There was a news article recently that the current owners of the eBay.in website in India are planning to shut it down soon. I was fortunate to be part of the founding team of this pioneering venture and to date consider it as the best days of my professional life. Here are my thoughts on why this was so:
People: The bedrock of any organisation. A big Thank You to the founding members of Baazee.com for consistently hiring great people. Not only were the team one of the smartest and talented that I ever had the fortune of working with, but also great individuals and team members. Humility, respect, trust and willingness to go the extra mile, while also knowing how to have a good time characterised the team.
Processes: While Baazee.com was a start-up, it was very interesting to observe that they already had a lot of processes in place that one expects in more mature organisations. This, to me, shows the foresight of the senior leadership team as it helped bring a strong sense of focus to the team. Everyone knew not only their individual role within the company, but also what others in the team did. As it to be expected, this was taken to another level with eBay. And I, personally, consider this as one of my biggest learnings from working there.
Plans: Another area where learned a lot. Both Baazee and eBay were very clear about their plans across the short, medium and long (2-3 years) terms. The process of making the plans was very inclusive, which meant that there was very strong clarity across the team on roles and objectives. This, combined with the processes mentioned above, meant that there was also a high level of transparency about the goals across the organisation.
Culture: All of the above meant that Baazee / eBay had a wonderful work culture. There was hardly any politics, second guessing, hierarchies, etc. Discussions were open and held in a respectful fashion and there was a true open door philosophy at the senior leadership level. I believe this enabled everyone to give their best.
Learning: There was ample opportunity to learn, especially at Baazee. Part of this stemmed from the fact that it was truly a pioneering organisation, so many of the things we were doing had not really been done before in the country. But another important contributor was also the trust managers had that their teams would do the right thing. There was little micro-management and mistakes, made with the best intentions, were tolerated.
I am sure there are other points, but I truly believe that Baazee / eBay was one of those rare organisations where everything just came together. People who were lucky enough to have worked there have formed strong bonds. When there was a get-together of alumni recently, nearly 60 from across the country and abroad made it a point to come together and have a good time. Cheers to eBay.in!