Interview with Mimi

What was the big step to saying “I would like to work abroad”?

As you know, back home in India I was working for one of the big fours. My creativity was not recognized there because of the nature of my job and the culture of my company was in such a manner that it was difficult for me to adjust remotely. I have many friends in Europe who speak greatly of the work culture, so I decided I want to work there. I remember I said to myself, “If I want to excel at something, I will learn it from the scratch”, that’s why I decided to work for a startup because you know the processes inside out. I happened to stumble upon Granton’s job posting and it just aligned with my ambitions.

If you don’t mind, what were the decisions you encountered to move abroad?

I think it takes a lot of mental strength. It’s an immensely questionable decision. “You will be out of the country? All alone??” In my case, I have everything in India and in a new country, I’d have no grounds. There were many decisions based on my personal life as well as my career. Where did I want to see myself in the next 5 years? What’s the impulse for going? Since my career is what I wanted to excel at first and opportunities do not knock twice, I stuck on my decision of moving abroad for a better career.

How was the remote preparation period experience? How did you manage the schedule, time zones, and assignments?

Woah!, I will say this is my favorite question. It was hard! Starting from receiving the job offer in August 2021, and joining the company in January 2022 to ending with being in Prague in August 2022, it was all about patience and motivation.

My job was a lot of research work, discussion, and brainstorming. So for 7 months, I had to keep myself motivated. When you are working from the office, you have people around, you have support but doing it at home, you always have to stick to the schedule and time zones, and maintain communication boundaries.

I maintained my schedule matching the European time zone. Since I was working part-time, giving 6 hours per day was easy for me. There were a lot of follow-up calls with my teammates which helped me a lot.

It’s been more than two months already, since you’ve been here in Prague. What are your first impressions?

First time in Prague and my first time abroad! Here people are warm, kind, empathetic, and of course patient enough to wait for me to use Google Translate to communicate with them (laugh).

I’ll share a few more instances.

I remember the first day in Prague. My sim card was not working and my phone was dead when a lady helped me out to guide me through directions using her phone.

And also, my landlady offered me dinner on the first night I moved into her house. It was baked apples with rice. She is one of the kindest people I’ve known. She also has a dog and a cat(it reminds me of the pets I have at home). They don’t let me miss home.

I am in love with Prague more each day since day one.

What is most impressive about Granton’s Culture?

Everything! I would say. Let’s start with the flat organizational structure. It is easy to approach top-level dignitaries to share ideas. They appreciate everyones’ individuality and value their input. This motivates me to put out the best of myself. No one in Granton creates a barrier when it comes to reaching out for help. No one will ever say “it’s not my job”. Granton’s culture is the best one I’ve come across to date. As the company grows, I’m sure the hierarchy will change too. But the people who build Granton each day, their ideologies are synchronized and that’s what makes it the best place to work.

How do you see your current position and your prospects for it?

I am Talent Acquisition Specialist/Business Development Partner at Granton, my job is to collaborate with companies abroad and also to do talent acquisition for the team. I’m reaching out to companies outside the Czech Republic borders for possible cooperation with us. The main prospect of the international expansion project is that we want to extend our services internationally.

How are you finding the expansion plan of Granton so far? Could you explain further, why this market is feasible for this plan?

I think expansion has to be the motto of every company. Granton’s expansion is something that has just started, it needs an impeccable amount of patience. We have recently targeted the UK market and the Netherlands market. We are foreseeing a collaboration with a client from Portugal and another from Ireland. We have started working on requirements for our clients.

The UK and the Netherlands are booming IT hubs and have a high demand for highly skilled IT professionals which makes them the best marketplace for us to establish our business. However, we do not want to limit this expansion just to the aforementioned locations.

Please tell us about any feedback received at any point and how you view it or make some improvements? And on the other hand, whether you feel your feedback is valued?

Well, I received a lot of feedback to date. It’s always constructive feedback. They are cool people. They not only tell me that I have done this or that, but they always help me to understand how I should do it. They value my efforts. I cannot be right all the time, which is a kind of validation I get from my colleagues. For sure it keeps me in check and keeps my insights on track. If I do something wrong, I receive the needed support of going back and fixing it.

And vice-versa, they value my feedback a lot. The ideas are always appreciated. Even if my ideas are not doable now, they will remind me later like: “hey! you suggested this, let’s do it! or how about the idea you mentioned earlier, can we do it in this way?”

How do you consider Granton Abroad could be further expanded?

There are two approaches:

The first one is excelling in our business here in the Czech Republic, maintaining client relationships, and expanding our business through our clients' reach across borders.

The second one is personal reach where we need to face a lot of business leaders and build a strong network. Leaving an impact in such a way that they remember us. We focus on building long-term interpersonal relationships with our clients rather than just maintaining business-oriented relationships.

We always try and connect with them to understand their needs first. This helps us to propose custom-tailored services to their needs. We’re already working both ways.

Last question for you. What do you wish for Granton to achieve in the next years?

My wishes are that we should be able to successfully drive the international expansion project in at least a few neighboring countries. I hope we flourish in the UK market and the Netherlands market.

Last but not the least, I wish for Granton to recognize me as a full-time employer and give me a good raise (laugh).

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