Wait, I work in tech?


Sandeep Kolli, our indispensable go-to for all things facilities, tells us how he never really set out to work in tech, and how the time demands are a world away from his original career.

I’ll be honest with you, this was not my plan! I set out to work in hospitality. That was what I’d studied, and what I enjoyed. Up to a point at least. And that point was when I realised that the job was practically a 24/7, never-stop kind of career.

So that was my starting point for working with Grab. I’ve worked in project management and facilities before, but they all came with the same issue – that when it was important for me to spend time with my young family, it was important for the job that I spend more time there! Something had to give, and you start thinking about what’s really important to you. And there’s always got to be some sort of give and take.

That’s what I get at Grab.

Give and take. And it just works.

Honestly, working in facilities you can pretty much work in any industry, for any company, but you’ll be hard pressed to find somewhere better than Grab. What I love is that we’re all on the same page; there are always some strange requests but there are never any unreasonable demands. I might be dealing with air conditioning issues one day and then be trying to remodel an entire area of the building to make it a more collaborative space for everyone the next.

What’s really different at Grab is the fact that you’re free to do things the way you see fit. And I know that’s true no matter what your role, whether you’re an engineer, a UX designer or a developer, there’s no ‘that’s not how we do it at Grab!’ there’s only ‘well, let’s give it a go and see if it works!’. And that’s a great feeling.

I love it because it allows me the freedom to explore one of my great passions. I hate waste. And I really hate just throwing things out. So what I like to do is repurpose things. Whether it’s converting an old bicycle into a bespoke monitor stand, using off cuts of bamboo to create a new ceiling for the café or even painting old tyres crazy colours and turning them into comfy seating – it’s not only ok, it’s actually encouraged.

So yes, my career has taken me from hotel management to working with Southeast Asia’s leading superapp, I’d never have thought of it.

And I certainly wouldn’t change it!