Embracing change as a tech lead

When Product Tech Lead Pratishtha exchanged India for The Netherlands five years ago, she wasn’t driven by a job opportunity or a passion for cheese and clogs. She was looking for a change. “I wanted to truly immerse myself in an unknown culture, meet new people, and grow as an engineer and a person. Looking back, I feel that moving here and landing a job at bol was meant to be. Besides feeling at ease in The Netherlands, bol’s company culture really connects with my own values.”


New beginnings

Starting over in a foreign country is not an easy task. Still, Pratishtha’s experiences seem to have been mainly positive. “I initially worked for a tech company in Amsterdam with lots of other expats and truly enjoyed myself there. Then bol came along, approaching me with an exciting job offer. As a consumer, I loved the company, but I didn’t know much else about it. Through reading blogs and listening to their Techlab podcasts, I discovered that bol’s company values and tech vision really resonated with me. So, I said yes, and started in my new role as Product Tech Lead.”

A different type of onboarding

Pratishtha’s first month at bol was not at all what she had expected. She smiles when she recalls: “It was quite the surprise. While in other jobs I was used to having tasks and responsibilities assigned to me, at bol I was given complete freedom to shape my own role. During the first month, I got to interview bol’s leaders and engineers, received mentorship from various team leads, and gathered all the information I needed to discover how I’d fit in.”

She continues: “In hindsight, this was the best onboarding I could have ever received. In just a little over a month, I felt like I had truly connected with bol’s team members and absorbed the company culture and its way of working. That’s when I decided to choose Invoicing as my preferred product and took charge of leading five teams.”

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We all need role models in ourlives, and that’s not a given forwomen in tech. Here at bol, I lovethat genuine efforts are made tounderstand women, see theirchallenges, and create a platformfor them.

- Pratishtha Pandey, Product Tech Lead

Feeling valued and heard

“I must have asked 1000 questions during my first few months at bol, but my colleagues have always been super patient with me and truly wanted me to become part of the team. Even though I’m the only non-Dutch person in my leadership department, it doesn’t feel that way at all. My colleagues make an effort to involve me in their Dutch jokes and are genuinely interested in Indian culture too. Here at bol, everyone is welcome – no matter where you are from.”

Pratishtha soon noticed that this feeling of inclusion extends to gender as well. “Both our CEO and Director of Engineering are women, how amazing is that! Seeing these women do incredible things makes me feel like anything is possible.” She continues, “We all need role models in our lives, and that’s not a given for women in tech. Here at bol, I love that genuine efforts are made to understand women, see their challenges, and create a platform for them. That happens very organically. There is a vibe here that encourages you to comfortably pitch your ideas, take a step back when you need to, and grow immensely when the time is right. It’s an incredible feeling to have your opinion heard and valued, and it makes me even more passionate about my job.”

We build it, we run it, we love it

Pratishtha has been in The Netherlands for five years now, and when it comes to her future, she’s pretty settled. “When I first came here I didn’t have a specific plan, but now I really feel like I’ve found my place and I’m here to stay. I appreciate the Dutch way of being open where people ask for your ideas, and communication is a two-way street. It took me some time to get used to, but now I lead my teams in the same way.”

“Our engineering teams have this saying: ‘We build it, we run it, we love it.’ It means everyone has control over what they create and how they create it, and the product becomes like their baby. Even though I’m part of a big company, that attitude makes me feel like I’m working in a startup. Anything is possible here, as long as you put your mind to it.”