The curious case of Martini and Malibu at a tech product company

11th May 2013
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If someone uttered the words -- cloud based business telephony solutions and you are not the tech-types then probably you will get jumbled in your head thinking what could possibly be the meaning of those heavy-duty words. But if we say Martini and Malibu, we’re sure your head will start spinning for a different reason. So if we tell you, that the Martini and Malibu we are referring to, are something to do with cloud based business telephony, we are sure you are pretty curious now.

If you take startups, they run at a crazy speed, from ideation to planning, from executing to delivery, everything happens at a fast pace. Does that mean stressed, stretched or burned out are common words floating in air at a workplace which is delivering high edge technology products and services? Not really! Startups have taken Steve Jobs words “challenge the status quo” to their hearts and they have definitely done it when it comes to the work environment they build in their offices. Startup employees probably therefore love chanting their startup name every moment, and that’s because they love what they are doing and can’t get enough of it.

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Be it defying the formal dress code and changing it to whatever-you-are-comfortable-in (of course, unless it does not make others uncomfortable) or the extra effort taken to make the office a second home, it works amazingly well for startup employees. And it is perhaps taking this unabashedness a little further, that also allows you to name your products ‘Martini’ and ‘Malibu’ -- maybe named so with an intention of making these as heady as the cocktails themselves.

Shruti Agarwal who works as VP - finance & HR at Knowlarity communications, a cloud based business telephony solutions provider, would agree to whatever has been said above. A cheerful Shruti says, “At Knowlarity, we have a very ethnic, colorful and differently decorated workspace, there are no cabins at all and no hierarchy too. Everybody is on the same floor if you need something. The relaxed surroundings act like stress absorbers and it does not feel like I am in office at all.”

knowlarity

The company started by Ambarish Gupta and Pallav Pandey, has more than 200 employees today and has received investment by Sequoia Capital. Ambarish says,”The decision of having all the teams and management sit together is a very conscious one. The non-hierarchical and transparent work culture boosts productivity as everyone’s efforts are visible and teams can collaborate easily.” The decision making is fast, new ideas are embraced irrespective of whom they come from and all the teams are exposed to other parts of business no matter what their role is.

Energy of all the teams and the synergy between them is quite visible, though they are peculiar in their own ways. Knowlarity’s technology team looks fascinated by liquor, why else would they call their new versions of product Martini and Malibu. Sales and customer service can be a pain but when the CEO is sitting next to you, trying to make it easier, it definitely keeps the spirits(pun intended) high. But Knowlarity’s finance & accounting team feels like they are missing on all the fun because they are the only ones who sit/ are confined to a room. But they get their revenge everytime, the manage to beat someone from another team in their TT matches in office.

knowlarity

As the company grows and as there is a rise in number of employees, a well thought of structure is needed to further maintain the fun and stress free environment. Ambarish adds, “Our work culture reflects the values we stand for and we will continue to put in as much effort as needed to maintain an analytic, technical, agile, transparent and respectful work environment where employees enjoy their work and grow with it.”

Next time you are in Gurgaon, feel free to drop by their office for a TT match or a friendly chat. To know more about Knowlarity, visit their website.

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