17 February 2023

Settling into an international team: the story of relocation and meeting people from around the world

Relocation can be both a challenging experience and an inspiring new discovery that lets you get to know a new culture, people, and places. Amitava Basak, our program specialist from the Operational Excellence team, joined us last year and relocated from India to Malaysia. We spoke to him to find out what relocation is like, what to expect from working in an international team, and how to prepare for it.

I am working in the Customer & IB Operations department. My responsibility is to improve processes all over the company: review them, identify gaps, and mitigate them to enhance overall efficiency. We call it process transformation. We look at how Exness works and try to make it work better. We analyze the current situation and come up with sustainable technology driven or control driven initiatives towards continuous process improvement. We work with the customer side, back office, trading, Salesforce, and other functions, applications, and flows. We also check if there are any AI or ML integrations that can improve the process and measure impact.

For example, I have been working on Personal Trading Bonus Procedure. It involves the constant interaction among 3 roles:

  • Requesters (like Commercial/Sales, Marketing, Loyalty, Technology, Data Office, Anti-Financial Crime department, Trading Anti-Fraud team, Payment team, Support team)
  • Approvers (Specific department heads)
  • Processors (Complaints & Loyalty teams)
  • And it has a lot to do directly with our customers. We have applications and algorithms involved, a lot of documentation, and various customer segments. The intent of this project is to ensure that we provide bonuses (such as goodwill bonus or catering to certain purposes) to eligible clients who are helping Exness to achieve the long term goal of being a transparent and trustworthy trading platform across all trading instruments.

    This procedure helps identify eligible clients across all regions and requesting departments to streamline the end-to-end personal trading bonus procedure with quick engagement among all parties involved to ensure deserving clients or partners get the bonus on time meticulously. 

    To solve this problem, we talked with everyone and analyzed the situation. Then, we came up with short-term fixes that could be done immediately and proposed long-term improvements. We trained all teammates involved, performed the quality check, and prepared initiatives for further implementation. In simple words, we bridged the knowledge gap first and then built that entire workflow to create a win-win situation for the company and its customers.

    Why I relocated

    I work in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but I come from India. I decided to relocate for 3 main reasons.

    1. Opportunity and challenge. Exness is one of the top trading platforms available in the market. I researched its number of customers, trading volume, and other parameters, and it impressed me. Besides, Exness is a product-based company. And it felt challenging and exciting compared to my previous experience at only service-based organizations. 

    When you build a service, it's hard to recognize the value you're creating. You don't interact directly with customers, and it's almost impossible to see how people use what you've made. On the contrary, when you work on a product, you can feel the impact and see the change you have brought. You hear directly from your customers and stakeholders. And you have the opportunity to see whether something is working perfectly or needs fixes.

    2. Culture of openness. In Kuala Lumpur, there are people from different parts of the world. They are so diverse and open-minded, and it's a pleasure to talk to them. For instance, my boss always acts as an example of open-mindedness. He gives good feedback that helps me to assume my strengths and change my approach where needed.

    3. Impressive benefits. Without a doubt, Exness provides great, employee-friendly benefits. I have never received such treatment at any other organization. I‘ve got the relocation package, access to professional training, health and life insurance, education allowance for you and your children, good food, and many other helpful perks.

    Relocation in progress

    It took 3 months to get shifted from India to Kuala Lumpur. Everything went quite smoothly. My boss, the HR team, and other teammates were on top of the process, updated me about the progress, and helped a lot. I had some difficulties with the paperwork: new scans or additional documents were constantly needed. But this seems typical for bureaucratic processes, such as getting a visa.

    From the very beginning, I was trying to get as much information as I could. I checked with the HR team and other people from the Malaysian office, and they were very responsive. They shared their recommendations, necessary contacts, and links. I felt very cared for: if I got stuck, there were people ready to help.

    The first couple of months after I arrived, I spent plenty of time with my teammates. It helped me to get to know the new territory and its difference from what I was used to. Then I started opening up: I went to various places like parks, shopping malls, and cafes and socialized with local people. As of now, I have been here for 5 months. And so far I like living in Kuala Lumpur—it’s beautiful and thrilling, and the people are so open and easy-going.

    Sure, it took some time to pack and prepare for the move. But I do not see these steps as serious difficulties. There will always be challenges, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to priorities. We should always evaluate factors before we make our decisions. And for me, the whole experience was definitely worth the opportunities.

    Working in an international team

    One of the reasons I am happy with my work and relocation is that I joined a team of individuals from different cultures. 

    There is a Persian expression: all fingers are not the same. I believe it is a great gift to learn something new about people and to understand their values, traits, and habits."

    I have a chance to witness how they talk, move, work, and greet each other. I make mistakes, then adjust and see the change in the reaction of people around me. This constant learning cycle pushes me out of my comfort zone. And I enjoy watching other new teammates come out of their shells, open up, and communicate with each other.

    Initially, there is always a barrier to the unknown. But I believe it is not the case that people don’t want to talk for no reason. Somebody has to break this glass ceiling and take that first step ahead. And who knows what happens next. Maybe you will become best friends. At least, that's what has happened to me so far.

    Getting started in a global team

    I recommend following 3 basic but important steps:

    1. Observe and understand. First, make up your mind that you are now in a team of individuals with different backgrounds. They can have different beliefs, upbringings, and habits. And it makes sense to get to know them better by observing. If you immediately interact with them in a way you would in your home country, keep in mind that they may take it differently than you are used to.

    In India, we can easily share where we are going right now. If I go to the kitchen or the bathroom, I can tell my colleague about that. But people from other cultures perceive it differently, and someone may not want to know this at all. It does not mean I am doing anything wrong, but I can easily change my behavior if it makes someone uncomfortable.

    2. Start talking to them. It is better to take small steps and begin with a lighter note. Don't make fun of anyone, but understand their response and behavior. Slowly communicate with them, even if they don’t respond. Everything happens in good time. If you say “Hi!” every day to a person, one day they will “Hi!” you back. That's important.

    3. Do what you love. Your hobby can also bring you friends. At least it worked very well for me. In my spare time, I like to play soccer. I am a huge fan of this sport and Lionel Messi in particular. When I was a child, I even wanted to become a soccer player. I changed my mind and switched to another professional field, but I still like to kick a ball. And every time I go to a park here, I meet other people to play with and bond with.

    I also just love to communicate with people. I can go to any place where there are many people, start a conversation with a stranger, and make friends. I love it so much. It helps me to learn something new and fuels my energy.

    The best part of my work

    Definitely, the most rewarding part of my job is bridging the gap and building collaboration among different teams. Sometimes people work in silos. And even if they know the problem, they may not talk to each other to figure out what to do with it. And I help to change that. 

    Interacting with different teams and understanding their process nuances and challenges inspires me a lot. Problems can have multiple solutions, and I need to test hypotheses and find the best possible one. So, every day brings new challenges. And it fuels my interest and makes me love what I do.

    The most challenging part

    The most challenging part of my work is getting everyone to agree to a change. Let’s face it, as human beings, we are reluctant to change. And we don't want to do anything until we see the value or feel the inspiration. 

    I see that initial hiccup everywhere. I used to execute a project and talk to various teams. And in the very beginning, people used to step back and ask, “Why are we going to do that?”, “Why are you trying to change something we’ve been doing for so long now?” Then, they see the value and the magic of improvements, which makes them extremely happy. From that moment on, they want to involve me in other upcoming projects. Therein lies the beauty and challenge at the same time.

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