Intelligencenode Blog Employee Spotlight Series...

Employee Spotlight Series – Meet Amol Aranake – Our AVP, Strategy

Amol aranake

1. What first attracted you to Intelligence Node? What has kept you here?

The role of CEO’s office was the first thing that caught my attention. Coming from a banking background, I was desperate to work in a role that will have more business impact and help me build skills across various functions like strategy, sales, marketing, etc. The cross-functional nature of this role excited me at an early stage of my career. Going through the interview process made me even more excited, speaking to the people at Inode and getting a first glimpse of the culture here, which appeared to be in stark contrast of what I was used to at Investment banking. Working in retail at a company that was AI/ML led was also crucial, as I viewed it as a future-ready business, primed for growth

What has kept me here over the years is a combination of all the above factors, but most importantly the culture. INodians may often take it for granted, but I have seen and lived enough in a bad culture to know what good culture looks like. A very bottom-up approach to day-to-day business, where each employee has the freedom to come up with ideas and initiatives, where each idea is not just listened to, but valued at all levels of management is extremely rare. Another thing that has stood out to me is empathy. While chasing business goals and profits, empathy for the team and employees becomes the first thing on the chopping block in the corporate world. At Intelligence Node, I have always felt that there is enough importance given to the physical and more importantly mental well-being of employees, resulting in extreme overall satisfaction. All of this translates into a good work-life balance, not just in terms of time, but also in terms of motivation to work day in and day out, which has kept me here and kept me driven and passionate about what I do, both personally and professionally. Additionally, an opportunity to work with so many smart people every day from whom I get to learn so much is invaluable!

2. Describe the nature of your role in short and how it has changed/developed over the years

I started off as a generalist in the In-house Entrepreneur role, reporting to the CEO. This entailed working across sales, marketing, strategy, customer success, HR/recruitment not just in a supporting role but also as a team member of those functions. Over time, I found that the strategy function is where I am able to make the most impact and get the most out of my skill sets, resulting in my current role of AVP strategy. I now work with the CEO and the VP of strategy to explore new areas of growth as well as to improve existing processes within the organization to make Intelligence Node ready for scale.

3. How has your career trajectory been since you joined Intelligence Node?

My career trajectory has been fantastic and very well aligned with my interests, skill sets as well as my performance (that’s actually all you could ask for!). I started off in the In-House Entrepreneur role and was promoted to AVP Strategy in just 1.5 years, commensurate with my performance in that role and my skill sets! Sanjeev, the CEO has taken a keen interest in making sure that I build my skill set holistically, by throwing a variety of challenges at me as well as guiding me through them whenever appropriate. This has resulted in me having a very strong understanding of Intelligence Node’s business today, allowing me to approach my role, which is filled with a lot of ambiguity, with confidence, drive, and passion

4. How does Intelligence Node make you feel valued? or What about INode’s company culture do you like most?

There are endless ways in which Intelligence Node has made me feel valued. From smaller things like appreciating the output of micro tasks or deliverables (this can easily be overlooked by managers, but never happens at Inode, another rare quality of the culture) to giving me enough flexibility to manage both my personal and professional commitments, I have always felt like an important part of the organization. I have also had the privilege of working on a lot of high-impact projects at Intelligence Node which has resulted in immense satisfaction and pride at a professional level for me. All of this in addition to the monetary compensation of course, which has been exceptionally fair even in difficult economic times like the pandemic and the recession, where the rest of the market seems to be struggling a lot!

Everything about the culture at Intelligence Node stands out and I have not seen anything even close at startups or multinational companies where my peers work. However, what I like the most is that the culture is very results/impact-driven and not optics driven, which makes it extremely employee friendly. It doesn’t matter if you work for 8 hours or 18 as long as you are able to deliver. Also, the collaborative nature in which all the teams at Inode work makes it an exciting place to be at. There are no grudges and everyone is working towards one common goal, which makes it very motivating to do what you do. Moreover, Intelligence Node has been extremely employee friendly in the HR policies, like for e.g. promoting work from home and now a hybrid model without forcing the employees to come to the office and has always been proactive in making decisions that would be the best not just of the business but also for the employees. I have honestly not seen another organization that so strongly believes in business success as a sum of employee satisfaction. 

5. Share one piece of advice for a new INodian.

You are here because you have a skill set that some or most of us don’t have. So don’t think of your work as a day-to-day job of fulfilling what your manager asks you to do, but think like you run the business. This will not only give you a greater sense of pride and satisfaction, and you are at an organization where this is valued and your contributions will have a significant impact on the business. Speak to as many people as you can and learn from them, everyone here is always happy to help!

6. Share some of your most memorable moments at Intelligence Node.

My journey here has been nothing short of a dream! Right from the day I gave my job interviews, to my promotion day, to the day I received the offer letter to today as I write this, it has been filled with endless moments that I will cherish forever! The one line that I can say to summarize all of those is that at Intelligence Node, I don’t have colleagues, I have friends and family. And working with them every day makes this a string of memorable moments.

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