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Sabir C. - Senior Director, Software Engineering

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Sabir Header

Title: Senior Director, Software Engineering
Location: Bangalore, India
Joined: 2018
Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His

While he leads our Merchant Engineering teams in Bangalore and Germany, he takes his time off very seriously. He enjoys his drives and not to forget to mention his adventurous long road trip from Bangalore to Tanot – a place reaching up to the Indo-Pakistan border!

Tell us a little about your role and your team.

I lead the merchant engineering team. If you are a merchant thinking of selling a deal on Groupon, your interactions with the platform and the deal cycle will be managed by tools and platforms owned by someone on my team, which is geographically distributed between Germany and India.

Before getting into things, how has your day-to-day changed in light of Covid-19?

We were able to make a smooth transition from working in the office to working remotely and quickly learned how to onboard new employees. On the other hand, I do miss the face-to-face interactions in the office, as I personally find it easier to communicate.

What is the greatest challenge COVID-19 has presented to your team?

With Local business shutting down across the globe, bringing supplies to the Groupon marketplace was a huge challenge, which the team took head-on. As COVID-19 safety was paramount to all of us, the team introduced a new feature allowing merchants to highlight their COVID-19 guidelines through the self-service tool. This initiative also led us to launch a full-blown merchant self-serve deal editing capability which will allow them to edit a live Groupon deal with changed business objectives in real-time. I believe this was a huge driver to improve the overall merchant satisfaction aka Net Promoter Score with Groupon.

You’ve been at Groupon for a few years. What about the company that has kept you here?

It’s the people and the purpose – we believe in a great community by supporting local businesses. There’s no other company across the globe that is doing that right now at Groupon’s scale.

What is one non-work activity or hobby that you’re into? How did you get into it?

I like driving. Road trips are an essential part of our family bonding. So far, the longest route we’ve driven was from Bangalore to Tanot, which is 120KM west of Jaisalmer, and 5 KM from the India/Pakistan border. When I am unable to hit the road, I love watching movies (drama and thrillers), reading books, and listening to Podcasts (not in any particular order).

What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?

Rock star – lead guitarist of a rock band.

What do you miss about being in the office?

Coffee / Lunch table discussions. We didn’t solve world hunger, but enjoyed strongly opinionated discussions, and mostly each other’s company.

What’s one thing about you that surprises people?

I am an extreme introvert!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Stay hungry, stay foolish. This stemmed from a conversation with a close friend/mentor about ‘how despite my best effort, success seems to be eluding’. My friend helped me understand how a healthy amount of dissatisfaction can keep you on your toes. ‘Hunger is the metaphor for being driven’ – I am never satisfied with my present version. On the other side, only a fool is ready to risk everything for nothing. All my life, I am trying to be that fool – keep on searching and exploring. It also leads to another favorite quote “The fool didn’t know it was impossible, so he did it.”

Rapid Fire Questions

Work from home or work from the office?

Always work from office

Any quarantine hobbies?

Stock investing and reading 

Book or Podcast? Got a favorite?

Book – Podcast in that order

Morning person or night owl?

Always morning person

What series are you currently binging?

Just finished HBO’s “The Undoing”. But if you are a Netflix fan, I will say Ozark kept me awake many nights.

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