Cover Story: Shilpa Kadam, UX Studio Partner

Meet Shilpa Kadam, UX Studio Partner – Globant Pune
Here at Globant, our Globers represent and live our culture. Cover Stories are a space to feature recognized Globers. In this edition, meet Shilpa Kadam, UX Studio Partner at Globant, from Globant Pune in India.

– What has been your career path at Globant? What have you changed gradually to adapt to new roles and projects?

My career has always been ruled by ‘new or next’! After studying Applied Art & Advertising, I moved out of the traditional advertising career to space and retail design, then to digital design very quickly. This was the late 90’s – UX was not even a formally recognized field back then (HCI was, but it was not mainstream)! New super specializations have evolved since, and I get to dabble in many of those!
At Globant, I have been able to use my previous multidisciplinary experience in many projects. I never restricted to design alone, instead always operated in the scope where business, technology, and design merged. At Globant, I equate my tenure as having four different jobs. As a design lead conceptualizing and managing startups’ products, to now mentoring large multidisciplinary teams as a design leader across various locations is very different. The scale and nature of transformation ‘programs’, the varied domains and global collaborations for global giants is the next level after Globant acquired us.
Collaborating with world-class design + technology leaders across the world to solve complex problems, life has certainly been one great journey thus far!
Over the years going from a creator to enabler/facilitator for the team, from pursuing a personal passion to growing team’s collective passion and zeal, has been a huge change, and that responsibility changes you as a person.
One thing that has not changed and will not, is my enthusiasm and pursuit of excellence.

– How has Globant’s culture positively influenced the work you do?

Globant is always on the cutting edge (of the next big thing) and that enables newer challenges that sometimes you cannot even anticipate. While there is structure, designations and profiles are ‘non-boxed’, meaning there are no boundaries (if you want) this enables people like me to step out of standard expectations to explore self-potential in different ways.
I have worked independently in the past, so having an entrepreneurial spirit really helps you to go a long way. A deep sense of ownership, and being able to take full responsibility – even beyond your ‘technical’ expertise, is very crucial for success.
The office is buzzing with people of similar or higher passion for doing good work – it rubs off on you! If you aim at outdoing yourself (everyday!) then passionate colleagues and clients who share your passion and energy are a ‘must have’ ingredient. In the last nine years, I have made some great friends for life at Globant (and erstwhile Clarice)!

– If you had to define yourself with one of Globant values, which one would it be?

Constantly Innovate – always find something new and exciting, never rest.
Aim for Excellence – excellence is the only way to exist in everything you do.

– What do you consider to be a balance between your work and personal life?

In the past, I used to be a workaholic … a few health wake-up calls made me realize it’s important to find balance. Now, I consciously find breathers in life with family (my adorable nephew), travels, spirituality and reading. These not only bring the much-needed pauses on one hand and new energy on the other. Beyond that, pauses allow me to introspect periodically, and new experiences enhance my perspective of life.
The one thing that I have always retained is ‘the child in me’. To allow oneself to wander and wonder, to enjoy the small pleasures in life can be the greatest gift to oneself.

– Define Globant in 3 words.

Truly, madly, deeply – Always in beta!
Being in beta can be very challenging if one is not open to change. Personally, I choose constant change over stagnation!

– If we mention the following things, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

  • Work culture: Transparency, trust, challenging
  • Technology: Always evolving, always disruptive
  • A country where you were relocated/ or have lived: India is extremely diverse!

– How do you motivate your team?

I operate with complete transparency. In my experience, that attitude helps the team trust in you, challenges faced together have better outcomes. I like to treat my team as stakeholders of Globant (organization) as well as their own careers.
The world we live in today – it’s very dynamic and always evolving. Therefore, in our careers, it’s very difficult to chart a very well defined (or typical) career path unlike in the past. I like to remind my team to embrace change, be open to new tangents, and generally find method in the madness. This is especially true for design fraternity and for young designers.
Having honest, open conversations bring a sense of shared responsibility – it helps me align my teams’ personal goals with the organization goals – they have to co-exist.
Lately, we have had some excellent meet-ups and events. Some of these sessions forced us to think differently about our day-to-day work, find workarounds and enable a meaning and higher purpose for our existence.

– Anything else you’d like to add?

Working with some of the young millennials these past few years have made me realize that mentoring can be a very fulfilling and satisfying experience. I’m making this a personal mission to groom a new breed of designers to start thinking beyond their abilities (which is super essential). that it is also important to have a vision of the business and the organization at large

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In high-performance organizational culture, we understand the importance of connecting passion and finding pleasure at work. Throughout our years of experience in crafting our organizational culture, we have seen elements that can be described as relevant parts of that culture. Get to know those elements and how they play out in a Globant's experience.