Co-founding Kula: Feeling alive, Laying the foundation, and Cultivating culture

Suman Kumar Dey
January 25, 2022
3 Mins

It feels new. I have never flown without the safety net (or the golden handcuffs). Being a founder has unlocked a level in me and I feel truly alive for the first time in my life. And this is the story of how it all started.

New Country. Old People.

I remember meeting Achu for the first time, back in 2014. He joined as the first-ever recruiter. We became friends over hiring, tennis, and cricket. Not many people know but Achu has played cricket at professional levels.

The scale we witnessed together was unfathomable. We saw walls breaking, offices expanding, and new faces almost every single day. We grew from less than 100 to more than 1000 in almost no time - and Achu made it happen like magic. He'll meet you once and remember things about you forever - makes him the leader he is.

Striking Gold

Achu and I kept in touch through the years and fate brought us both to Singapore. We began talking over food, coffee, and other stuff. It was March of 2021, I was with Salesforce and have been toying with different ideas to start up on my own. As always, Achu was bang-on with the timing. We met for a coffee, and as he ran through his thesis, I knew I had found the perfect idea and the perfect partners to take the leap.

I have hired dozens of people throughout my career and it takes hours off your otherwise perfectly productive day. That's just on the part of the hiring manager. When Achu shared the pain on the side of recruiters, I could see the massively underserved market that just deserves better.

Laying strong foundation

We want to build Kula as the absolute best tool for recruiters. That's the outcome. To arrive at that, the foundation has to be strong, the processes stronger, and the culture strongest.

We have built a very strong foundation for the engineering team at Kula. I am very proud of what we have achieved with such a small team. We want to keep the engineering culture transparent and open for everyone to contribute and work with high autonomy.

Something that excites me, and I want to ensure it as a culture of the engineering team at Kula is - continuous learning. Engineers love new technologies, and they love newer challenges. You keep on mixing the two, and you arrive at a culture of self-serving innovation.

The other thing that I value the most is flexibility. I am a night owl myself. While some of my teammates are early risers. That doesn't stop us from doing our best work and finding time to collaborate. I want to ensure that it never does, even when we expand our teams massively at Kula.

And the third simple rule is - Don't be a jerk. Treat others as you want to be treated. We would ensure that everyone - without exception, regardless of their position within the company, years of experience -- must be treated equally, with dignity and respect.

Keeping strong fundamentals and building a great engineering culture from the ground up is consequential because it will help every developer to express themselves to their fullest potential. And that's how the greatest piece of work has come out in the world - from folks who were given the freedom to express themselves.

The Kula culture

Our company culture is a living, breathing concept. We are very young to even have a defined set of principles, but we inherently understand the kind of company we want to build. The fundamentals are a great place to begin and to guide us in becoming a loved and cherished workplace for folks at large.

The company culture also doesn't live in a document. It is a summation of values and behavior that people bring to the workplace. And we are looking for folks with the same fundamentals. If you are looking for a challenge, like how I was, we have a place for you. Find us on LinkedIn or drop me a line on 'suman at kula dot ai'.

Have a good one.

Suman Kumar Dey
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