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Being Open, Together, and Impactful at Criteo India

Posted by Shricha & Asheesh |

Today, we’re meeting with Shricha Pandey, Technical Solutions Engineer, and Asheesh Verma, Team Lead - Reseller & Agency, all the way from Criteo India. Since we started operating in Gurgaon in 2016, India has naturally become a very dynamic market. We’ve been amazed by the pool of talent there, and soon began to see India as an ideal place to build a new technology and engineering hub. Criteo India now counts over 160 employees, and it is just the beginning as our rapid growth plans have led us to actively recruit people for our Technical Solutions, Data Analytics, and Commercial teams. Let's see what it is like over there, shall we?

Hello Shricha and Asheesh, we’re very happy to have you with us today!

For starters, can you tell us a little bit about your background and current responsibilities here at Criteo?

Shricha: I have a bachelor’s degree in Technology with a major in Electronics & Communication. At the beginning of my career, I was working in the area of Customer Care and Product Support, before joining another Ad Tech company in India. I joined Criteo last year as a Technical Solutions Engineer in India for the APAC market. In a few words, my job aims to provide technical support to our operations teams, sales teams, and Account Strategists when dealing with clients’ queries. Basically, we’re the ones who onboard the clients and deal with the technical integration of the product for the whole APAC market.

Asheesh: I also hold a bachelor's degree in Technology with a Major in Engineering & Computer Sciences. In parallel to my studies, I used to work in an Institute where I was teaching underprivileged kids. I was working for another Ad Tech company in India for over three years when I heard about the job opening at Criteo. I applied and soon started to work as a Technical Solutions Engineer for the Southern APAC market. Since then, our business needs have increased and we’re actively hiring this kind of profile. Last June, I was promoted, and I am now leading the entire team.

Did you know Criteo before joining?

S: Yes, I was looking for a new opportunity when the pandemic struck. I came across Criteo then. It’s a funny story actually; I first applied in 2020 but wasn’t hired as I was lacking a few technical skills that were compulsory for the role. However, I really wanted to be part of the company, so I took it upon myself to train and learn these specific technical skills (JavaScript, HTML, etc.). I joined another Ad Tech company before I got a call from Criteo for an opening as TS Engineer. This time, the attempt was successful!

A: I did know Criteo, as I was already working in the Ad Tech industry. I always thought they seemed to have a cool culture. Little did I know I would be a part of it someday.

How does Criteo come across compared to other local companies?

S: Professionally speaking, I think Criteo provides the adequate structure to enhance one’s professional and personal growth. I wanted to join a company where I could see myself in the long run and I thought Criteo could be it. The management philosophy is also something I’d like to highlight. I feel my managers listen and support me. They get where I’m coming from as they were also in my shoes once. Here, I feel free to build the career path I want.

A: It’s a different kind of culture and work philosophy, yes. I think what makes Criteo stand out, in general, is the life experience and international exposure we have here. I had never understood the importance of work-life balance before. I like that there is no toxic culture or micro-management. Besides, the product is often evolving with new features, so it is stimulating from a work perspective as well. The biggest difference for me is that I am looking forward to signing on the next day.

Which Perks & Benefits do you find the most useful?

S: Flexible work is one great benefit! Family is a strong cultural value here in India and flexible work allows me to spend more time with my family while having a job I enjoy. Criteo helped me set up a desk at home so I can work in good conditions. Also, I feel they care about our mental health by providing tools like the Headspace app for instance. Everybody can feel low at some point, and it is important to feel supported when that happens.

A: Criteo offers great taxes benefits we call “Flexi Baskets” which is very helpful for us in India. I also really enjoy the meal ventures that we have which allow you to order food online for instance. And, of course, the Flexible Work Approach; I can work from home or at the office when I choose to. We can even enjoy a 15-minute massage in the office on Thursdays.

Criteo offers international exposure. Is this something you like?

S: That’s one of the best things! You meet different people and learn new things. Personally, I come from a small town in India so I never would have thought I’d join an international company like Criteo someday. Yet here I am!

A: Yes, it is a very nice thing! I really enjoyed the Limitless Summit organized recently. It was a great opportunity to meet and share ideas with colleagues from different locations.

Since you started at Criteo, what surprised you the most?

S: The constant learning curve, I think. When I compare who I was a year ago and who I am today, I feel I’ve grown so much, so fast, and on so many levels. For me, team spirit is a condition to bloom in my job. I need to feel free to share any struggle or doubt with people who will help and support me. This is what I find so amazing here at Criteo; I know I can talk to this or that person to find a solution. This contributes to putting me in a great mood every time I open my computer.

A: That I no longer feel the need to change my career path. Honestly, since my first day at Criteo, I’ve seen myself grow on so many levels; professionally and personally. I enjoy so many aspects of the culture; flexible work, the fact that managers encourage you to take breaks when needed, the constant learning curve, etc. Even though I’m a team leader, I feel allowed to disconnect and I trust whoever is backing me up when I’m not there.

Speaking of learning opportunities, do you think you were given the right tools to take over your job at your own pace?

S: Definitely! Especially since my role is a technical one, I was quite stressed I wouldn’t have time to adjust. But my doubts vanished as soon as I started my onboarding. I feel I’ve received thorough training and knowledge in the beginning but also today. We keep organizing workshops to address potential pain points and develop new skills. We can always lean on our Learning Quest Platform for more resources. Besides, I feel we’re encouraged to make room to learn and apply new things, during Quiet Fridays for example. If you’re curious and willing to learn, Criteo is a good place for you!

A: Yes, I think the onboarding is efficient and quite complete. You have plenty of training and new things to learn, which is stimulating, but you also have time to assimilate them.

Where do you see your career going? Is Criteo a place where you can see yourself grow and thrive?

S: Absolutely! I’d like to keep evolving to take a leadership role one day so I look up to my managers and try to take in everything I can.

A: Yes, I do!

Let’s go back to Technical Solutions Engineers. Could you tell us a bit more about the specificities of such profiles?

A: In terms of hard skills, a Technical Solutions Engineer is a person with strong technical expertise in specific subjects such as JavaScript, HTML, and XML, but also Android and IOS ecosystems. But, for this position, we also need people with a business mindset, able to translate technical issues into something understandable for all. Also, we need people who can understand and collaborate with people from different cultures. In my team, for example, we work a lot with foreign Ad Agencies, so we always deal with different stakeholders.

S: Beyond the strict technical skills and business mindset, we need people whose personalities we feel could match our values - Open, Together, Impactful. Meaning that, ideally, they should be open enough to have a broader understanding of other teams’ needs and work so they can offer a helping hand when someone needs it. It is important that we work unitedly and together and for that, we need to feel part of one team and support each other. We need to go beyond our own tasks and be proactive in collaborating with other teams and organizing brainstorming sessions that involve different people. Only then can we make a real impact.

Are these profiles hard to find?

S: It is quite a versatile position. The tricky part is, it requires both strong technical skills - as you’re supposed to understand and solve any technical issues clients might face - and good business sense and understanding - as you’re dealing with clients who have their own challenges, needs, and ways of doing things. In this job, you’ll be developing both hard and soft skills all the time. We need to understand a client’s technical, and business needs to provide adequate support. Working in Ad Tech means anytime a client wants to showcase a new product or service, we deal with the advertisement part and its technical integration. That is when the business mindset comes to play its role, so we can truly tailor the solution we provide.

If a friend told you they’re thinking of joining Criteo, what would you advise them?

S: For the interview process, the first thing I’d advise is to be authentic and honest when talking about your goals. It is important to feel your long-term goals are aligned with what the company offers. When dealing with new hires, I’m often amazed by how resourceful and proactive they are. In terms of personality, I’d say being open-minded is the key to thriving here. For TS Engineers, having the ability to listen and understand other teams’ needs and purpose, along with being able to make technical issues easy to understand for the greater audience is key.

A: Criteo has a strong culture so I would make sure to be aligned with the values and philosophy of the company. Regarding the hiring process, I’d advise them to be truthful about who they are and not to be afraid to say what they know and what they don’t. Feel free to be authentic from the start.

Shricha & Asheesh

Technical Solutions Engineer & Team Lead - Reseller & Agency

The Future is Yours.

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