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KwikChat #101: Cracking the Success Code…

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Take a sneak peak into the journey of our experts and know the hustle behind laying the foundation of a startup and driving it to success!

In the first session of KwikChat, travel the tech world with Mayank Suneja, Sr. Manager of Quality Assurance at MobiKwik and find out what goes on behind the scenes in the tech engineers’ work life.

Tell us what inspired you to opt for QA engineering as your profession ?

I was always quite fascinated with computers and unlike most kids, I had an inclination towards the unconventional subjects like mathematics and physics. Therefore, since my schooling years, I knew for a fact that I’d have a career in technology. However, at that time I did not know QA engineering will be my ultimate call. It was the exposure that I gained from my first job in Amdocs that helped me understand where my skills really lie. Detecting flaws and bugs in a product and working on end to end delivery of a software is something that I enjoy and have a knack for.

Tell us about your childhood. How did your formative years in school and college influence your career?

I completed my schooling from DPS Faridabad and graduated from LIMT Faridabad. As a kid I was quite easy going and carefree. I was hardly very studious and was mostly outside in the ground, trying my hands on every other sport. Yet, being comfortable with arduous subjects like maths and science I always managed to have a decent performance in academics. Throughout my education tenure, my passion for computers only grew stronger and engineering was an obvious choice for me.

However, what really motivated me to take life and career seriously was the time I sat for my campus placements. My candidature was rejected by Infosys. That rejection was a turning point in my educational and professional journey. It triggered me to be more committed and excel in anything that I take up. It was when my approach took a facelift and to this day, I do everything in my power to succeed in whatever task I take up.

How has your professional journey been as an engineer and what have been the key learning points for you?

As I mentioned earlier, I started my professional journey with Amdocs which is a software and service provider multinational corporation. My job role as well as the work culture at Amdocs embedded in me, professionalism and commitment towards my work. One of the most important lessons that I learned was to always have a binary approach. You either do something with utmost commitment and finish what you begin or you say no. And sometimes it is okay to say no!

After Amdocs I moved on to working for Start-ups. I worked with MakeMyTrip followed by MobiKwik. Here, I have enjoyed the freedom and autonomy that startup firms offer.  I got into the habit of experimenting more, choosing my own direction and owning up for the projects I would take up. Every job calls for creativity and the work culture at a leading startup such as MobiKwik always gives room for such creativity and allows you to explore the maximum.

What are your key responsibilities at MobiKwik and what does your day look like?

At MobiKwik, I function as Sr. Manager for Quality Assurance. The role requires me and my team to review quality specifications and technical sanity of our products and features. My day starts with creating a detailed, comprehensive and well structured plan for the day thereby testing, integrating and execution of the project in progress.

Does the position that you currently hold come with a lot of challenges? How is it different from working at any of your previous employers?

A position with responsibility definitely brings in a flood of challenges. However, tackling these challenges is what keeps you engaged and keeps you going. At the position that I currently hold, the major challenge that my team and I face is to constantly be up-to-date with the fast changing technology. Today, technology changes at a very fast pace and new tools and technology enter the tech world quite frequently. It takes time to get well versed with every new tool and product. To tackle this particular challenge, here at MobiKwik, we make sure that each member of the team thoroughly learns at least one new tool and help the entire team understand it. This way, it becomes easier not only to get a clear understanding of all the new tools and technology but also to keep the team members more connected and involved, which in itself is a major challenge.

Tell us about the most difficult problem that you have faced in the last 1-2 months?

I have never really looked at the size of the problem. Being in a corporate, you have to fight all sorts of battles on a daily basis. It’s ultimately combating and winning those battles that summarizes an individual’s corporate experience and learning. Being a QA Engineer, I need to overcome multiple problems.

Maintaining a strict balance between manual dealing and automated testing is one of the major one. Manual testing may not be as attractive as automation but is just as important. To deliver the best possible product, it is necessary that the team works on both of the fronts and motivating the team members to take up manual testing along with automation sometimes becomes difficult.

Just like any other start-up, we also have our ups and downs. Sometimes we are not really prepared for the sort of traffic we receive or the failures that come our way. But the job is all about overcoming them and that’s what we do as a well connected and committed team.

Who do you look up to within the company?

I believe that every individual has something you can learn from. I do not look up to the person per say, I look up to their qualities.

Bipin Preet Singh, Founder CEO of MobiKwik, has taught me the process of decision making. Sometimes decisions can be fast and hard but sticking to what you’ve decided and backing yourself is something that I’ve learnt and always tried to inculcate in myself.

Mohit Narian, Head product and growth, has taught me all about communicating without making the other person feel inferior. Explaining and putting forward your points and thoughts without coming off as rude or blunt is quite a talent and I’m still learning that from him.

Chirag Jain, Engineering Manager a.k.a. our Technical Guru as we call him is a living and breathing sea of knowledge. The depth of knowledge he possesses is immense and one day I’d love to be like him, teaching and elevating other people.

You have come a long way in your career and achieved so much. What are your future goals?

In future, I see myself building at least five to six pillars for the company. Pillars of strength, knowledge and reliance. Train and work with those people in a way that they manage to take the company to new heights that I could not. I see myself working for the unprecedented organic growth of the company and the brand. I want my team to set an example for our fellow teams with regards to our commitment and work delivery.

What is your Success Mantra?

Before actually being termed as a successful individual, it is important that I define what success means to me. Defining simplifies the process because now I have a clear vision what path I need to walk on. As it is always said, success is only where your passion is and I believe that it is completely true. Identifying what success is, making sure that it is related to my passion and then just going for it basically summarizes my success mantra.

What would your advice be to the budding engineers of this generation? Why should they consider working for a startup as a great career choice?

These engineers are the future of our nation. These are the people who will review and work for the upcoming products and technologies. I just want to tell them one thing that earning shouldn’t be your priority but learning should be. Knowledge is always worth more than your bank account. Focus more on the struggles and journeys of successful people. Do not think about their paychecks because if you have a great deal of knowledge that primarily comes from your experiences, everything else will fall in place. Life is all about learning and just never stop learning.

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