My truly Kaodim experience – An Intern’s Story

Written by George Wong
Edited by Sharifah Amira

In Search

I get really drawn into the topic of company culture especially if the conversation aligns with my passion and what I believe in as a student learning in the workforce. In my opinion, a company’s culture comes from a shared vision, mission and core values that a company embraces together.

However there are many good company cultures and many bad company cultures present in the workforce, but a great company culture emerges when every employee feels they are a part of something great and want to put the time and effort to work together and achieve the shared vision.

I was surprised when I joined Kaodim as an intern, I was not very familiar with the work culture, but was keen to give it a try, but deep down I knew that Kaodim would be a great place to work at or with. And of course, I’m not wrong because I knew instantly it would be great as soon as I walk through the front door! Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

Culture Shock

Hell yeah! I was fortunate enough to go on a 3 days 2 nights company trip to Lake Sahom, Gopeng, many thanks to the committee that organised the trip and Leong for sending me there ??.

Deep down inside, I really wanted to be there because prior to the trip, there was a Town Hall (an event organised at the end of the month where Kaodim founders and employees gather for Q&A session, food and birthday celebrations) whereby Fui and Jeff the Kaodim Founders said that they will address what Kaodim’s core values are.

So, we arrived at Lake Sahom on time. Everyone was just chillin around, walking around the lake, exploring the area, enjoying the fresh air and getting to know other team members from the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia. FYI, even though we were deep in the forest, KFC was there with us.

Shout-out to double Terrence from Singapore! 

Eventually, the night came so we had to settle down and Fui started off by introducing Kaodim’s core values and principles of leadership, explaining each one of them in detail, it almost came out like a Netflix culture deck but even greater because it was something that I could relate to and it shows who the company is and who they aren’t. It consisted of 9 Core Values that the company believe in but there were two which really spoke to me:

1. OBSESS OVER EVERY DETAIL OF THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

2. KEEP FINDING NEW WAYS TO MAKE THE PRODUCT BETTER

It’s great to make a profit because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation.
— Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

These core values eventually end up meaning a lot and being very important to the team. In the book Hard Things About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz talks about how culture distinguishes a company from their competitors because not every company is the same. At Kaodim they make it a habit to create functional and great products for their customers, as well as ensuring they hire the right people that can bring the company’s mission to life.

Reflection

Came to think that everyone has been very nice to me especially the Data Team, maybe because I spent most of my time with them but nevertheless, they’re willing to teach me, no matter how clueless I am and have my back even when I’m down. (like during our little drinking session.) I guess we do live up to one of the core value:

BE RESPECTFUL & COMPASSIONATE

The entire retreat did bring everyone closer together and everybody got to know each other a little bit more. We had to cover each other’s ass during the white river rafting on the second day! No way could we reach the end of the river by ourselves but rather getting there together.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together 

I mean, it can also be:

If you want to die fast, paddle alone. If you want to reach the end, paddle together

White River Rafting! Don’t grab me Sourabh!

This entire post is just about what I’ve gotten from the company trip in terms of what I’ve learned and realized about us or Kaodim, would love to write a more detailed version where I break down each day. Only if I had more time!

Let us not lose sight of our vision and continue living these core values.

 It is what it is lah — Nicolas

KaoTeam

Really appreciate the opportunity given by Kaodim and gotta give props to the organizing team for their efforts in putting this together because it wasn’t an easy task. Photos by Khang Nguyen and Christopher Low.

For the original article, click on https://medium.com/@georgewong/1777854d456a