Working as a Multinational Start-up

Hong Kong
Hong Kong

One of the great things about working at Exaget is the wide variety of backgrounds of my colleagues. We have nationalities from all over the world: English, Russian, Indian, Italian, Finnish, Singaporean and South African (me!). A benefit of this is that everyone has a different opinion and perspective (and no one shies away from saying so!)

Exaget has two teams, one in the UK, specifically Stratford in London, and the other is in Helsinki, Finland. The London based team is the business team where the CEO (Shankar Meembat) and the business development team reside. The Finnish office comprises the development team.

When you’re a start-up and moving quickly, it’s important to have excellent communication and that can sometimes be difficult, particular when your offices are in two different countries. Fortunately, 2014 presents us with a range of methods of communication including, but not limited to: email, video conferencing (Skype), texting and even ‘snail’ mail.

Whilst having all these different communication methods can be useful, sometimes it can also be a hindrance, meaning that if we have to find a message, sometimes we have to look through four different software products to find it. To combat this, Exaget employs a few different techniques and one of which is a constant Skype feed. This allows both teams to see what everyone else is doing and if we ever need to ask someone something, we just shout at the Skype microphone.

In addition to the organisation problems that can arise from having multiple methods of communication, another problem can be personal. Even with the invention of Skype and video conferencing, there’s a lot that doesn’t get communicated. For example, we don’t see facial expressions well or body language nor is tone or inflection always presented perfectly.

On top of that the business cultures of both countries are different and combined with with mainly communicating via the internet can result in issues. This isn’t great in fast paced, information heavy startups such as Exaget.

However, the world of startups is becoming ever more international and multinational. It’s not something that we can avoid. So instead of sticking your head in the sand it’s important to constantly have your eyes open for new technology that can make worldwide communication more efficient, more effective and most importantly; more natural.