Kaodim – Consider It Done!

Sharlyn J speaks to Carissa Gan from Kaodim about their company culture that drives the team to get things done.
Sharlyn J
Writer, gradmalaysia.com

Out with the old and conventional, in with the new and innovative! Who said that work and fun couldn’t coincide in the same equation? Being a part of Gen-Y, I am all for a fun and uplifting environment which encourages professional growth and personal development. Efficiency and success can be achieved too, with an element of fun!  

I was on a mission to uncover the distinct differences between a corporate company and a startup company. I figured the best way to feed my curiosity was to speak to Carissa Gan, Senior Content and Community Executive of Kaodim. Kaodim is a startup company that functions as the #1 services marketplace in Southeast Asia.

What does a typical day look like at the office?

I typically start my day at work about 9.30am – I sit at my desk and check my inbox for emails with pending replies. I always do my best to reply to emails promptly. Tardiness is not attractive! When it hits noon, we usually head out for lunch as a team. Team leaders will call for departmental meetings whenever necessary. But one thing is for sure, there is always a constant flow of work to be done! Around 3–4 in the evening, we’ll pop by one of the cafes to grab our dose of caffeine before heading back to the office. Generally, we have a very chill working environment.

What is your favourite part about working here?

I love the culture. I love the people. It feels like a big family of different personalities. My two bosses have very different characters, which makes things very interesting at the office. They aren’t intimidating or unapproachable, which can be typical characteristics of most bosses. Instead, they’re ever-ready to help the team overcome any difficult situation and they provide a good amount of space for professional growth.

What gets you most excited about your company’s future?

I foresee a lot of potential in Kaodim’s growth as a company, and I am definitely excited to see our hard work and effort contribute to the bigger picture of impacting the Malaysian community. It truly is a great pleasure to be a part of the content department  in leading the team to greater heights.

You mentioned briefly about the culture of your company; could you elaborate on it a little more?

We have an internationally diverse team. Kaodim is made up of passionate and capable individuals from various cultures and races! Lunch is always cool because we get to sample all kinds of delicacies, especially with a plethora of options that appeal to our tastebuds. Also, we have monthly town hall meetings where we gather to tune in for updates of the company and the direction of the next season to come! Transparency is definitely one of the highly prioritised values in our company.

Another really amazing culture we practise in Kaodim is the culture of empowering one another. We don’t hardpan on mistakes and failures, but instead focus on one’s potential and room for improvement.

What are the two most essential attributes to be a high-functioning team member in your company, and why?

The ability to multitask is extremely important. In our company, we take pride in our teamwork. There are times where multiple projects are run simultaneously and if you are unable to multitask, it could get very messy and stressful.

The next is the ability to self-motivate. Sometimes you are given timelines, but other times, you’re given the liberty to set your own deadlines. If you’re unable to plan your time out effectively, the workflow and collective team productivity will be affected.

A word of advice for fresh graduates that you wish you received when you first graduated?

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be open. You will wear many hats in a startup company. It’s fluid and ever-changing – which might be intimidating if you’re unable to adapt quickly. It takes time, and sometimes mistakes happen – big mistakes, even. Take my word on this, do not take these things personally. Instead of stressing out when a mistake is made, you should pick yourself up, move past it and continue pursuing greater things. This piece of advice isn’t confined to just graduates of a certain vertical, it applies to every single individual. Being too much of a perfectionist is a bad thing, but if applied correctly and in controlled amounts, I believe it can contribute to the company’s excellence.