2018, a year of explosive growth here at Product2Market, is coming to an end. For the final blog post of the year, we sat down with an employee whose day-to-day work at P2M is one of the keys to the company’s ongoing success – Product2Matket office manager Hansha Juggurnauth.
Hansha is the first face to greet every new customer, new employee, and visitor to the office, and many consider her the glue that binds P2M together. We sat down with Hansha to ask her about her background, her role within the company, and what she loves most about working with all of us here at Product2Market.
Q: For those new to the company that might not know you well yet, can you tell us a little about yourself, Hansha?
A: Sure. I’m originally from Mauritius, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. I’ve been in Ireland for six years now, and after all this time, I’m just now starting to get used to Irish weather. My official title at Product2Market is office manager, but I also provide executive assistance (EA) support to our c-suite execs, Anthony and Len. Working as an EA for those two lads has really given me a feel for our business at P2M, and I’ve gained some deep insight into how we support our customers.
Q: Can you give us a summary of how you see your position at Product2Market?
A: I once read somewhere that office managers are the backbone of every office, and I definitely stand by that statement. My job is to keep the office running smoothly, and during a period of rapid growth like we’ve experienced in 2018, doing it is no easy task. My job presents challenges on multiple fronts – I’m responsible for the coordination and preservation of P2M’s culture, technology, and security, all of which are crucial to our success.
Culture is especially important, as our C-level execs are very passionate about creating and maintaining a strong one at P2M. From my first day in 2017, I’ve understood the importance of an office manager in supporting the culture-building mission. For me, that means maintaining strong personal relationships with all of our team members every single day so they know they can depend on me when they need me.
Q: What’s an average day like as office manager at P2M?
A: My day-to-day job is divided into completing standard tasks while also staying available to support the team when out-of-the-ordinary requests pop-up, which can and does happen at any time. I’d say I easily get more than 50 unscheduled tasks and requests landing on my desk every day. I have to be able to deal with those in addition to hitting my normal deadlines. As you can imagine, being organised at all times is absolutely imperative. Luckily, P2M is an innovative place by nature, so we’re constantly evaluating new applications and tools to help manage workflow and collaboration. For example, most of my tasks are shared and completed through Dropbox Paper, and we also make great use of Google Apps. That innovative use of tools is something we really push as part of the culture here at P2M, and it’s a huge help to me in managing my highly dynamic workload.
Q: What’s it like working as an EA for Anthony Byrne and Len Brennan?
A: Honestly, it’s great. I really love the EA-side of my job because of those two lads. They’re great to work for, and they’re always extremely supportive. As you can imagine, I also get a ton of exposure to the inner workings of the executive-side of the company since I manage their calendars, emails, and calls. It won’t be long until I’m ready to launch my takeover! But in all seriousness, although they work very differently and focus on different parts of the company, they’re a great team and are very complementary to each other as managers.
Q: You mentioned that they have different styles and areas of focus. Can you tell us a bit about Len, in specific?
A: Len is one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, and he likes to work very strategically through his functions. He always thinks carefully before he speaks on any subject, and I really admire the wide range of areas he has expertise in. Within the company, Len is responsible for finance, operations and ICT – information and communication technology. With a major growth year like 2018, you can probably imagine how busy Len’s been with all of those areas, especially finance. An enormous amount of his time is eaten up dealing with our bankers, modelling growth scenarios, and managing day-to-day financials. He also personally designed and implemented our technology stack, allowing us to enable our managers to improve performance within their teams.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect this year, and Len also took on the new role of Data Processing Officer. As DPO he was responsible for designing and delivering the company’s GDPR compliance program. Len spent a lot of time at the beginning of the year meeting with consultants and lawyers as he redesigned P2M’s workflow to be GDPR compliant, and thanks to those efforts P2M is extremely strong on compliance. That job never really ends though, since as we grow, every new team member needs to be certified internally on GDPR, and Len personally delivers that workshop. He’s extremely focused on making sure everyone at P2M is engaged with our GDPR content, and we’ve had great success so far as a result.
Overall, Len is a very disciplined guy that can stick closely to his calendar. It’s amazing what he can cover and close-off in a work week, and as an office manager and EA, it makes my job easier knowing his use of the calendar is so dependable. It’s no surprise time management is so important to him though, since he and his partner Lidia just had an absolutely beautiful baby girl, Victoria. I really admire how efficiently Len operates, and I strive to implement some of his time and task management strategies into my own daily work.
Q: So, if Len is a calendar ninja, does that mean Anthony is the opposite?
A: Yes. Absolutely. Anthony works completely differently to Len, which can be a big challenge for me sometimes. He’s great at planning his week, but by Friday his calendar looks nothing like it did on Monday. He constantly reprioritises his time to facilitate extra meetings and calls with clients and to make time to discuss emerging business challenges with our management teams. I learned early on in my time here that Tony is a bit of a workaholic and also a very detail-oriented guy. He’s immensely focused, and once he has his mind set on something, he pursues that task relentlessly until it’s done. He really is the most ambitious man I’ve ever known, a real force of nature. It isn’t uncommon for me to walk into his office and strike up a conversation only to realise he hasn’t even noticed I’m in the room because he’s so transfixed by whatever he’s working on.
Tony is a people person, and that means he’s constantly meeting with or speaking with someone either internally or externally. It’s very typical for him to have seven or eight conference calls in a day between meetings with our program managers and team leads. He cares a great deal about knowing all of our employees, and so he likes to spend time on the sales floors “listening to how everything sounds”, as he often puts it. He can be a bit sharp with people at times, but that’s only because he knows time is precious and he doesn’t like to see it wasted. But I know him well, and he’s an extremely kind guy. He supports a lot of causes and charities around Dublin, give allot of his money away and he does most of it completely anonymously, which I think says everything about the kind of person he is.
I mentioned earlier that he’s a workaholic and a people person, and that unique combination resulted in Tony racking up over 200,000 business air miles this year. He’s constantly flying back and forth to spend quality face-time with customers in San Francisco, Los Angles, London and our partners in Utah. He works hard to make himself completely open to our team, and he’s told me multiple times that he considers himself available 24/7 to help solve problems. That’s probably why his phone never seems to stop buzzing with email, Slack chats, text messages, etc. Somehow, he seems to be able to manage all those communications in real-time. It’s an impressive skill. And when he says he’s available 24/7, he means it – Tony doesn’t need a lot of sleep. I don’t know how he does it, quite frankly. He really has a passion for people, matched only by his passion for the growth of our business.
Being as people-focused as he is, loyalty is important for him. In fact, it might be the most important thing actually. He’s the kind of guy that would do absolutely anything for you if he feels like you’re loyal to him. But, that being said, if you’re not loyal, I’d recommend you change your name and leave town quickly! I’m kidding, of course! Or, am I?
Anthony’s adorable daughter Lily is the apple of his eye, and it’s really cute how many times you’ll see “FaceTime with Lily” in his calendar throughout the week. I know sometimes he feels guilty about working so much, and late-night meetings and business travel definitely eat into his time with his daughter, but I also know that everything he does, he does for her.
Q: You spoke earlier about how important company culture is at P2M. How does your position as EA impact the culture-building side of your job?
A: I work hard to be an internal ambassador for our culture in the office. Company culture generally comes from the top down, and Tony and Len have definite visions for how they want Product2Market to operate and to feel. The single most important goal is to make P2M a positive work environment that makes people want to come into the office every day. A lot of companies talk a big culture game, but then simultaneously consume their employees. They want things to look positive, but then treat their employees as expendable. Here, people really do come first, even if it’s something as simple as how much importance we put on things like celebrating birthdays or special events together. I love the fact that as office manager and EA, I can have a direct role in translating the positive vision Tony and Len have into the real-world daily operations in the office.
Q: Thank you so much for sitting down with us, Hansha. To finish up, can you give us an idea of what you think 2019 has in store for P2M?
A: One word – growth! When I started at Product2Market, Len said, “Hansha, we’re going to grow fast, and this is going to be a fast-paced ride.” In true Tony-style, Tony told me it was time to “get in the ZONE!” They were both right. The growth I’ve seen since I started in 2017 has been insane, and I think 2019 will be more of the same. My position gives me a bit of a sneak peek behind the curtain, and I can say that a few things I’ve seen on the horizon include a new program launch, another new office, and growth across all of our teams. It honestly feels like the longer I’m with the company, the wider my involvement and responsibilities become, and that’s a good feeling. I’m really looking forward to 2019 and the future beyond, and I’m so grateful to be a part of the Product2Market story!