Have you heard the news? Adap.tv just announced the opening of a brand new research and development center in Hyderabad, India. The Wall Street Journal has more about our big move into Asia.
Along with the new office opening and our aggressive hiring efforts locally, we are also excited to share that Prem Kumar Pabbisetty, one of our earliest employees, has relocated back to India and is the managing director of the office.
Prem’s leadership, vision, and technical know-how have been a key part of the development of Adap.tv’s technologies over the past half-decade.
Amidst the big move and massive hiring now underway in the new office, Prem was eager to share some of what has been happening to get set up. Take a look:
What attracted you to join Adap.tv in 2008?
Prem: I liked the vision of the company: bringing efficiency in the advertising market. I also liked the fact that I would be able to work on complex problems, and to be able to do so at an early stage start up. It’s very rewarding to know that I was at the ground floor of something big, and, although our achievements have already been impressive we, as a company, still have a whole lot to accomplish to reach our ambitious long-term goals.
What has it been like to lead and grow a brand new corporate office?
Prem: Being in technology, I always look for new challenges. Establishing a new office is something I had not done in the past, so clearly this is an exciting opportunity. I like building highly productive teams, and being able to do so from scratch has allowed us to think about the best possible way to architect the team. The experience so far has been truly fulfilling, and I am learning a lot in the new role. It also gives me great happiness that Adap.tv has confidence in me and has entrusted me with such a big responsibility.
In one word, how would you describe the working environment in the India office?
What have been some of the challenges?
Prem: Like in many parts of the world, hiring has been a challenge. Being the new guys in town, educating the engineering community in and around Hyderabad about Adap.tv and its tremendous growth in other global regions is key. We are looking to be very aggressive in attracting talent that wants the stability of a large, well-known corporation, but in a startup culture that really puts everyone’s idea on a pedestal and allows it to shine.
What have been some of your favorite moments so far?
Prem: The ideas showcased by the India team during our second hackathon made me extremely proud about the team. In fact, when I visited the US office after the first three months of setting up in Asia, every single person was showering praises about the India team.
I also had a special moment during our hiring efforts. We always want to hire the best and have a very stringent interview process; one particular candidate who did not quite make it to the end sent us a referral for another possible candidate, all because of the positive impression he got from our interview process!
What has surprised you the most about building out the first team in Asia?
Prem: Once again I would say hiring. While start-up culture is alive and well in the US and Europe, it is still nascent in India. Even smart engineers like to join big, established companies. It has taken some time for us to get recognized by engineers, but I think we are getting there. The amount of ownership and accountability from the team was a pleasant surprise. I am really happy with the hires we have had so far.
What does your team like to do together, outside of the working environments?
Prem: Cultivating a strong culture and making Adap.tv a place where everyone wants to work is one of the top priorities of the executive team. Among other things, we love to go out for lunches as a team.
What is one Indian cuisine that the other offices probably don’t eat/know about that they should try?
Prem: Definitely dum biryani, also commonly referred to as Hyderabad dum biryani. There are more than 10 varieties of biryanis available in India, and dum biryani is the best! It’s spicy in taste.