Last year was a landmark one for the global startup ecosystem on many fronts, with tech companies winning an unprecedented number of investments to some of the largest venture capital deals. One young startup in particular – ByteDance – is a global front runner to becoming one of the top technology companies worldwide.
Focused on the future
ByteDance was founded in 2012 and was established to help people discover, create and share content directly from their smartphones. The platforms encourage users to be both the creator and the explorer, discovering the creativity, knowledge and moments that matter in everyday life. Today, the startup is embodying its vision of informing, entertaining and inspiring people across languages, cultures, and geographies through its diverse portfolio of products that are accessible across over 150 markets and regions in 75 different languages. While its short-form mobile video platform, TikTok, has become a global phenomenon, it also has region-specific market winning products such as Helo, the regional social media app that focuses on Indian users across the globe.
ByteDance’s India story
ByteDance forayed into India in 2017, and in under two years its products TikTok and Helo have over 200 million and 50 million monthly active users respectively – the fastest by any company so far.
The secret to ByteDance’s continued growth and success in India, and across the globe, has not just been about developing and launching products with the right market fit or its technology expertise, but also how it is backed by employees who relentlessly rally behind its vision.
Not surprisingly, when LinkedIn announced its coveted list of world's top startups and hottest companies to work for in 2019, ByteDance made it to that list.
With offices in Mumbai, Gurugram, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Ahmedabad, ByteDance is increasingly being seen as not just another great place to work also a brand that stands out.
Watch this video to see why.
Fuelled by the startup spirit
“ByteDance offers opportunities to everyone who reaches out. Everyone's voices are heard, and all ideas are considered worth sharing,” says Chhandita Nambiar, who is leading Helo's Entertainment portfolio.
In fact, it is quite common to see experienced long-timers working alongside interns or new joinees and both leading important projects.
Devlina Padhye says, “Everyone around here is energetic and open-minded. This is also because our company does not set limits on what to do and what not to do.”
Devlina started as an intern at ByteDance and today works as a full time employee.
What makes ByteDance an attractive workplace is its open work culture, flat organization, the freedom and autonomy that is accorded to its employees such as the use of instant messages over formal emails. Another strong foundation of ByteDance’s work culture has been its focus on diversity. The startup welcomes people from all backgrounds and career paths and says the only requirement for people to join ByteDance is a common interest to tackle challenges in a fast-changing industry.
Work and beyond
And it doesn’t stop at the work culture alone. The work in itself that is truly engaging and one wouldn’t expect anything less from one of the most creative companies in the world today.
As an engineer at ByteDance India, you could be part of the team building cutting-edge visual technology to power creative augmented reality experiences. As a Music Lead, you could lead the region’s music team to improve the overall music content ecosystem of the product. As part of the marketing strategy team at Helo, you could collaborate with other developers and designers to build unique, interactive experiences for the platform’s millions of users around the world.
This, to begin with, is just a birds-eye view of three job roles among a thousand others. But nothing comes close to encapsulating the work at ByteDance than the company's own motto – challenge yourself to move the world.
Adding an element of fun to the engaging work environment are the numerous employee engagement initiatives that are organised regularly, one such activity is ByteDance India Got Talent, the celebration diversity of cultures and talent.
In addition to this ByteDance also encourages employees to focus on initiatives that have a positive impact on society, leading to employee engagement and a sense of pride. TikTok for Good and Helo Care are initiatives that are designed to have positive social impact. These initiatives inspire employees to work on projects that can have extensive social impact by using the reach and power of the platforms.
What really matters at ByteDance
At ByteDance, culture is as serious an affair as work since the company believes that this is what enables them to actively build the future of content discovery and creation. The company's values, known as ByteStyles, help its employees challenge themselves, push boundaries, make changes and grow with the company. The five ByteStyles are -- Aim for the highest; Be grounded and courageous; Be open and humble; Be candid and clear; and Always Day 1. The company believes that the five ByteStyles help to implement its big vision in simple but coherent ways.
Vidya Mainali, User Operations, ByteDance India, explains, “I resonate a lot with the ByteStyle - Be Candid and Clear. I believe that clear communication with others is important, especially while working with peers. I practice this daily whenever I am uncertain about an assignment given to me. I believe by practising this ByteStyle, I am able to learn from mistakes, and also avoid them in the future.”
An unparalleled experience
In short, working at one of the world’s most innovative companies is not just about fun, growth, or interesting and impactful projects. It also involves working in a place where employees can be themselves, and where they are encouraged to be the best version of themselves. And, that is why they say that working at ByteDance is an “unparalleled” experience.