Strength in diversity: Working in a global team

5 min read

GMS started as a small team in Kyiv, Ukraine, powered by a strong ambition —  to become the leader and the ambassador for trusted and transparent messaging worldwide.

Now, we are a global messaging service provider with over 15 years of operational expertise. In 2022, members of the GMS family live not only in Europe, where our story started but also in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. And we continue to grow!

How is it to be a part of a multinational tribe? Several members of the GMS team share their experiences. 

Abid Bashir, Senior Pre-Sales Manager from Pakistan

Andrea Hartmann, Accountant from Switzerland

Dlaivison Silva, Regional Director from Brazil

Mariia Melekhova, Senior Engineer from Ukraine

Chetan Mahadik, Regional Director from India


Ivan Lishchuk (GMS Blog Writer): Tell us about yourself. How has it been working for a diverse and multicultural company such as GMS?

Abid Bashir: I’ve been with GMS since 2017. My responsibilities within the company include providing sales support to our sales team regarding business estimation, technical queries from clients and discussions with them about any GMS product. Over the years, I have developed my interpersonal skills as cooperating with people from different geographies brings new experiences and knowledge.

I appreciate having many opportunities to grow as my scope of work is not limited to just one area. I also enjoy the new challenges and opportunities to visit different places and explore the beauty of Mother Earth.

Andrea Hartmann: GMS presented me with the exciting opportunity to work for an international company for the very first time. Before that, I had only worked for Swiss companies. I took the chance to learn new things.

Dlaivison Silva: As the Regional Director for Latin America at GMS, I am responsible for sales, pre-sales, and operations in this region. I have been working in multinational companies for the past 15 years. Being a part of an international company is an exciting challenge, as we need to work with different cultures and people.

Mariia Melekhova: In my opinion, it’s amazing to work with people from different countries with different backgrounds. Sometimes it can be challenging, but it’s never boring. I’m happy to be a part of a truly international company, interacting with people from other geographies and doing what I like — fine-tuning SMS firewalls!

Chetan Mahadik: From my point of view, the benefits of working for a multinational company are more than obvious. Firstly, it gives you a lot of experience and professional growth opportunities. Secondly, it allows you to work with some of the world’s best-known brands. As a GMS regional director for Asia, I can confirm that.


Ivan: What’s it like collaborating with GMS colleagues in multiple time zones?

Dlaivison: I work from Brazil and deal with both internal colleagues and external customers based in different time zones. This requires a lot of flexibility from the company and its employees. For instance, it’s not always easy to schedule a meeting with a person half the world away.

Chetan: Of course, there are a lot of bottlenecks when you cooperate with colleagues, partners, and clients from different time zones. First and foremost, you should consider a variety of factors to synchronise all the processes. But a significant advantage of a team working across multiple time zones is that you can essentially run operations around the clock.


Ivan: Give one interesting fact about your country.

Abid: Pakistan is a country full of natural resources. But what is more interesting — due to its large area is that the country offers vastly different climates in its various regions. You can switch between seasons in mere hours just by travelling through Pakistani regions.

Mariia: Nowhere else in the world you can find so many unique gypsum caves in such a small area, as in Ukrainian Podillia. Did you know that Optymistychna Cave is the longest cave in Eurasia and the fifth-longest cave in the world?


Ivan: Who do you mostly closely with, and where are they based?

Andrea: As a finance department member, I mainly work with my team in Switzerland. Besides this, I also often interact with colleagues from the Kyiv office — Ivan Kozak’s team. But due to the nature of my job, in every department, there is at least one person who knows me.

Dlaivison: Various colleagues from Ukraine, Switzerland, and Pakistan.


Ivan: English is the official language spoken in all meetings and emails at GMS. Have you ever found that to be difficult?

Mariia: No, I’m open to new challenges. Progress is not possible without a bit of stress. This helps to keep my English communication skills in good shape. 

Andrea: In the beginning, it was a big struggle for me, and I was afraid of speaking and writing in English. I’ve never been a language type of person. Even with High German, I had problems in school. Maybe that’s why I’m working as an accountant now. After so many years at GMS, my English has improved significantly, becoming almost my second language. At leisure, I watch a lot of movies in English with Albanian subtitles. Sometimes, I think in 3 languages.


Ivan: If GMS were a city, what city would it be?

Chetan:

If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere!

It’s up to you, New York, New York!”

Abid Bashir: Toronto: a kaleidoscope of different cultures, languages, interests, and points of view united by a single mission — to bring progress.


Ivan: Can you tell me about your experience of navigating cultural differences

Dlaivison: This is always such a diverse experience. The world is so vast and so rich in cultural differences. I enjoy meeting people and discovering the nuances that distinguish one culture from another. And I have a lot of respect for each culture and its individuality: from languages and accents to different behaviours. Life is eternal learning.

Mariia: For most people at GMS, English is not their mother tongue. Understanding different shades of spoken English because of different accents is a challenge for me. But I’m getting used to it and improving this language every day.


Ivan: Coffee or tea?

Andrea: Coffee, coffee, coffee! And energy drinks sometimes… My colleagues have already lectured me on how harmful this habit is.

Abid: Tea! I simply hate coffee because of its bitterness.


Ivan: Do you ever travel to visit your colleagues in other countries? What’s your favourite office to visit?

Chetan: Yes, I do. The Baar office is definitely amazing! It’s hard to explain, but I feel like I am  home there.

Dlaivison: Frankly speaking, I don’t travel that often to the offices. But I have visited offices in Kyiv and Baar already. Both impressed me a lot, and I consider them to be great places for work.


Ivan: Your top tip on collaboration within an international team for newcomers?

Abid: For newcomers, one thing is crucial — a positive attitude to learning. Demonstrate you’re willing to learn, and the GMS family will care for your wellbeing.

Andrea: Be motivated, focused, and engaged. You are a part of the team, and you impact the company’s well-being. GMS will significantly appreciate all your efforts.

Dlaivison: I have three recommendations I wish I had known as a newbie:

1. Team spirit matters: although people can be distant, the mindset must be to work as a team.

2. Understand and respect cultural differences.

3. Find your own way to feel convenient when working with people from different time zones.

Mariia: Don’t be afraid of asking questions as it helps establish friendly relations and you learn something new.

Chetan: Encourage friendships, build trust, be a team player but set some ground rules and don’t hesitate to take advantage of channels.

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