The Indix product management team is based out of the office in Chennai, while the sales and marketing, business development, and customer success teams are based out of Seattle. At the beginning of 2016, Indix decided to arrange for a series of in-person meetings between these diverse groups of people who work closely with each other.
As a first step, the Indix executive team visited Chennai in January. This initiative was a huge success as it helped establish a personal connect and facilitated an understanding of the other side of the coin – tech side for the business people and sales perspective for the tech team. It also helped in increasing business velocity and come to a conclusion on priority decisions.
Following the success of that trip, the product team (Thilak, Sridhar, Anirudh, Jatin, and me) and Co-Founder Satya visited the Seattle office this summer for a retreat where the plan was,
So, the Indix team made it to Seattle on the weekend of July 9th. We checked into the awesome Hotel Max in downtown Seattle right by the Indix office, and spent the weekend trying to fight off the jet lag.
Most of the time during the first week was spent in getting to know the Indix crew in Seattle and also participating in the sales QBRs driven by our super awesome sales team.
The QBRs are retro-cum-planning sessions that are conducted to reflect on what went right, highlights of the quarter, and potential areas for improvement across the board over the next quarter and beyond.
Of course, it was not all work – there was some friendly banter as well. The Indix Chennai team prides itself on having a strong ping pong team (better than the Seattle team!) – several matches between the Chennai team and Seattle team only reinforced the obvious. ☺
The week ended with the product team making visits to meet with customers – some in and around the Seattle area, and a part of the team flew down to San Francisco as well. Over the weekend, the Indix Seattle team played gracious host. A bunch of them invited us to their homes – we dined with them, got to play pickleball in their backyard, etc.
Over the second week, we had several daylong strategy sessions planned, where the product team and executive team from Seattle locked themselves in a room to thrash out the product roadmap and priorities for the next few quarters.
Indix lives by the adage “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The evenings/nights were packed with activities and partying as we had fun at many cool spots in and around Seattle, including karaoke at Rock Box in Capitol Hill.
The Seattle team continued to shower us with their love, with dinners usually arranged for the Chennai team in one of their homes as we met and got to know their families.
As the week drew to a close, we spent Friday knowing that it was our last day in Seattle. Even the Seattle weather, which decided to be good to us during our two week stay, started being its usual rainy self (probably since the Indix team was leaving?) Goodbyes were said and we started for Chennai, taking home memories that would last a lifetime.
Here are my coworker Anirudh’s thoughts on Seattle:
“When we landed in Seattle on 9th July, the first thing that struck me was the lack of people around me. I was searching for them ;). Downtown was empty, possibly because everyone was still on vacation after July 4th. Although it was summer, it was colder compared to my lovely hot and humid Chennai. There are a lot of North Indian restaurants in downtown Seattle, but not many South Indian ones. I was pushed to travel a couple of hours and wait a long time to have a proper South Indian dish 😉 This definitely looks like a market opportunity for downtown businesses. Majority of the Indian origin engineers in Seattle are from Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana) and Tamil Nadu and they definitely crave dosas and idlis. The best part of Seattle for me was the view of Mt. Rainier, that you can catch from pretty much anywhere in the city.”
A few more pictures from the trip…