Here at Lilt, we’re passionate about helping localization leaders tackle big challenges and move the industry forward.
Internally, we’re just as focused on building a culture of inspiring and motivated individuals to help build the foundations to make that a reality. In our Employee Spotlight series, we’re excited to highlight the talented Lilt employees (or Liltonians, as we like to call ourselves) that have helped us get to where we are now.
This week, we’re excited to introduce Shreyas Karwa, an operations lead helping to reinvent how analytics are used at Lilt. We sat down with Shreyas to learn more about his background, what's new in his life, and what he does to stay busy outside of work.
What's your role at Lilt, and what does your day to day look like?
I am an Analytics Lead on the Operations team at Lilt. One of the best things about working on the Operations team is that I get to work with each and every department across the company. All departments are my customers, as my team aims to provide them with support when they need it.
Every day is likely to be different from the previous one as priorities shift continuously and as we, as a company, discover what works for us and what does not. For instance, my team is working on developing some critical ad-hoc metrics/reports for our leaders; managing critical operational processes like invoicing, payments, and margin tracking; supporting the Services team in managing our linguist community; developing dashboards on our BI tools; and, designing data architecture to create new and better processes to facilitate Lilt's growth.
What led you to join Lilt?
I love Lilt's research-backed product. I was completely blown away when I first saw the amount of research that went into developing Lilt's technology. It became increasingly evident how much effort Lilt continuously puts into making the platform the best there is. We have a team of extremely talented researchers, led by one of the co-founders, that continuously evaluate new ideas that can enhance the CAT tool in some way.
I also fully support Lilt's goal of universal information access. I think this goal resonates especially well with people like me who come from non-native English speaking countries. Knowledge should be available for people who are willing to learn and language should not be a barrier.
What do you like to do outside of work? How do you maintain a good work/life balance?
Working with huge amount of data for long periods of time can get really stressful. I like to go to bootcamps and just push myself working out until I am tired. I have found that this helps me to clear my head a bit and reset. I also like to travel whenever possible. I have traveled to 24/50 states in the US and I hope to complete all 50 and travel outside the US as well.
Out of Lilt's company values (Meticulousness, Quickness, Humility, Toughness), which speaks to you most and why?
Although all of these values are extremely important, meticulousness is my favorite. As a person who works with data so much, I think it is extremely important to be meticulous. Before joining Lilt, I was at a company in the Financial Services industry and worked closely with its Chief Financial Officer. I got into the habit of accounting for every $0.01 while analyzing millions of records of data and I brought this habit with me here to Lilt.
What's one fact or skill that you've learned while working at Lilt?
Time management and prioritization in a rapidly changing environment. Since it's a fast-moving startup, Lilt has a lot of quickly shifting priorities. The data analytics team gets requests of competing priorities from all stakeholders around the company. It is important to assign the right priorities, manage expectations, and deliver these requests on time. When I first joined, I found it a bit tough to concurrently manage these requests and allot my time to these requests. My team, and especially my boss, helped a lot in figuring out a good prioritization technique. We currently use these tools and task boards to prioritize all tasks and manage stakeholder expectations.
Since joining Lilt, do you think of translation/localization differently?
I have learnt so much about the localization industry since I have joined Lilt. It really is unlike any other and it is so fascinating! Unlike other industries, localization is still developing, although it's been around for ages. Yes, there are well-defined data points in the sector, however, we find that we are constantly changing the way we track data or even the way we define high impact metrics. Since all internal departments are customers for my team, we get to learn all the functions of all departments and we are able to show using data what functions/actions have beneficial impact on our margins or translation quality. This way we are able to assist stakeholders in making data driven decisions.
Even from just a data perspective alone, Lilt is different from other companies in localization industry. We track the important metrics in the industry but we also have some metrics that reflect efficiency of our core technology as well. And since my team is directly involved in providing most of these insights, these insights help us understand how the industry works and what needs to happen to make it more efficient.
What's the best career advice you've ever received?
Speak the same language as your customer - and that doesn't mean that you should learn new languages. A lot of times stakeholders within the same company speak and understand differently. For instance, when I speak with engineers, I use more technical terms. However, those technical terms don't always translate when talking to other, non-technical teams. Put yourself in your customers' shoes and think what they might and might not understand and figure out the best way to pitch your arguments.
Make it work, make it work better, make it work faster. This is sort of a mantra that I learned early on in my career and it has helped in delivering better products. I keep saying this to my analysts as well.
What languages do you speak or have you studied?
Apart from English, I speak Hindi, Marathi, and Marwari. I have studied a few others but, sadly, I don't think I am fluent in them anymore.
Do you like to listen to music while you work? If so, what kind?
It depends on the nature of work. If I need to write a code and just concentrate, then yes, I listen to music. I like 60s - 80s rock. CCR, Eric Clapton, Queen are some of my favs.
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Keep an eye out for our upcoming posts in both our Translator and Employee Spotlight posts! We'll continue to highlight people from across the company and our wonderful translator community.
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