The Fantastic Four of Shortlist

The Fantastic Four of Shortlist

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At Shortlist, we are proud of our people and love how engaged and passionate they are, about everything they do.

Shortlist was founded 5 years ago after one year of the founders, CTO and a handful of employees working on the initial concept, they brought on four amazing engineers, who are still with us today.

In an industry where job-hopping is so frequent, with average employee tenures between 1-2 years, we are excited to celebrate 4-year work anniversaries of these four, amazing Shortlisters- Talasri, Tilak, Venkat and Niranjan. We are so proud of everything that they have done.

This is their story below. Before we dive into their stories below, here’s a word from our CTO Sudheer Bandaru on these Fantastic Four.

Sudheer Bandaru, CTO Shortlist on Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four of Shortlist

From L-R: Sudheer Bandaru, Tilak Tirumalanagaram, Talasri Kotikalapudi, Niranjan Pujari and Venkat Vemuri

It is an extraordinary moment to celebrate the Fantastic Four, who have been the founding members of the tech team at Shortlist. It is relatively easy to attract talent after a brand is established, and culture is defined. But the challenge arises before any of those things are set. The only talent that can be attracted is the one that is highly visionary, genuinely passionate and has faith in the startup, and this talent is rare to come by.

The Fantastic Four are an exemplary example of such passionate people.

Venkat came to us as a manual QA engineer without any QA experience, but he had an evident passion towards work and attention to detail. As he already embodied the Shortlist values, we didn’t look at his past experience. We only considered his raw skills, his potential, and we hired him. Today, he is a DevOps engineer managing our complex multi-cloud infrastructure for microservices architecture.

Tilak worked in a couple of startups, who didn’t pay him or give him an experience letter. In true Shortlist style, we decided to look at capabilities over CV and asked him to submit a case exercise. He cleared the task with flying colours, and we welcomed him on board. He joined us as a smart Java engineer, contributed a lot to frontend code (Even though our frontend experts continued to mock his early day codes). He took ownership of the work and the team’s success. He is always keen for feedback, takes it seriously, works on it and improves. He is now a great leader running a feature squad and is admired by everyone at Shortlist.

I have known Niranjan since he was a fresher. Every time I assign him any work, he makes me proud. While he’s growing in his career by taking on all sorts of challenges, he has also been helping me shine in my role. Words don’t justify the incredible job Niranjan has been doing! He is the reason I am aggressive about tech innovation and confident that we can succeed at a higher adaption of new technological trends.

Talasri worked as a manual QA engineer in her previous company and ruffled the feathers with her manager as she couldn’t limit herself to the predefined role. She outsmarted her managers by continually adapting to the latest technologies. She was bold enough to share what happened, and I felt that’s exactly the kind of talent we need to nurture at Shortlist. Someone who is truly aggressive about taking on challenges and wants to become the best version of themselves. She continues to test our sophisticated suite of products with impeccable quality and sets high standards.

Attracting smart engineers feels like a big win after a long struggle, but the most challenging part is to retain them. If I had to summarise my learnings on how to retain smart engineers, they would fall into these three categories:

●Give them enough opportunities to exhibit their smartness – which includes getting into new terrains they have never explored.
●During the process, let them make mistakes and support them as and when needed to make it a safe space for innovation.
●Finally, enjoy and create a culture where they can hang out with their colleagues who would push their limits every single day while having fun!

You guys really are the “Fantastic FOUR of Shortlist”, wishing you many more years at Shortlist!

Talasri Kotikalapudi

Talasri’s journey:
“The journey hasn’t always been easy, but it has been fantastic and full of opportunities that I’ll forever be grateful for. Last four years have gone by in a blur, and I have been fortunate to have had such an all-around involvement in product and services.
I am thankful to work for an organisation that walks the talk and inculcates its core values in everyday work. This makes me believe in the importance of my work and encourages me to put forth my best performance.”

What she loves about Shortlist:
“The culture, team coordination & support, flexible work hours and a very approachable leadership team made me stay back. But above all this, the person who has been a pillar of strength and has supported me all this while is, our CTO Sudheer Bandaru.”

Venkat Vemuri

Venkat’s journey:
“This organisation shares my core values. Here I learned how to be patient, how to relax, and most importantly, I started believing that good things take time. I love the progressive, open, forward-thinking nature of people here.

This culture is something that I’m incredibly proud of, and I tell my friends about it all the time. A real breakthrough for me was getting to know Sudheer Bandaru, the CTO at Shortlist and how comfortable he is in his skin.”

What he loves about Shortlist:
“Four years ago, a friend recommended me to work here. I had just changed my profile and felt positive that the organisation had taken a chance on me since this would be my first time in a QA role. Everyone here was extremely welcoming and friendly.

Tilak Tirumalanagaram

Tilak’s journey:
“I started as a Support Engineer, and now I am leading a team of engineers. Here I have worked on the latest architecture and technologies and worked with my first big client (i.e. KPMG). This entire experience has been nothing short of spectacular. Of course, the Diwali celebrations and cross-office interactions are a bonus.”

What he loves about Shortlist:
“Personally, utilising growth opportunities and climbing the ladder is the best thing one could do for their career. Switching companies in a short period is not ideal. At Shortlist, I got the platform to grow professionally, the opportunity to interact with the business team and product team directly while building applications.

The team culture, the emphasis on being a whole person, all of it has been a motivating factor that helps me feel connected with the organisation. Our CTO Sudheer and our Sr. Lead engineer Niranjan, both have been a fantastic presence in my life, and they always push me out of my comfort zone to realise my true potential.”

Over four years, I have seen the organisation grow and change. There has been a real shift towards a team management approach, and we have started putting our core values at the forefront of what we do. I’ve been part of this entire creative process we’ve gone through to get to the heart of who we are as an organisation. It is something that’s constantly evolving and changing – as it should.”

Niranjan Pujari

Niranjan’s journey:
“The whole journey has been a highlight. I joined Shortlist as a software developer, and today when I look back at these four years, I see a lot of learning, changes and upgrades. From a routine of 7-8 hours of coding to the time when I got to design and architect the solutions, I feel I have come a long way.”

What he loves about Shortlist:
“There is a plethora of reasons why one would change their job, be it the quality of work or the office culture, the supervisor or the money. With Shortlist, these reasons never existed.

Right from the work satisfaction to amazing office culture to money that justifies your skills, everything was taken care of and of course who could leave out the amazing manager. No sensible person would think of moving away from such an organisation.”

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