Title: Director, Software Engineering
Location: Bangalore, India
Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
Passionate about building high performing teams and driving operational excellence in software delivery — Narasayya tells us about his experience with Groupon, leading our Engineering teams in Bangalore, and what he misses most about being in the office!
How are you staying connected with your team as we’re all working remotely?
In the office, I always had an open-door policy. Now, I make sure to keep that same spirit alive by encouraging my employees to reach out to me on platforms such as Slack and WhatsApp (and of course, old school methods like phone calls). I have frequent 1:1s, team meetings, and sprint meetings over Zoom video calls so that I don’t lose that face to face interaction. I encourage my team to stay in touch as much as possible. In addition to team/work-related meetings, we have informal group meetings to stay connected.
What piece of career advice would you give candidates looking to join Groupon?
Groupon is a high-performance work culture and values-driven company. Employees are empowered and get to work in a world-class organization with a global presence. If you are excited to work on a high scale, with the latest technology trends such as Microservices, Cloud, distributed systems, etc., this is The Place to work. Add to that a very humble leadership team with frequent and transparent communication, there’s a real sense of belonging.
One trait all Groupon team members share…
Groupon team members are very collaborative, which enables us to learn and benefit from each other’s experiences. One principle I would like to share is “GETME” which binds all of us together. Whenever there is a conflict, Groupon comes first, then Engineering, after that my Team and Me/I come last. Such a powerful principle that unites all of us to work on an organization’s common purpose, which is strategic to Groupon.
How would you describe your leadership style?
As a leader, I aim to create an open culture where my employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions. I trust my team members and empower them to achieve great success and innovation. I also strive to connect my teams with the Groupon’s purpose, as I strongly believe employees who clearly understand the org strategy and purpose will make a deeper impact.
What is one non-work activity or hobby that you’re into?
Tennis. I love watching the 4 major championships (US Open, Wimbledon, French Open, and Australian Open). I’ve had the opportunity to watch a live US Open match in New York, which motivated me to start playing. Just like any other skill, I had to work hard to develop it. I took weekend classes for a year. Now, I love to play whenever I have time, mostly over the weekends. Sports allow me to forget everything and truly be present in the moment. It’s a great way to de-stress.
What do you miss about being in the office?
The coffee machine…😀. In all seriousness, there are many things that I miss about the office. What I miss the most are the ad hoc interactions, whiteboarding sessions, and informal hallway/break room conversations. I also miss those after lunch walks which helped me to de-stresses and return to work feeling refreshed with new ideas/solutions.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
So often we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to enjoy the journey. No matter how long the journey and how big the accomplishment, be passionate & learn during the course. Always be humble and approach each situation with integrity and compassion.
What do you look for when you hire?
I start with candidates’ skill alignment and positive attitude. He/she should be a problem solver, adaptable to business needs, and have an appetite to learn new things. I hire for the long-term and would like them to stay with us for a long tenure, so I look for candidates’ commitment.
What have you gained from working at Groupon?
I have learned a lot from our leaders, the culture, how we formulate our strategy, and how to communicate both transparently and frequently. I’ve also been able to constantly adjust & evolve as a leader based on different tools and trainings that are made available to us.
What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?
No matter what stage of your career that you are in, never stop learning, whether it is technology, domain, or people skills. Be passionate about your work and understand how you are making a difference to the organization’s strategy. Respect your colleagues, team members, and everyone else in the organization.
Rapid Fire Questions
Work from office
Podcast. Yes, my favorite is a technology podcast called “The Cloud Cast”
Modern Family sitcom
Onam Sadhya from Taj Vivanta
New York. It’s full of life, art, food and culture.
Eating chocolate & cheesecake
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others”. —Jack Welch
Formal Shorts & T-shirts