From Building Products to Building A Community

Taking on the challenge to lead a vibrant community with a wealth of talented individuals.

DKATALIS
DKatalis

--

Challenges often come to people uninvited. Some, however, do not wait to be ambushed. Instead, they actively leave their comfort zone and seek new challenges to conquer. Whether switching career lanes or taking on new responsibilities, they take it on with a sense of excitement and determination. Shishir Kedlaya, DKatalis Head of Pune Hub, is one of them.

Shishir has more than 15 years of experience navigating his way through the ever-changing product and software development field. Finally, the map led him to DKatalis Pune as a Product Manager in early 2021. After a few stints building registration and verification features for one of our apps and setting up a branch teller system, he was already itching for a new challenge: building the Pune Hub.

Shishir was officially appointed as the Pune Hub’s helmsman in September 2022, where he will lead a team of 28 Katalis in creating digital solutions that catalyze growth. We recently spoke with him about his journey at DKatalis and his vision for the Pune Hub.

Tell us about your early days in DKatalis!

Shishir Kedlaya (SK): In February 2021, I officially joined DKatalis and was immediately dropped into the trenches to handle one of the most critical features — Customer Registration and Video KYC, for an app that would be publicly launched in April 2021. It was simultaneously exhilarating, frustrating, electrifying, exhausting, and everything in between.

After the public launch, the emotions and efforts only ratcheted higher. Working with the team and stakeholders, with ecosystem partners, and with related government institutions made the day feel endless. But there was a satisfaction of seeing progress being achieved on a daily basis: more customers onboarded day by day, fewer complaints about the registration process, the rating of the app improved over time, and so on. It was a time of learning and doing.

After the team and I stabilized the Customer Registration and Video KYC, I transitioned into building the Branch Teller System (BTS) for our High Net-worth Individual customers. I also initiated the conversation on having a separate production support team handle customer tickets.

This was a very rewarding and enjoyable time on the work and personal front, but after a year with BTS, I was itching for a new challenge.

So, what did you do?

SK: The Pune Hub was in a period of transition in 2022 and I mentioned that I was interested in heading the hub. This led to a series of interesting conversations with the commissioners and other leaders. Their visions and my aspirations for hub management streamlined, and I accepted the opportunity to lead the Pune tech hub in September.

DKatalis Pune team.

You stepped up to lead the hub. What are your plans for the Pune Hub and how did you plan to bring it to reality? How do you know you have succeeded?

SK: Pune Hub has the potential to be a vibrant location with a wealth of gifted individuals with great talent and I want to be able to enable that to benefit us. Employee morale and connection is the most important consideration for me right now. We are taking steps to increase the collaboration between Pune and the other hubs and making the ties deeper

In post-COVID times, companies that treat their employees as humans first will thrive. Companies need to provide space and confidence to their employees to try new things for themselves. A license to be autonomous and make decisions in their best interests, removing bottlenecks go a long way. They need to foster an environment that celebrates successes and encourages and provides learnings from their failures.

To achieve this, I’m trying to be as transparent as possible, creating open and available channels of communication. I also encourage common sense, creativity, curiosity, and decisiveness within the workplace, as those values invigorate me. Compassion and empathy for colleagues are values that are very dear to me, thus I encourage these behaviors in the environment around me and try to display the same in my interactions as well.

The obvious measure of success to me is employee tenure.

You’ve worked with various teams in different organizations and were appointed as leaders in some of them. What are the core leadership principles that you strictly adhere to?

SK: Integrity is not negotiable. Trust from your colleagues takes a long time to build and an instant to shatter. Hence, I always encourage myself and the team to always show respect, empathize and understand the bigger picture.

Then, I’m a believer in ”always build the right product over building the product right.” In doing so, curiosity, creativity, and compassion are essential.

Last but not least, remember that everyone wants to make their life simpler, easier, and more comfortable. See what you can do to help them and be nice to everyone, it costs nothing.

Great! So far, how was your experience leading the Pune Hub? Could you share any memorable moments with us?

SK: Working with the leadership in DK is a step up for me and I am enjoying the conversations with them. I’m also learning about the management of a company and applying it to the daily operations and situations that I encounter, working with my colleagues to address and solve their problems.

The opportunity to explore my own path and grow purposefully in my career at DK is such a refreshing development. It makes me feel heard and valued. I never imagined when I joined DK that I would transition from building products to management.

DK has a great culture and spirit of build-learn-adapt and to see it in action is exhausting, exciting and a great learning experience.

It’s been a great experience with DK so far and I am happy to have built great relationships with my peers and managers while working remotely.

You have joined DKatalis for almost 2 years! What do you enjoy the most about being a Katalis?

SK: Interactions with my colleagues across Pune, Jakarta, and Singapore have been a high point of my tenure. They have been warm, full of fun, and learning

The inventiveness, professionalism, and dedication to the craft of building and delivering world-class software never fail to amaze me.

At DKatalis, we always welcome bright individuals to join our vibrant and valiant community of tech talents across 3 hubs (Jakarta, Singapore, and Pune). If you’re passionate about creating digital solutions that improve people’s lives, join us!

--

--

DKATALIS
DKatalis

A highly adaptive tech company, driven by the desire to always be better