We caught up with Maithreyi Sairam from the People & Culture team to find out more about it.
PS: Maith made this quite easy for us by coming fully prepared and all it took was one question!
Defining a Fian as a person is extremely hard. So, let me talk about who we aspire to be:
The first thing is that they do the right thing, always, and put the user first. Something that comes up in almost every product discussion is, ‘‘are we doing right by the user?”. That’s one of the reasons we took a bit longer than expected to launch, to make sure we were doing right by the user.
When looking for potential Fians, we look for people who always try to do the right thing and who don’t take shortcuts. We look for someone who can build and maintain trust, regardless of how long or crazy the process is.
We love folks who can act in the interest of the team over the individual. We’re a diverse bunch of people and while we might disagree on certain things, that does not stop us from working towards the same goal. This comes from being empathetic and very good listeners.
There are no barriers, we love cross-functional collaboration. A Fian is very accepting of and open with the team while also challenging them to do better.
At Fi, we throw people into the deep end of the pool, in a space with a lot of ambiguity. And while this space has no walls, it does have guardrails. ‘Help will always be given to those at Fi who ask for it’, because nothing’s complete without a Harry Potter reference!
We expect Fians to think on their feet and take ownership rather than wait for instructions. We encourage people to talk to folks across teams. If they see something missing, regardless of being in that team or not, they say ‘Can I work on this? I think we really need it’.
We want people to be invested in the product and think like owners. Everyone’s a co-founder, everyone’s founding Fi.
Rather than simply stating that something isn’t going to work, a Fian asks why it won’t work and how we can make it work. And it's not just about Fi, we want people to be curious about what’s going on out there because at the end of the day we’ll never know what Fi can turn out to be with people thinking out of the box.
We want teams to always question the status quo. Questions like why is our revenue model the way it is or why are we packaging the product this way or why are we spending on this. It's only when you’re really curious that you can actually connect with the product and take ownership.
Something we look for in interviews is if this person is comfortable being themselves and can they create comfort between people. A Fian acknowledges that everyone is different and they let people be while being themselves.
It's little bits and pieces of all of these things that really makes a Fian. We won’t say this is exactly who we are but it is something we want to be. But as we define most things at Fi, we are a work in progress and accept the fact that we can keep changing for the better.