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43. Fostering a Global Digital Workforce: The Asynchronous Approach with Sagar Khatri

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Podcast with Sagar from Multiplier Part 4




Want to build a powerful global workforce thatthrives on adaptability and strong communication? Tune in as Sagar Khatri, CEO of Multiplier, unveils the secrets of fostering an effective asynchronous work culture in a world that's more digital and connected than ever before.

Sagar Khatri, CEO of Multiplier,shares insights on building an effective remote and global workforce. He highlights the importance of adaptability, cross-functional international
teams, and strong communication. Crucially, he underscores the role of digital
tools in fostering an asynchronous work culture.

[00:00:00] Andrew Liew Weida: Hi, everyone. Welcome tothe AI of mankind show where I share anything interesting about mankind. I'm
your host for this season. My name is Andrew Liew. I work across four
Continents and 12 international cities. Also, I work in tech startups across a
range of roles from selling products, making customer happy, figuring out
fundraising, making finance tick, building teams and developing sticky product.
Apart from building startups. I've also worked in fortune 500 companies as a
chief data scientist or technologist or people leader. You can call me Jack of
all trades or master of learning. I hope to make this podcast show [00:01:00] a great learning experience for us In eachseason, there is a series of interesting things where invite guests to share
their views about their life and interests.

[00:01:09] Andrew Liew Weida: Now let the show begin.

[00:01:26] Andrew Liew : In our previous episode, wejourneyed with Sagar Khatri into a world where education is oriented towards
actual job skills and how the face of professional development is changing
amidst the digitalization of job markets. Sagar shed light on the importance of
customer-centric and employee-centric organizations, and how tools like Slack
are altering communication in the corporate world.

[00:01:44] Andrew Liew : As we embark on this episode,Sagar pivots to share secrets on building an adaptable, powerful global
workforce with robust communication in this digital age. We dive deeper into
understanding the significance of cross-functional international teams, the
indispensability of adaptability,and how digital tools are key in fostering an asynchronous work culture. If
you're stepping into the digital space or looking to optimize your existing
remote workforce, this episode is a treasure trove of insights. Let's continue
our exploration with Sagar.

[00:02:12] Andrew Liew Weida: Now, coming to this questionfor you is like, how do you enable this balance of documentation to keep
knowledge and to enable a blame no one culture but focus on getting the work
done to how do we get things fast to help the customer to build better things

[00:02:28] Sagar Khatri: Andrew there's no secret saucehere. You have to strive every single day to achieve that culture. I would say
a few things help very clearly identifying a set of people who who will fit
into this culture. So I interview every single person who joins Multiplier and
this is exactly what I check for. Will this person be comfortable working in an
async manner? Is this person extremely clear and concise . So that becomes very
important. Secondly, it has to be extremely top down. If you as founders behave
in a certain manner, You set an example for the entire team. We as founders also are extremely disciplined indocumenting everything. We wouldn't call our team members at any point in time.
The work can be done by sending a message on Slack. And we also have a
constitution internally where we talk about. What, how does multiply work? And
we have a notion document on which everything is written, right? So really it's
a mindset shift. In the VC industry, people talk about that churn problem is always
a customer acquisition problem, which means you need to acquire the right set
of customers who won't churn. And hence, you need to get the right set of
people who will not object to working in that manner and who will be used to. I
think it's a mix and match of that. There's no secret sauce, but it's not a one
time affair It's on a daily basis. You have to be extremely conscious and make
this happen. But I can tell you Andrew something that if you make that happen
nicely. . And if you're successful in achieving that, then the company growth
is exponential.

[00:03:50] Andrew Liew Weida: This is one of theinteresting insight that I really take away from you. Once you get it right,
things will grow exponential. But one of the things to getting right is churn
is always about finding the rightcustomers the same way as a company. Churn is also about finding the right talent. Call it serious ideas, funny moment with Multiplier like for all the
audience out there if you, whether you want to build a startup or you are a big
company, you want to be agile, actually consider using Multiplier because I
believe that one of their customer service or customer success officer will
share with you their culture and eventually you can take some tips away because
I myself personally benefit from this.

[00:04:25] Andrew Liew Weida: Another interestingquestion I want to ask Sagar for those who are really keen to start a career in
the digital space or the startup space, what are your top three tips for that?

[00:04:33] Sagar Khatri: Andrew, again, very interestingquestion and a very important question something that is close to my heart. If
you think about what pandemic has done, it has changed work forever. And one of
the big things that has changed is the skills that workers need to succeed. The
race for qualified talent is extremely on. We also always feel that the number
one challenge in our head or in my head as a CEO of a company today is getting
the right talent and getting it faster.

[00:04:56] Sagar Khatri: So as the digital transformationjourney continues, the talent [00:05:00] thatwe seek must have the skills necessary to integrate into a growing and a
changing organization. So when an employer has to decide between a dozen or so
equally qualified candidates, they will want to see something to help them make
a decision and something that unique the candidate has.

[00:05:14] Sagar Khatri: And I think that these are thethree areas that at least I help coach people or whosoever I mentor that. One
is, if you are looking for a job in the digital space, the companies are
looking for digitally minded employees as I said, assigned first, or being.
Okay, with the tools that I talked about, knowing how to run Notion, knowing
how to run Slack.

[00:05:32] Sagar Khatri: So being a digital space buffcan make young talent become more aware of the latest trends in the space and
help them prepare better. So this is something that I talk about. Second,
industry specific hard skills are teachable through training and onboarding
programs, while critical thinking and adaptability are crucial.

[00:05:47] Sagar Khatri: So it's the experience workingin international cross functional teams is highly sought after by tech
companies worldwide. This is the second point, we are sold. That the future of
teams is global. Your colleagues will be global. You will find the sales person
in [00:06:00] Australia, marketing person inChennai, developer in in Serbia and hence the ability to work cross
functionally with an international culture will become very important.

[00:06:08] Sagar Khatri: The third and most importantpoint is it is more important than ever that the new employees have softer
skills. See back in the day when I used to see you day to day, we could see
each other's face to face. The emotions also convey the message. Today, because
only words communicate the message, it becomes important that you have power
over the language and not just the language or communication.

[00:06:32] Sagar Khatri: So these are the three importantareas that I also work on myself and I also advise my team members to work on.

[00:06:37] Andrew Liew Weida: Wow. You point out threeimportant things and one of the things that I want to talk about is the
companies really want people who can work internationally and build cross
functional teams.

[00:06:48] Andrew Liew Weida: Having said that we're livingin a world where if we were to do that, we would be in a different time zone.
And you are also advocating an asynchronous... I'm just picturing in my head
about[00:07:00] how is this actually beingdone. One of the three tips that you can help our audience here, whether they
are in a tech startup or a big company, trying to operate international cross
functional teams.

[00:07:13] Sagar Khatri: So very important point Andrew,.A few things here that I advocate about. Today we have a team in 30 35 countries.
We have people of all colors, all sexual preferences, all shapes, all sizes,
all nationalities, all ethnicity. So one of the most important things is now
when you have to hire the person, you don't hire a job in a geography. You hire
for the best skill set wherever you get in the world. So start adopting
international work, start adopting global workforce. If you want to hire
marketing folks, look at the areas where you can get the best marketing folks .
The second important thing is being able to run async manner. If you're a
manager who have the habit of micromanaging people calling them every five
minutes, calling them after work hours, it's not [00:08:00]going to work out. You will have the, what we call today, the great resignation
problem. So it's important for you to change your mindset as a manager, be
employee friendly respect their work life balance, respect not calling them
anytime and all of that. Third thing what becomes important is processes and
structure and employee engagement. In a remote first setting or a global
setting, these small gestures matter. For example, over New Year, we sent a
similar gift to employees in 35 countries. And they felt so happy about it I've
never met some of my employees face to face in my entire life, but they sent me
a thank you note saying that, hey, we were not expecting it and some of them
had a moment of truth.

[00:08:42] Sagar Khatri: So it becomes really importantthat you maintain a high level of employee engagement in ways possible, right?
Obviously you cannot have a water cooler conversation, but there are other ways
to do that today. So these are some of the areas that one needs to really
consciously work on.

[00:08:55] Andrew Liew Weida: I see. I think one of thekey thing I've always been thinking [00:09:00]about is every country has different understanding of even the English

[00:09:04] Andrew Liew Weida: I give you an example I wasserving my clients in Hong Kong market and I was also working with the data.
Scientists in singapore and the software engineers in mumbai and the same
language even though it's english has different understanding and i have to
call everybody into the same call and just to talk about like for example what
does it mean what does gender means you know some may think of it as It's male
and female. So I have to explain now what does the data means, how to re record
it, and give a very clear context. Now, when you allow writing to happen how do
you enable the different employees or talents to have a very consistent understanding
of the language so that asynchronous can move in a very agile manner.

[00:09:51] Sagar Khatri: Very important point. One thingthat will become important in the future is being able to have the role of
chief global officer. All right. [00:10:00] Youthink about this, VP of Salesforce that has been the tool of choice for a
bigger company, you would look for it accordingly. Secondly, if you have a
CHRO, they'll come and implement a workday, or some other thing. Similarly, you
will have, or the organizations will need to have a chief remote officer or a
chief global officer. And it will be different from the finance and the HR and
it needs to be a very dedicated role. And their job would be to implement a
tool like Multiplier, because Multiplier will essentially help you be the
entire operating system of running a company in a distributed and async manner.
So that's how I imagine the future to be.

[00:10:39] Andrew Liew Weida: Wow sounds very exciting interms of Then I mean I can think of suddenly let's say version 50 of multiplier
and There is a customer success officer multiplier to on brought me with a
virtual bot that can tell me hey You know the these are the people that you
hire they speak Similar languages, they think the similarly and this is the
total [00:11:00] employment cost in operatingjust press a button and The whole team would need let's say about three to six
months of onboarding time to tighten up the understanding of the language And
therefore they can move very fast asynchronously.

[00:11:13] Andrew Liew Weida: I think that's a veryexciting and wonderful future. Last but not least what is your request from
those listening to this podcast here?

[00:11:21] Sagar Khatri: I have a lot of requests, butone of the things that I would really want is people to understand that the
world has changed.

[00:11:28] Sagar Khatri: It's important that you alsochange your ways as well. And adopt to the moving world. If you think about,
Andrew, and we are old enough to know Nokia, . One of our first phones was
Nokia. Used to be a great company, great Finnish company. Back in the day,

[00:11:42] Andrew Liew Weida: yes I bought a few Nokiaphones before.

[00:11:44] Sagar Khatri: Exactly. And so did I. But sincethey didn't catch up with the smartphone trends, did not innovate well, today's
generation have no idea what Nokia is. And they lost. And and it feels like
Apple has existed for 100 years, butit was 15 years ago when Steve Jobs launched their first iPhone. Today's world
is very dynamic.

[00:12:06] Sagar Khatri: It's moving extremely fast. Youas a company, you as a leader, you as a manager, you as an employee will be
left behind if you don't adapt to that. So one of our values internally is what
we call be self aware. So two values, be eternal optimist and be self aware. So
you know you set a strong goal for yourself.

[00:12:24] Sagar Khatri: You want to go to the moon thinkthat it's possible, but be also self aware that you know that today you are on
earth and there's a long distance that you need to travel and put the hard work
according. And resources to that. These are the couple of things that I would
like to to request our listeners to think about and ponder about.

[00:12:39] Andrew Liew Weida: Wow you're very altruistic,man. To the audience out there, these are the two key lessons let's do. Saga is
trying to ask everybody to be Eternal optimistic. And to be self aware, but yet
I would also like to ask from the audience to really check out Multiplier and
if you have any questions please goto the resource page and the podcast so go to Multiplier and check out our dear
Sagar, because he is one of a kind and I really enjoy this podcast, thank you
Sagar, we have come to the end of this podcast show.

[00:13:13] Sagar Khatri: Thank you, andrew. Thank you,everyone

[00:13:14] Andrew Liew : Hi everyone, thanks fortuning into this episode. We have come to the end of part 4 with Sagar and this
is the end of the podcast series with Sagar .