Author: Astound Careers
Our India office is a vital pillar of our operation and global expansion. With sustained growth, this office has a passionate team eager to learn and grow, shaping the future of ecommerce for India and the world.
We had a chat with Deep Vora, Astound Senior Solution Architect in Ahmedabad, to learn more about what it is like to work at our fastest-growing office.
My name is Deep Vora. I joined Astound in January 2018, so I've been with the company for four years. I am currently employed as a senior solution architect and oversee three solution architects from India. I am 36 years old, and I am also the director of Astound Commerce India Private Limited, seeing I was the first employee from India.
I enjoy listening to music, particularly Bollywood tunes. I also enjoy traveling. Before COVID, I used to travel to other countries as part of my job responsibilities, so my hobbies and work were inextricably linked. On the family front, I have a six-year-old daughter.
My favorite aspect of the job is definitely the diverse projects we get to work on. It can be rather complex at times, and I enjoy being presented with a challenge and then working to solve it. My second-favorite part of the job is meeting with our clients. I enjoy meeting new people, learning about different cultures, and traveling to different countries. I enjoy the fact that I get to learn so much from them.
We worked on a project for Card Factory, the UK’s leading specialist retailer of greeting cards, dressings, and gifts. I remember visiting the UK three times in two months. The key challenge we faced was figuring out how to integrate the required data with Salesforce Commerce Cloud. We had a lot of conversations before we were able to design a solution that exceeded the client’s expectations. It was difficult because there were numerous meetings that took place both onsite and online. Our journey was complicated, but fortunately, we were able to solve it.
When I get off work, I mostly spend time with my family. When my workday is done, we either sit together at home or go to a park where my kid can play. After that, we have dinner and, because my child's school day starts early, we usually go to bed early.
Our office is on par with, if not better than, some of our competitors. In terms of working style, work culture, dress code, and so on, I feel our Ahmedabad office is the most flexible. As a result, when newcomers arrive, they will not feel as if they are in a really strict office or work environment where they must come and be quiet and simply sit and do their work. We never attempt to force our will on others. We provide feedback, but we're not too rigorous about it. When new team members join, they notice how relaxed the work environment is in the India office, because IT organizations in India are infamous for being fairly rigid.
A while back, I spoke with Ilya Vinogradsky, one of our cofounders, and during our conversation, he reinforced my conviction that Astound is an employee-first company. Typically, in India's IT organizations, if someone wishes to take vacation days, management will first look at the impact it will have on a project. Based on that, the leave is given or denied, and in India, if you are the only one working on a project, chances are you will not get the vacation because there is no one else to work on it.
We had only one employee working on one specific project, and he wanted to take a vacation. He was granted the time off, and when I discussed the subject with Ilya, he responded that if one of our employees wanted to take a vacation, they should. That was really encouraging because we made sure that our team member received his time off regardless, because his time off was the priority. We discussed it with the client and ensured that everything was in order.
We tried to help whenever we could, and the customer agreed, but it was more about the stand we took to ensure that our employees always come first. I loved that a lot, and I keep it in mind whenever I deal with anyone—that employees are our primary strength and we should care for them and make sure they are enjoying their time and maintaining their work-life balance. If an employee is content, we receive high-quality work from them. So yes, that moment is something I think of whenever we need to care for our staff.
As part of the hiring team, I aim to brand our company as much as possible, and as I previously stated, we are unique in the Indian IT industry, with one of our primary features being that we allow work from anywhere. I also inform candidates that the quality of work we provide distinguishes us from our competition. Our projects are built on cutting-edge technologies, and our team members often work on a variety of projects—so it's not like you start working on one project and are stuck with it for years, providing support. Our teammates have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects in a variety of sectors, allowing them to gain extensive experience.
Furthermore, we have an excellent team, an excellent global team. If someone joins Astound, they will be connecting with teammates from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Colombia, the United States, and so on, so they will learn a lot and will be able to get to know people from various different cultures.
Many thanks to Deep for sharing his thoughts on Astound and providing us with a unique perspective on Astound India.