse deals on our platform, we are driving the Community value.

Bianca Alchi – Partner Development Consultant in Sydney

Bianca Alchi – Partner Development Consultant in Sydney

BIANCA ALCHI

Partner Development Consultant Sydney, Australia Joined: 2015

Bianca and her brother, Mark

So many clubs, so little time. Bianca’s Groupon journey is filled with major wins and she cites her late brother as a source of inspiration for her professional success.

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it?

My job involves…

  1. Looking after a portfolio of clients ranging from beauty merchants to top retail storefronts such as Build-a-Bear
  2. Refeaturing well-performing deals
  3. Keeping merchants selling on the site as long as possible

More deals = more sales! I love that I get to talk to a range of clients who are all partnering with Groupon for different reasons. Our value proposition is what I love most.

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

Probably more recently a presentation I had to do for my top client Build-A-Bear so we could secure the partnership and plan their deals for 2018 and beyond! These things aren’t possible without the help of other internal stakeholders either.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favourite memory would definitely be signing my first-ever deal in sales and ringing the gong as well as breaking an ANZ contract record during my first week of sales!

Who inspires you?

Definitely my late brother Mark. He worked as a door-to-door salesman when he was first starting out his career and decided that owning his own business was crucial to his success. He built up a successful telecommunications business from scratch, eventually employing enough staff and a CEO for him to sit back and enjoy time with his kids. He gave me so much advice during my career and I owe all my successes at Groupon to him!

Your role probably exists at other companies…so what makes your role at Groupon unique? 

I think the flexibility. You’re not just selling the same thing every day…you are literally learning about so many different businesses and how they run their companies. I get to consult and give advice and business owners really appreciate a different perspective. Groupon has given me so many opportunities in terms of career progression and I have learned so much in my almost three years here.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I hate moving desks and have had to move at least six times in my three years here. Everyone calls me a ‘hoarder’ because I have so many things on my desk (partly the reason I hate moving).

So what’d you do before Groupon? How’d you get here?

I worked for my brother Mark’s telecommunication company, I got to do mainly an all-rounder role as well as travel to the Philippines and train a call centre to work for us. When my bro moved his company to Melbourne, I decided to look for a new job and came across Groupon from a friend!

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

The vibe on the floor was nothing like I had ever seen: very noisy, fun, and friendly. The cool breakout room, massages, and cereal were awesome little additions, too.

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

I believe by working with different industries, you are able to bring variety to our customers, even though some deal structures are the same, every business will bring you a different experience and for the right price point, customers will keep coming back on a daily basis to purchase from us.

What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?

I am lucky to have had many accomplishments at Groupon but three of my most memorable are:

  1. Emerald Club 2017. Emerald Club is a reward for the top 8 salespeople in the company that finished 100%+ to target for the year. I got to travel on an all-expenses-paid trip with some awesome sales reps to Boracay, Philippines. Although I lost my luggage the entire trip, it was an amazing experience.
  2. The annual sales conference receiving the ‘Sales Rising Star’ award after only being in sales for 6 months.
  3. Joining the ‘Million Dollar Club’ by achieving $1M in revenue since I started in sales July of 2016. It is a huge accomplishment at Groupon and I am proud to have done this.

What do your parents think you do?

I asked my mum yesterday and she said ‘you do marketing for all different types of businesses.’ So I guess that’s not wrong!

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I love playing soccer, I have always played at a high level and continue to this day. Aside from this, I keep busy with my nieces and nephews and dining out!

What’s your favorite local business?

Catch 22 who also feature once a year on Groupon…can’t pass up their lunches!

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?
I would love to be in the police force as a crime investigator! I think it would be really cool and interesting to be in on the cases.

 

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Sydney Celebrates IWD with Panel & Special Guest Speaker Pepa Randall

Sydney Celebrates IWD with Panel & Special Guest Speaker Pepa Randall

WOMEN@GROUPON

8 March 2018

Sydney celebrates IWD with a tea party, leadership panel, and special guest speaker

Written by Olivia Deskoski, PR & Communications Manager for ANZ

For International Women’s Day this year, the Sydney office focused on the theme #PressForProgress and making Groupon an awesome place for women to work by holding a morning tea event featuring a panel of three three senior team members who are parents. Wayne Nagle, Cara Amores, and Mel Cook discussed how to achieve work/life balance when you have children (it’s more a blend than a balance), men stepping up in the co-parenting role, and our HR lead Cara shared some great insights into her vision for the business and actions taken around making Groupon an attractive place for women to work.

We were also excited to have a special guest speaker from our corporate partner, GWS Giants AFL women’s team defender Pepa Randall, who was candid, humble, and brilliant in sharing her amazing journey into a new sport – women’s AFL (Australian Football League AKA aerial ping pong) that’s been traditionally male dominated for over a century. Women’s AFL has only been around for a couple of years, so the #PressForProgress message was very strong and she had a lot of inspirational takeaways for everyone – including her training and nutrition regime which includes eating 8 meals a day! Pepa emphasised it’s actually hard to eat so much, but somehow we didn’t believe her.

One of Pepa’s gold-star messages during her talk was: “Sport has the ability to teach you about aspects of life. And one lesson is you can’t be fearful to give your best. It is scary doing that because if you give it everything you’ve got and it gets shut down and goes the other way, it can be crushing. But I’ve developed confidence through moments in the game to not hold back because you can reap the rewards when it does all go right.”

Awesome words from a pioneer of Australian female sport!

 

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Australia story without some boomerangs. 

Steve Traplin – CEO of APAC

Steve Traplin – CEO of APAC

STEVE TRAPLIN

CEO of APAC
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2016

“Steve’s a natural people leader. Since his first day at Groupon—where he sang Purple Rain by Prince (all new hires sing in front of the group)—he’s made it his mission to build a rapport with the team. He gets the most out of his people by getting to know them, their role, and what drives them. He’s the kind of guy that gives handwritten Christmas cards to all of APAC!” Gus Muffet, National Sales Director for ANZ

What was the last influential book you read?

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. An awesome read. It has helped me both in my personal and professional life.

Describe your leadership style.

I am open and personable and some would say enthusiastic, I try and keep things simple. You help create and foster an environment through your actions and behaviors. I do love knowing the detail and I know I am resilient (some may say stubborn), but every day I try and learn how to be a better leader, person, colleague, and team player. I believe in the power of the team.

We have so many talented individuals and teams in the world of Groupon APAC, consisting of Japan, ANZ, and India. There are many days where I just try not to get in the way of them. I am amazed and proud of how solution-focused the teams are.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

With my family—Beck, my wife, and my two daughters, Carla and Bianca—I receive lots of advice! But seriously the best pieces of advice are: always be authentic,  listen, have no regrets, and remember that every day you earn the right to come back tomorrow. Be the best you can be today and repeat as often as you can. It doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes, just try and learn from them. 

How has Groupon impacted you?

It has made me feel younger! It also helps me live my passion for helping small business with our awesome team and value proposition.

What have you done when you’ve encountered setbacks in your career?

Normally I just assess why it happened and try to gain clarity if I can then move forward with the lesson learned for next time…which is easier said than done sometimes.

What’s the last Groupon you used?

Yesterday for lunch at Croutons. I think I was the first redemption of the deal!

“Steve is the kind of leader who doesn’t need to diarise time to ‘walk the floor’. He knows his people, enjoys spending time with them, driving them to achieve great results and celebrate their wins. Steve is strong but empathetic and intuitive. He sees the big picture but will delve into the detail as needed. Under Steve’s leadership, we have created a high-performance culture where there is still time for fun and a sense of humour to #makelifelessboring,” Cara Amores, Head of HR for ANZ & Japan

What are the most important qualities in a teammate for your organization?

Listening to understand and empathy are two great qualities in any teammate.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have many good memories. One that occurred early in my career here was when I had my first leadership dinner on my 8th day at Groupon. It involved dinner, crab racing, umbrellas, and water spraying, among other incidents.

Let's build local together.

Describe your job in 10 words or less.

Provide an environment for my teams’ growth and deliver amazing results (technically 11 words, but with a 10% OD it becomes 10).

What’s your favorite local business?

A little Italian restaurant called Beppis. Awesome food, great service, and my family and I have been going there for 25 years.

Describe an unusual job you had in the past.

I was a photogrammetrist way, way back. I used to create maps from aerial photography through a calibration. I hope those maps have been updated more accurately since I created them!

Who are your biggest influences?

My kids, family, my work colleagues, and two good mates who keep it real for me.

What do your kids think you do?

My kids think all I do is talk and think about Groupon, make dad jokes, and be their taxi and mobile ATM…..

Groupon Australia & New Zealand’s Annual Conference

Groupon Australia & New Zealand’s Annual Conference

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

2018 in ANZ: “The Year of Courage”

Groupon Australia and New Zealand celebrated their annual conference on Friday 2nd February, held at the magnificent Powerhouse Museum in Sydney with 120 guests from both countries in attendance. On arrival, all staff was treated to an awesome Groupon goodies pack which included a Groupon branded gym bag, pen, journal, and lanyard – Spoilt!

The day started off with Groupon APAC CEO Steve Traplin’s welcome speech, then kicked straight into the 2017 year in review and our 2018 goals, which brought to life to the underlying theme throughout the event: “courage”. For staff to have the courage to break their own belief barriers, break that glass ceiling, and to do and be a better version of ourselves than we ever thought possible.

There were group activities and paired goal-setting sessions with peak performance coach Mark Carter, plenty of motivational videos and even an inspirational speaker, Tristan Miller, who spoke about his journey of entering the record books when he became the first person ever to complete 52 marathons in 52 weeks. Tristan’s inspiring, “courageous” or insane journey (depending how you look at it) had everyone on the edge of their seats and really inspired all staff to push through their limits, have the courage to speak up, try something different, get out of the comfort zone, and be and try their best every single day.
The day wrapped up with a huge amount of awards and we continued the celebration at our next venue, Sweethearts, where we partied on a rooftop under the stars. There were even more gifts (Groupon branded beer coolers) an awesome DJ, photo booth, drinks and plenty of food. We sure continued the work hard and party hard reputation Groupon ANZ is known for.
It was an epic day and night for all, with staff leaving inspired and motivated to kick off 2018 with a bang!

Tom Howard – National Partnership Manager in Sydney

Tom Howard – National Partnership Manager in Sydney

TOM HOWARD

National Partnerships Manager – Australia & New Zealand
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2013

Tom’s busy giving the people of ANZ what they want—brands and services our customers use every day—as a manager for our National Partnerships team, which explains his membership in Groupon’s “Million Dollar Club.”

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

When I got my first $1MM of revenue for the ANZ business, I was presented with a badge after running through a human tunnel with everyone clapping and cheering as I stuck my badge on the Million Dollar Club board! It’s pretty cool that the business celebrates all these wins and has a culture that encourages everyone to be part of your success.

Tell us about your job! What do you love about what you do?

I have the pleasure of working with some of the country’s most recognized brands from Woolworths to Lindt to Hoyts. Being able to strategize innovative deal ideas that haven’t been executed at Groupon before is what gets me up in the morning. These deals help my clients exceed their revenue targets and growth goals and open up a new marketing channel if they haven’t engaged with Groupon before. And that’s probably the second thing I love most: acquiring new brands for our ANZ business.

I’m currently responsible for both National and Ticketing partnerships. Ticketing at Groupon Australia is almost a startup segment within itself and I was brought over from the UK in 2016 to grow it. In the last year and a half, I’ve worked closely with ticketing agencies, governing bodies, clubs, promoters, venues—the list goes on—to build a ticketing ecosystem and kick-start the business.

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on so far?

Probably building the ANZ ticketing business. As with all roads that haven’t yet been traveled, there have been constant hurdles that I’ve faced and continue to smash down. I think it’s taken a certain level of perseverance, patience, and innovative thinking to get to where we are today.

The ANZ ticketing landscape is different than anywhere else in the world and has meant that I’ve had to completely change the way we operate in order to get the vertical up and running. Even with those challenges, in the past 12 months, we’ve seen tremendous success signing some incredible events, like Cirque du Soleil, The Book of Mormon, SIA, The Wallabies, and The Formula One.

“I genuinely believe that people have to buy into you before they buy into the service you’re selling, and at Groupon, I’m encouraged to be creative and think outside the box.”

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

Give the people what they want! As Groupon transitions into a true marketplace, our platform needs to have the brands and services that people buy day to day—from retail to restaurants and entertainment to events—in order to become more relevant in every aspect of their lives. The brands I work with drive this behavior…the likes of Woolworths, Uber, Chemist Warehouse, and Ticketek!

Have you won any awards during your time here?

Salesperson of The Year 2015 (UK), Highest % to Target 2017 (ANZ)

So where were you before Groupon? How did you get here?

After leaving university I joined a start-up talent and entertainment agency called 84World, as employee numero uno! Being involved in so many different projects and having a lot of responsibility from the get-go was hard work but super rewarding. My first project was to look after a newly-formed girl band as they supported The Wanted on their UK tour—I thought I’d hit the jackpot! As I progressed, I spent two years working on the commercial side of the business, collaborating with Sony Music, Universal Music, Hilton Worldwide, and SYCO.

In 2013, I joined Groupon UK on the ticketing team and won Salesman of the Year in 2015. This was when I convinced the ANZ business to take a punt and hire me to start up the ticketing business. Three months later I was on a plane to start my new life down under!

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I live in Manly, so anything beach related I’m there: attempting to surf, weekend SUP Ball, snorkelling, volleyball…the only thing I’m probably not doing is growing long hair and buying a skateboard. Other than that, I’m now your stereotypical barefoot Manly type!

What’s your favorite local business?

Ryan’s Bar – Sydney CBD

Sales roles exist at a lot of companies, so why Groupon? What keeps you excited to sell Groupon every day?

I’m given the freedom to be me! I’m trusted that my sales ability and pitching style will get results and I’m not told that things need to be a certain way. I genuinely believe that people have to buy into you before they buy into the service you’re selling, and at Groupon, I’m encouraged to be creative and think outside the box.

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.

I only sweat from the left side of my head.

Sue Snabb – Sales Efficiency Manager in Sydney

Sue Snabb – Sales Efficiency Manager in Sydney

SUE SNABB

Sales Efficiency Manager
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2010

What’s your favorite conference room name?

What’s your favorite spot in the office?

(OK, it’s not a real “view” but still! Can’t beat a fake Bondi Beach!)

An American Groupie in Sydney: Sue’s story of taking her legacy sales knowledge from one continent to the other in order to build the sales teams in ANZ.

Tell us about what your job entails and what you love about it!

I currently run sales training in the ANZ market. I’ve had many roles in my Groupon lifetime and when I moved to Sydney in March of 2016, I started out in a project management role and eventually moved to my current training role which focuses on new hires and continuing education for current employees. I love working with people and sharing best practices and knowledge. Seeing that light bulb go off when coaching someone or getting that G-chat saying they tried something new and it worked is so fulfilling.

But can you write a Groupon haiku? 

Build communities —

New customers for merchants —

A dream comes alive

There are so many awesome Groupon stories. What are you most proud of?

My career at Groupon. I started from the bottom now I’m here. Ha! But really, I started in Sales way back in 2010 and now I get to have the autonomy to build a sales training program for the ANZ business. My knowledge of sales, account management, sales training, and travel have all helped me build the best training for the sales teams!

Sales roles exist everywhere. So why Groupon? What’s unique about it?

I truly believe in what we stand for. Helping local businesses get the new customers they need to grow and continue to tick. I like walking down the street and seeing small businesses; it’s what makes our communities diverse and fun.

Who or what inspires you?

People who are super passionate about Groupon inspire me. They get me to push and try harder when things aren’t working right. Knowing that we have a product that works that is backed up by employees who believe in it so both keep me going. Also, hearing positive feedback on how we’ve helped our merchants helps to reinforce all of the hard work we do!

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve worked on in your time here?

The most challenging thing I’ve worked on would be project managing the structural change in our Local and Travel departments. The US had gone through the transition a few years prior but actually owning the to-do list and keeping people on track was a new challenge for me. I also think building programs from scratch has been challenging as well. Digging into coaching for our sales teams, improving continuing education classes, and ultimately making a well-rounded sales program (still not complete!) has been super rewarding and tough.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I thought they were quirky and fun. I wanted something different and got it. When I came to the Sydney office I thought the culture was awesome: open and friendly with a work hard-play hard vibe.

And how did you end up moving from Chicago to Sydney anyway?

I got the opportunity to work on the Hunter/Farmer structural change for ANZ. Having gone through it with my Getaways department and seeing it happen in Local set me up for good insight into the project. Having a ton of training experience also helped as I would also be spending time helping out the team in that capacity as well. My partner and I moved over to Australia and voila, here we are!

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

I get to work with all sales reps to help them close the businesses that will bring the customers to build the daily habit.

Ready to build local together?

Have you won any awards during your time here?

EVP MVP Award 2015. This award goes to a Groupon employee who has demonstrated outstanding leadership of their Employee Volunteer Program chapter. I’m also a two-time WOW Award recipient for 2016 and 2017. This award is nominated and endorsed by management and recognises an outstanding performer from the Operations side of the business.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

At the first Halloween Party I attended we had a huge mosh pit of people dancing and we were learning other cultures’ dances. We are very diverse at this office which makes it easy (and cool!) to learn about people’s backgrounds. It was just so much fun! I also loved Bring Your Dog to Work Day. I don’t have a dog but it reinforced why I do and don’t want one!

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I used to do magic in the hospital for sick kids. It was great to bring a smile to their faces during a time of such pain.

What do your parents think you do?

They think I teach all the Groupies.

What’s your favorite local business?

I have a few! For food, I love Banana Blossom (I’m obsessed and get it every time I’m in Bondi or Manly). For sport, I like Bondifit for my triathlon training and Eastside Riding Academy in Centennial Park.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I’m currently training for a triathlon. Learning how to cycle with cleats is tough, I’m bruised everywhere! I also enjoy horseback riding, golf, and attempting to surf. I love playing games: cards, Settlers of Catan, and spikeball. I am also an old woman at heart and enjoy crocheting; I’ve made baby booties for my friends’ kids in our school colors and pair that with a nice wine bottle with a Michigan-colored wine koozie. I also love hanging with friends and traveling; I miss my family like crazy but I love exploring this side of the world.