Shankar Golla – Database Administrator in Bangalore

Shankar Golla – Database Administrator in Bangalore

SHANKAR GOLLA

Database Administrator, EDW-DBA
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2016

Talking Teradata with Shankar, a Database Administrator in Bangalore.

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

I first started at Groupon as a Level 2 Teradata Database Administrator in Bangalore, India to support 24/7 database operations. I worked with cross-functional teams like DevOps and Development teams during Teradata upgrades and installations. As part of the Teradata downsizing project, I played a key role in identifying resource-consuming queries and worked with users on optimization to improve efficiency. I also identified stale scheduled jobs in our optimus tool and worked with the user to disable the job to reclaim CPU and IO resources. I identified users who ran frequent queries on a daily basis and asked them to reduce the frequency based on usage and core tables refresh.

I also managed our bi-weekly calls with the Teradata team to drive the Teradata open incidents and other issues pertaining to the system. Throughout my time, I have conducted multiple trainings and brown bag sessions for the user community to help understand the Teradata architecture and SQL optimization and best practices to write efficient and optimal queries. All of these challenging activities helped me to get where I am now: Level 3 Teradata Database Administrator.

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

Being a Database administrator, a typical day starts with addressing users’ questions and concerns raised through JIRA tickets. We work closely with the user community to optimize the Teradata SQLs. Currently, we have two Teradata systems: Production and Disaster recovery, data stored in Teradata used for analytics and decision making, it is our responsibility to make sure the systems are available for the business 24/7.

As part of infrastructure maintenance, we take care of software installation and maintenance, database backup and recovery, security, authentication, capacity planning, performance monitoring, database tuning, and troubleshooting. It is and was quite challenging to work with user community to understand their business requirements and to provide best practices and techniques to write efficient queries. I love to work with cross-functional teams during software upgrades and installations as we prepare the virtual machines for testing which gives me exposure to learn other database technologies like big data.

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

Teradata cluster downsize. This was the first kind of project to reduce the cluster size and it had not been done in any of the customer locations. The system is used for daily ETL with strict SLA timelines and day-to-day analytics and critical reports with a user base of 700+ active users per month. To make it successful, we focused on every aspect of the system instead of just focusing on moving data from the existing system to the downsized system.

In order to do this, we had to do the following: reduce existing usage of system resources; finalize the nodes to be downsized based on the current capacity utilisation; determine how to reduce the cluster size with minimal or no impact to business; create backup and restoration strategies; and determine a rollback plan and strategy for critical datasets. Two phases of the project has to be completed within two months in conjunction with other priority high-priority projects. The project timelines are very challenging as we have to complete both the phases within the two months timeframe to minimize the rental cost.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

That it was a flexible environment and open place for all; I felt that I could reach out any of the engineers to get my job done. I also feel that Groupon provides many opportunities to learn new technologies.

What do your parents think you do?

They think I sit in front of a system in an air conditioned work environment.

Have you won any awards during your time here?

I received Engineering Excellence Award in Q2 of 2017.

Where can we find you outside work?

I like playing and watching cricket. I have two adorable kids with whom I like to spend most of my spare time.

Volunteer-a-Thon in Groupon Bangalore

Volunteer-a-Thon in Groupon Bangalore

Groupon Bangalore celebrates annual Volunteer-a-Thon

Hiral Mehta
Human Resources Business Partner
Bangalore, India

We are extremely proud of our Bangalore Engineering teams’ involvement in the annual Volunteer-a-thon in 2018. Here’s how Grouponers in Bangalore spent their time volunteering throughout the month of June:

1. Pediatric eye care program for underprivileged children

Groupon sent 28 volunteers to Christel house India along with ophthalmologists from Sankara Eye Foundation. There, we conducted primary screening for 862 underprivileged children and identified 248 children with eye abnormalities.

Christel House transforms the lives of impoverished children around the world—breaking the cycle of poverty and building self-sufficient, contributing members of society. Robust K–12 education and a strong character development program are supported by regular healthcare, nutritious meals, guidance counseling, career planning, family assistance and College & Careers support.

2. Visit to the Diya Foundation

Our team of 22 volunteers worked with the differently abled trainees of Diya foundation to help them complete their order of delivering paper bags, lamps, and gift boxes on time.

Diya Foundation (DIYA) is a Vocational Training Center Cum Sheltered Workshop in Bangalore providing training and employment to differently abled individuals. Founded in 1999, DIYA is a registered charitable trust. The idea for the center grew out of a growing need for vocational training once basic schooling is completed.

DIYA provides an easy transition from school to work, work to life goals and life security. Through training, intellectually challenged adults are taken on a journey from self-awareness to expressing their self-worth, striving towards self-organization and finally self-actualization.

3. Collection drive celebrated “Joy of Giving” week

A collection drive was organized at our office to collect clothes, bags, toys, stationeries, books, and anything else that could be used by someone in need. The materials collected were donated to an orphanage called Madhu Mansion Trust— a registered non-profit organization working for the welfare of orphans and the elderly.

4. Charity snack counter

WiTB (Women in Tech Bangalore) organized a charity snack counter and had great participation from all. The snacks were prepared by our volunteers and sold at the food counter. The funds collected from this event will be donated to an Animal Welfare Organization named “CARE” for the cataract eye surgery of blind street dogs.

Learn more about Groupon Volunteers!

CTO Colin Bodell’s first of many visits to Groupon Bangalore Dev Centre

CTO Colin Bodell’s first of many visits to Groupon Bangalore Dev Centre

CTO Colin Bodell’s first of many visits to Bangalore Dev Centre

ENGINEERING

CTO Colin Bodell’s first visit to Groupon Bangalore Dev Centre

Colin Bodell’s first of many visits to Groupon’s Bangalore Dev centre instilled great confidence in the talented engineers working far across the globe toward Groupon’s long- and short-term strategies. On the first day of his visit, he addressed all of the engineering teams present in Bangalore: Platform and Data, Goods, Marketing, Customer Support Engineering, and Data Science. As part of his presentation, he introduced himself, his vision, strategy, and philosophy.

The key takeaways were:

  • People and relationships: his investment in people and building relationships in order to build a great team
  • Execution through ownership: his belief in getting cutting-edge execution done through ownership
  • Diversity: why and how he has been a leading proponent of diversity through forums such as Grace Hopper
  • Engineering links back to Groupon’s strategy: seeing how Bangalore engineers’ daily work can tie back to Groupon’s multi-year strategy
  • Communication as a key to success: he talked about his communication tenets

Over the next few days, he spent time diving deep into the major programs run out of Bangalore and meeting one on one with engineers. He listened intently and asked questions to the engineering teams and individuals in order to understand their achievements, aspirations, motivations, and explain his strategy in return. Engineers were super motivated by Colin’s energy and by having the accessibility to an SVP-level leader for the first time in Groupon Bangalore. 

It was not all work though. He also attended a potluck along with the engineering teams, met with all the diversity engineers of WiTB, and offered to extend any sponsorship/support to the group. On the last evening, we had a chance to see more of his fun side during an evening poolside dinner where he shared anecdotes from his past experiences, his journey, etc.

Lekshmy P R – Software Development Engineer in Bangalore

Lekshmy P R – Software Development Engineer in Bangalore

LEKSHMY P R 

Software Development Engineer – Push Marketing Engineering
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2013

An exciting innovator on the Push Marketing team, Lekshmy makes sure that Groupon’s communications are impactful and drive people to the website.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

The 2017 Grace Hopper Conference in Austin, Texas. It was my first time travelling internationally. It was amazing to meet all the wonderful women working in Groupon Engineering from around the world. It was a very well-organised event by Groupon. A gang of 60 women from our offices across the globe came together with the goal of hiring and branding. We were one of the Gold sponsors, with a grand stall next to LinkedIn and Microsoft. We had 8 iPads where the students could check themselves in and attend their interviews.

Can you talk more about your experience at Grace Hopper and what you learned as an engineer?

I attended multiple sessions by leaders from other companies like Google, Amazon, etc. The person who inspired me the most was Anna Patterson who won the Women of Vision Award. She was a mother of three but still led the Artificial Intelligence team at Google. Her journey was something I could really relate to. Her speech had a really big impact on me as an Engineer because I always thought that married life could challenge my career as an engineer. But after meeting all those successful women who have great careers along with wonderful families, I was so moved and inspired. My perception totally changed.

Each time I heard those amazing women speak, all I could think about was when I would be able to present a session at Grace Hopper. My career goal is to have a journey that’s significant and inspirational enough to encourage women to stay with Engineering and not shy away from a career in Tech.

 

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

I joined Groupon as a fresher. Since then, Groupon has moulded the engineer inside me to think outside the box, learn, experiment, attempt, fail, and succeed. My first role was really challenging and exciting. As I had prior experience with RoR in college, I was paired up with my mentor to design, develop, and roll out a content management system that could run the customer support page FAQ and the first level of the questionnaire.

This was my first experience in designing a service with such a scale. Perhaps the first time I dealt with the real-life problems of scaling, caching memory leaks, etc. As I was a fresher just out of college, my designs were reviewed and revisited multiple times. I had to redesign and redo my coding multiple times. After six months of design, implementation, and testing effort, we were able to successfully launch the service to production. Though it missed the initial deadline of five months, I was on cloud nine. Those six months were a great learning experience to learn more about the systems, frameworks, and real-life challenges at Groupon. I’m really thankful to my mentor for trusting such a big assignment to me as a fresher.

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

I work as a developer for Push Marketing team in Engineering. We handle sending emails, push notifications and SMS. I love the way Groupon challenges its engineers with new and innovative problems. I deal with one of the most important services in the Groupon Push flow. My service takes care of sending emails, push notifications, and SMS to customers. We deal with multiple services to pick the relevant deals and the best offers available for a customer.  

The service is developed Play Framework using Java. It handles a scale of 8KTPS. We send almost 300mm emails and 100mm push notifications every day. We use rabbitmq for the asynchronous queuing of messages before they are processed for sending.

Where can we find you outside of work?

I love swimming, dancing, singing, driving. If not any of these, I will just go shopping.   🙂

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

Of these 4.5 years at Groupon, there were many exciting and challenging tasks I got to work on. The most challenging one being establishing the performance of a legacy system that handles a scale of 8KTPS. Debugging, analyzing, configuring the infrastructure, load testing, and slowly improving the performance without affecting production were all challenging tasks.

Join us in Bangalore!

What was your first impression of Groupon?

All I knew was that Groupon sold restaurant and spa deals.

What do your parents think you do?

They think I am like those geeks who spend 90% of their time on laptops, like they normally see in movies.

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

My team and I ensure that the right deals reach the user every day without them having to search through millions of deals.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I acted in two episodes of a TV serial. As I pursued dancing and singing from a young age, I was a regular performer for various events at school and club programmes. One day when I was around 10, one of my neighbours who was directing a dance-based TV series gave me an opportunity to perform in two episodes.

Have you won any awards during your time here? Green Award, team award, etc.?

I have won four quarterly awards, Question of the Month AwardGEEKon Local Award, and the most important Employee of the Year Award.

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

Groupon invests a lot on an employee’s personal development, be it the mentorship program, personal growth programs, training sessions, or workshops. We have many committees where we can have discussions about tech. Sometimes people just ping on HipChat to get together for a table topic discussion.

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

We have a very direct impact on the business’s bottom line.  The emails and push notifications we send drive business to the website. The variations in the open/click rates of our emails with each feature are exciting as they signify the impact on revenue.

We see that you are a member of Women@Groupon.  What do you like about being in this ERG?

Women@Groupon Bangalore is a very positive forum that has widespread activities like mentorship programs and training for women. The togetherness among the women in coordinating various activities brings a liveliness to the office.

What’s been surprising about working here?

Be it a fresher or a senior, Groupon has challenges and opportunities for anyone who would like to try out new things in their career.

Vim or emacs?

VIM. More user-friendly commands than shortcuts I feel.

Name your favorite programming language.

Ruby

Tabs or spaces?

Tabs

Tulshekar Gangireddy – Senior Engineering Manager in Bangalore

Tulshekar Gangireddy – Senior Engineering Manager in Bangalore

TULSHEKAR GANGIREDDY

Senior Engineering Manager
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2016

Former numismatic enthusiast-turned-engineer, Tulsi, talks about the supportive culture of our Bangalore office and why his team’s work is crucial to Groupon’s success as a business.

What were you doing before joining Groupon?

I had been working in the industry for the last 18 years for companies like Akamai, Yahoo, Juniper, and Apigee. I mostly worked on building and managing products and teams. I have managed an India startup office, but after a while, I decided that that wasn’t enough. So, I started looking for a company that had the kind of culture I enjoy, like one that provides freedom of thought, recognizes the ability of people, cares about employees and constantly strives to make the environment better.

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

My team owns Delivery Services for Groupon which is a group of services that delivers all kinds of communication like emails, push notifications, and SMS for customers and merchants alike. Our services are one of the most critical services for Groupon. I love the responsibility of owning these services (road mapping, enhancements, design, development, deployment, and support) because our impact is easily seen in how Groupon delivers on promises. Our services are integral to the entire company. What keeps us going is knowing how much Groupon depends on us.

Where can we find you outside of work? 

I used to be a numismatic (coin collector) but gave up the hobby as I got busy with work for the last several years. As a side project, I love helping people learn the data world like NoSQL, big data, and analytics.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

Groupon is a company of cool and tech-savvy people.

What do your parents think you do?

For the last 20 years, they have been seeing me with computers, yet they have no idea what it means. The interpretation is that I live with the computers because we work on them all through the day and most of the night. In fact, some of my family members and close friends call computers and work my first wife.

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

My team is responsible for all communication to clients and merchants. Groupon’s entire business is dependent on communication. No communications mean no business.

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

I coined a term called Engineer Centric Culture for Groupon engineering. Everyone is an engineer at heart and everyone is technically sound so that the there is tremendous respect and importance for the engineer’s ability. The management team is good technically and the engineers of the company have a good connection with them. This gives engineers great freedom and openness to express their thoughts and ideas easily. Being in the industry for the last 20 years, I feel this is very important for engineers to feel comfortable in an organisation.

What’s been surprising about working here?

Every aspect is given equal importance at Groupon. Work, fun, entertainment, everything. Several activities here at Groupon help form a better connection among employees. Potlucks, sports tournaments, quarterly day outing, short weekly syncs called Hello Bangalore, just to name a few.

What’s your favorite part about your team’s software development process?

We follow the Agile philosophy in our development. We do have some simple customizations to work through because of the flexibility that is needed.  The important part is that we don’t compromise on quality or delivery of the software that we build or develop.

Have you made any contributions to the tech community? 

I have presented a couple of papers and do technical training on NoSQL systems and Cassandra. I have some of my presentations published on YouTube.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I am fond of singing and love old Hindi songs. I’m also a big fan of legendary Kishore Kumar.

Vim or emacs? why?

Vim ..Core Unix folks. Old school, maybe.

Name your favorite programming language.

Java

Tabs or spaces?

Tabs

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.

Sudipta Chatterjee – Software Engineer in Bangalore

Sudipta Chatterjee – Software Engineer in Bangalore

SUDIPTA CHATTERJEE

Software Engineer
Bangalore
Joined: 2013

We lost count of how many roles Sudipta’s had during her time at Groupon, but it’s quite a few. She gives us the rundown on what her Engineering journey has looked like since joining Groupon as a recent college grad.

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

I am a Software Engineer and I work on the backend team to provide incentives for our end users. The best part of my job is that any new initiative around granting discounts is directly reflected in conversions. Better promotions mean happier customers, which results in a larger purchase, eventually resulting in higher company profits. So there is always a sense of satisfaction to be able to contribute directly towards my company goals.

I love the fact that we own the service from Bangalore and are responsible for everything associated with it. There is not only high visibility but also recognition for all our efforts. Other than office work, I love the fact that we also work on a lot of fun activities such as festivals, birthday cake cuttings, company-wide outings, and intra-company sports competition, personal development courses, and volunteering opportunities.

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

I was recruited during my final year of post-graduation and was hired for the Goods team. We worked on a logistics service, built on Python-based Django framework and used Postgres backend. It was responsible for vendor payments, once the product was actually shipped to the end user. After 11 months, I was a part of the Goods sub-teams written in Ruby and Angular JS resp., using MySQL backend. While one of the services was responsible for storing and validating vendor contact details along with deal information, the other service provided a platform for the vendors to put their deal information on the portal which would allow the Groupon buyers and vendors to eventually sign the contract.

Eight months later, I started working on a few platform services around APAC initiatives. The following year, I worked with the Global Marketing team for about three months. I then headed towards a new venture, this time on the front-end technology with Conversions Engineering, whose services were built in NodeJs, using Mustache for HTML templates, and beautified with CSS. I was primarily involved with enabling users to log in and sign up when either on Groupon or when integrated via social communities such as Facebook and Google.

After being part of this i-tier framework-based front-end project for around 10 months, in January 2017, I moved back to platform services and became a member of the Push Engineering Team. In the past almost five years, I have seen a standardisation from raising pull requests over emails, logging tickets in Pivotal tracker, maintaining a code repository on Github, filing tickets in Jira, using test rails for QA steps, and introducing a review process for new services.

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

There are various forums that practice technical discussions, workshops, and hands-on sessions. Engineers working on different teams reach out to each other when they’re stuck on any design problem. As my manager said once, individual contributors here get the opportunity to work in every role. Like in the temporary absence of a Product team, Engineers can become a Product Manager and work closely with the business team in getting the right expectations.

Engineers here strive to keep the coding standards high and follow best practises framed in various guidelines. We have strict review processes for new services, which require a document explaining the challenges the service will solve; the logical and physical design; upstream and downstream dependencies; availability constraints (Tiers); what data flows in and out of the service; and the deployment process.

Every quarter, there are processes carried out to ensure every microservice is confined to its expected SLA and is stress tested to assure it’s capable of serving 2-3x more traffic during holidays. We also have global hackathons arranged each year. There is a creative energy all over, where colleagues come up with many impressive ideas, and some even implement them within the designated time span. While all these might look like very usual stories, I would like to share one unique experience from such events. It was the year 2015, where the winning project contestants from Chennai actually got the opportunity to present their team idea in Seattle in front of the CEO. It was a highly motivating experience!

What’s your favorite view from the office?

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

Although I have moved across many teams in the last almost five years, the journey has been continually challenging and I have learnt a lot from it. Out of the many challenges, I would like to talk about one particular instance. It was the time when my journey switched gears from back-end to front-end service when I responsible for providing login/signup sessions to all customers. Switching from Java to NodeJs (Javascript), HTML and CSS was definitely challenging. Playing around with CSS, which provides visual and aural layout was the most challenging part. It was then that my respect for the UX developers grew by leaps and bounds!

So, a few years back, when I was still deciding if I should accept the challenge of working in front-end technology after having worked only in the back-end, my director explained to me that it is always good to take one step further towards being a full-stack developer. Today, when I look back, I realise it was definitely good advice and it makes me feel happy to have accepted the challenge!  🙂

What’s been surprising about working here?

Groupon expands via acquisition of companies, which in turn brings new tech stacks. While there are companies that force their acquired companies to rebuild after an acquisition closes, Groupon does not. What it leaves behind is a challenge to build an ecosystem around these services so that they operate smoothly with each other. Groupon’s North American platform was originally a single, monolithic Ruby-on-Rails application, known as the Primary Web App or PWA. The other platform i.e Berlin/CityDeal is a collection of Java applications that mainly use Spring. These platforms are evolving towards a consistent, global platform termed ‘One Platform’. The global platform is a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The effort of bringing all these services based out of different technologies onto a single platform has been enormous.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

One of my favourite memories with Groupon dates back to March of 2013. At that time, I was studying in Pune and hadn’t started working here yet. Groupon had organised a get together for fresh hires in the city of Nawabs, Hyderabad. I still remember how the conference room was filled with curious minds who were preparing to get started on their career journeys and how eager the senior directors and HR were to welcome their young employees aboard. Not only did Groupon fly us down and back and provided a comfortable stay, but the entire event gave us the feeling about how much this organisation cares about its employees!

Tabs of spaces?

Tabs

Vim or emacs?

Vim, simply for the ease it provides to carry out basic required operations.

What’s your favorite programming language?

Java and Python.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I love spending time with family and friends. When I’m not at home, you will find me checking out new food joints. When I’m at home you may find me singing, dancing or hopping around, and interacting with my Java finches. I just love talking to them! By now, I have gathered a few words to which they even respond.   😉

I get deep satisfaction if I am able to extend my support to anyone in distress. I like watching late-night movies on weekends and feel extremely proud when I still hit the gym on time the next morning. I love dogs of all species, but stray dogs amaze me the most. I can spend hours adoring them.

What do your parents think you do?

Well, my Mom was convinced that we provide the best deals ever – not for the love of anything but onions! So onion prices in India once jumped about 90 percent last year to $0.86 a kilogram up from about $0.46 a kilogram. Groupon India had launched an “onion deal” in September that became so popular that it actually crashed the site! Nearly 3000kgs of onions were sold in 44 minutes, 30 minutes of which the site was down due to the highest traffic ever!

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Khushbu Agrawal – Data Warehouse Engineer in Bangalore

Khushbu Agrawal – Data Warehouse Engineer in Bangalore

KHUSHBU AGRAWAL

Data Warehouse Engineer
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2017

So tell us about what it’s like being a Data Warehouse Engineer at Groupon.

I create something meaningful for everybody. Yes, there is a lot of data generated everywhere. As a Data Warehouse Engineer, I convert data into meaningful information which is critical for the business to make more informed decisions in order to grow the company.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My day basically in office starts up with the standup call, which gives the team a good head start. I then work on a couple of user requests along with small breaks in between. Yes, I don’t forget enjoying time with my colleagues in the chaos of work, too. At the end of the day, it gives me a sense of accomplishment with work, fun, and food

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

GDPR compliance is keeping everyone on their toes. Lots of old technology is going off and users sensitive information is to be kept hidden. I am working on this piece of work which is quite challenging.

What do your parents think you do?

Who knows, ha! They think I do stuff on a laptop.

What has been surprising about Groupon so far?

Groupon has every type of engineer. Any technology, you name it, Groupon has a skilled resource for it. Great learning with a great future is guaranteed here.

What’s your favorite programming language?

I love coding in Unix.

What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?

It’s open and full of unique, talented people.

What’s your favorite conference room?

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Participating in GEEKon, our global internal hackathon. I had just joined Groupon two months prior and I was so thrilled to see people excited and geared up for the event. Each team came up with unique ideas, and I too took part in it. It was fun working with and learning from other teams. My team worked on creating a multi-dimensional analysis (OLAP) on Hadoop using open source Apache Kylin. This provided us low latency and higher performance even in the TB of data. I was the Architect and designer of this project. This project gave us good learning and exposure!

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Traveling, hanging around with friends, and last but not least, online shopping. 🙂

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Roshni Mukherjee – Senior Customer Support Representative in Bangalore

Roshni Mukherjee – Senior Customer Support Representative in Bangalore

ROSHNI MUKHERJEE

Senior Customer Support Representative
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2017

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference. In Roshni’s case, it was coasters in the Bangalore lobby that helped her realize Groupon was for her!

What was your first role when you joined? 

I joined as a Senior Customer Support Representative and within a span of three months, I was asked to work on the Bangalore Escalations Queue. It was a really new experience and it helped me prepare for when they actually had an interview and test procedure to choose the new SME’s in Bangalore.

So tell us about your job! What do you do?

As an SME here at Bangalore, my key focus is to try and bring up one of the key metrics for the entire process. We regularly do audits for agents and we have our own dedicated daily editorial board, which sends out update and solutions for any viral issues. We also work on the Bangalore Escalation Queue. This is how we get insights into what the areas of improvement are in an agent’s knowledge base and determine how we can improve it, bringing up their Resolution Rate.

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

When I was selected to work on the Bangalore Escalations Queue, it felt like we were thrown into a pool of water and we did not have any knowledge and training before we started working on it. We had to learn on the job and the learning curve was indeed steep. I would really like to thank Benjamin Minga and Matthew Washington: two people who really made my life so much easier at that time by being there with us and assisting with escalations which stumped us.

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

Customer Support is always the only part of a company that a customer can directly interact with. We have to make sure that we try and go the extra mile for them. Walking them through their issues and treating them with respect guarantees that they make us a daily habit. They would know that they have someone to fall back on and help them.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

On Diwali, 2017 we were asked to come up with a dance routine. So a couple of friends and I planned a dance routine and performing it was so much fun! Also the time I was in Training. Ratheesh Rajan was training us on how the whole process works, and I can’t explain how lovely that experience was. I am an extremely curious person and I grilled him with questions regarding the process every few minutes. But he was extremely patient with us and I wish I had teachers like him during my school and college days.

So where were you before joining Groupon?

I used to work for a start-up called Headout for a few months. Once they automated the process I worked in, I landed an interview here at Groupon. and woohoo, here we are!

What was your first impression of Groupon?

On the day when I came in for an interview, I remember sitting in the waiting room and they had these funny coasters that said, “Put your drink on me. Or just hold me. I’d like that, too.” It felt so nice to know that a huge multi-national company such as Groupon is not afraid to show its wit and humour.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I used to be a theater actor for a year before I moved to Bangalore. I have acted in more than 20 shows and plays in a year.

 

Jomis Jose, Accounts Payable in Bangalore

Jomis Jose, Accounts Payable in Bangalore

JOMIS JOSE

Accountant Associate, EMEA Accounts Payable
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2015

Jomis talks about taking her career to new international heights at Groupon, what she does day to day, and her first time seeing snow while on a trip to our Berlin office.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Germany! As part of a transition, we had to visit the EMEA offices and I was one of the lucky people who got a chance to go and visit Groupon office in Berlin. That was my first flight, my first international travel, and my first time seeing snow! We can never forget our first experiences, right? First experiences are always special and close to the heart.

Each moment throughout that week was a new and special for me: different culture, food, language, etc. My favorite moment during the whole experience was first seeing Germany. It was around six in the morning when I reached Berlin; I boarded the flight it was midnight, so I didn’t bother to grab a window seat. My only aim was to sleep as I had to go to the office the next day.

When we landed in Berlin, I was tired and a bit grumpy, but when I stepped outside my first view was breathtaking! The whole area outside the plane was covered in snow. It was a picture-perfect view. For a 22-year-old girl from a small village, the whole week was a dream come true. Groupon had given me lifetime special memories, these are just a few…my list is long.

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

I had to finish transition of four entities in one week. That was a very short time span to understand the entire AP process of four entities where my trainers did not speak English as their first language. Invoices, mail communications, and even their accounting systems were set in their mother tongue. But my manager and my wonderful colleagues over there supported me to accomplish my mission on time.

Tell us about your involvement with Women@Groupon.

As a woman, I love to be part of any groups that celebrate womanhood. I really enjoyed all the events conducted by Women@Groupon Bangalore and I am looking forward to other future events. My favorite event was when we launched Women@Groupon in our Bangalore office. We had a good crowd and it wasn’t just women who attended, all the men in our office joined us to make the event even more successful!

What was your first impression of Groupon?

My first impression was “wow, this is definitely a great place to work.” Groupon allows you to be yourself, and always welcomes new ideas and suggestions no matter how small of a role you are handling. Here we are like a family; I am away from my family back home, but I have found a second family in Groupon.

What did you do before joining Groupon?

I was with HP (Hewlett Packard) before. I worked there for a year and a half as a financial associate. I was looking for a company that could offer me something distinct rather than just work. One fine day I got Groupon interview email and I found that my passion was one of their requirements. They wanted someone who is willing to travel if required and that is my passion of mine. From the day I attended my interview to until today, Groupon has never let me down. I am glad that I chose Groupon.

What’s your favorite spot in the office?

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

My main job is payments, payments, and payments! I belong to the Payments Team and we handle all of EMEA. We execute payments and make sure they are all successfully released. Payments are one of the key areas where we have to maintain 100% accuracy. We also face rejections and other challenges often. Finding out the hidden cause of rejection is always tough and interesting…I often learn something new. I am also part of the Fresh Desk query management team. We are the single point of contact for EMEA payments, so I am always in touch with most of the EMEA office employees. Fresh Desk is also a great platform to learn about business and its complexities. In order to answer queries or clarify doubts of others, we should know the system and functionality thoroughly. I am always pleased to help someone with the knowledge I have.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I am an avid traveler. Also, you can find me out and about with my friends, exploring and becoming one with nature. Some weekends I will do absolutely nothing other than lay in bed and binge watch TV shows. Other weekends, I am spending hours shopping, buying unwanted things. My main hobby is designing; I love to design Indian traditional wear. Designing is something which I can sit and do for hours without even food.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I was college champion at chess player for three consecutive years; I love to play chess with someone who is competitive. I love trekking and adventures activities. I am very talkative; I cannot keep quiet for more than 10 minutes and last but not the least I love desserts, no matter what it is, if it has just sugar in it that is enough for me…

Manjula Manohar – Payroll Analyst in Bangalore

Manjula Manohar – Payroll Analyst in Bangalore

MANJULA MANOHAR

Payroll Analyst
Bangalore, India
Joined: 2017

What makes Manjula happy? Making sure that employees in APAC are paid on time. *Cue resounding applause from teammates in India, Japan, and ANZ*

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

In July 2017, just two months after joining Groupon, my manager tasked me with analyzing and streamlining the employee queries. I had to work with my entire team and the internal tools or mechanisms used to reach-out to employees for explaining/expediting their questions, then come up with the strategy of having a simple FAQ template/PPT. In the end, this drastically reduced employee questions and increased our productive hours, which I am very proud of.

What do your parents think you do?

My mother thinks I am always counting money, but my bank balance is zero.

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

I was working for United Spirit as a Senior Payroll Executive, where I was handling payroll and Incentives for a vast number of the Sales team. I am happy that I got an opportunity to join Groupon which has excelled my skills and provided me with vas opportunities to know more about system interpretation in payroll.

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

When I’m not at work, then pets are my companion. Travelling, trying new cuisines, and cooking are my hobbies.

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

Groupon has a very employee-friendly culture which I felt on day one during my interviews. Also, the exposure to run the process through complete systemization made my role unique at Groupon. Most importantly, it did not take a long time for me to get acquainted with my team. I’m happy to be part of the Groupon family.

What’s your favorite conference room?

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory was a team dinner and bowling alley event we organized at the Phoenix Mall in Bangalore, which included tasting various cuisines, a bit of rock-n-roll with the team, and plenty of snaps.

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

I am a Payroll Specialist for the APAC region. I make sure all of the employees (including myself) are paid precisely and timely. Payroll itself is a challenging role but knowing how happy it makes employees to be paid on time and accurately boosts my enthusiasm, love, and satisfaction towards my job.

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

In a short span of time, I have taken up the opportunity of transitioning our process onto completely new platform. In addition I was tasked with process customization, streamlining, and systemizing. The results are that we have a more stabilized process in place with smoother functionality.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

The freedom of speech. You are given an opportunity to tell your opinion on  processes and so great ideas and implementations are often coming from employees. That kind of work culture encourages us to bring in more improvisation and enthusiasm in our work.

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

Paying employees on time and accurately is our mission and we pledge that we have achieved it. The results are happy employees  which in turn increases the productivity of employees and the company as a whole.

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.

 

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