What’s it like to work at an early stage start-up through a global pandemic? It’s been an exhilarating learning experience — and there’s plenty more to come.
Centime hired its first team members in December 2019, just three months before Covid fundamentally changed how people around the world lived, worked and did business.
Building a company during a global pandemic is no small task, but the “Centeam” as we call ourselves, not only created a product, but also built a culture. Our employees work around the globe, have incredibly diverse skills, interests and lives.
When we surfaced from stealth mode and announced our product to the world, we celebrated as so many of us have this year, on Zoom. Dialing in from three continents, we toasted one another on hitting one milestone on what we anticipate to be a long and fruitful journey. Colleagues shared their staggeringly varied talents, from creating humorous video skits about collaboration (and procrastination!) to singing in multiple languages, speaking to the incredible diversity of our colleagues.
After nearly two hours, some members of the team were moved to share their thoughts on what we’re building at Centime, and here are some of their words. As a company that highly values psychological safety, we have chosen to leave off the names of the employees so they will continue to feel free to speak up and speak out in the context of our meetings and celebrations. They do, however, represent individuals at all stages of their careers, and various levels of the company.
One colleague, an accountant with no previous experience in the fintech industry commented: “[The culture] is extremely flexible or open. And as many people [have been] saying, it’s so easy to approach people here.” He spoke of being inspired by the team to contribute even more than he already has.
A relatively new team member, an engineer who joined Centime several months ago, echoed the sentiment, citing the level of communication and collaboration: “There is so much support,” he noted.
“I feel like I’ve gained more than a year’s worth of knowledge in just six months,” he added.
And in the spirit of creating that open communication a senior leader piped up to add, “So in case you’re not willing to share [your thoughts] because you don’t like your job, you can always ping [Centime HR leader] Joy. You can make it better.“ We believe that, and welcome it.
He went on to speak to the challenges, and surprising rewards of working together through a global pandemic — the intimacy, the humor and the understanding it has engendered
“So despite all this remote working, I think all of us, we feel so much connectedness and so much of a bond as well. That’s something unique. […] how we help each other on the whole of the dream that we had about a year and a half back. I think bringing that to the bear, making it a reality, has been an amazing, amazing thing. So again, this is just a one milestone for us. It’s a journey.”
A leader on the product team added, “It’s a unique environment. It’s a unique company. It’s a unique set of people bringing us together. And I kind of look at this from the outside to a degree because I’m not there in India, being the only Greek in the room. It’s super-interesting and exciting. And I’ve never worked in a place like this. So, I mean, as everybody said, let’s enjoy this. Amazing.”
Bringing it all together, CEO and founder BC Krishna stressed: “Culture is easily written down as words on a piece of paper. It is harder practicing it everyday, making it the essence of organization, being yourself, being part of a team and doing it with good humor. The pandemic has tested us, and I think we’re stronger for it.“
We are living our vision, mission and values.
Empower small and midsize businesses to thrive by allowing them to focus on the value they provide to their customers, people and communities.
Managing cash for small and midsize businesses is complicated, yet critical. Centime’s mission is to help these businesses thrive by giving them the power to optimize all aspects of their cash flow in one, easy-to-use, intelligent solution that is integrated with their general ledger and their bank.
Trust, teamwork and an unshakeable commitment to customers.