Business & Innovation- September 28, 2022
A day in the life of a CTO: Narek Verdian, Glovo
Narek Verdian has been disrupting the technology industry and growing high-performing teams for over two decades. Having joined Glovo as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in 2020, Narek brings a wealth of experience to the company – aiming to deliver high-quality, unique, effortless customer experiences.
We caught up with Narek to learn more about what a typical day in Barcelona looks like for the CTO.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
One thing I love about working at Glovo is that the employees are connected to the values of transparency, care, respect, and social responsibility in everything we do. As the CTO, I’m responsible for hundreds of engineering, data, IT, and security employees working in Barcelona, Madrid, and Warsaw. Of course, there is no such thing as a typical work day when experiencing hypergrowth – but there are a few things I try to do every week.
One day a week, I like to sit with my immediate team and make sure we discuss urgent topics and priorities and focus on strategy, vision, and how we want to shape the organization going forward. Then, on a different day in the week, I spend time with the leadership team to ensure everything we are doing in tech is aligned and that the communication channels between various departments are always open. As CTO, I believe it’s super important to get to know my team, so once a week, I also host an open “office hours” session – one hour virtually and one hour in person. During this time, anyone can “drop by” and discuss whatever topic is on their mind.
How do you ensure that your daily tasks fit within the broader scope of your strategy, mission, and vision?
Every engineer at Glovo has a responsibility to uphold our values. This is just as important as achieving our OKRs (Objectives & Key Results). So when we strive for reliability, more experimentation, or faster learning at work, we measure and evaluate this success alongside our values. The two always go hand in hand at Glovo – no exceptions – and contribute to higher efficiency. We have focused on this from day one as we grew from a small start-up to an international tech-first company with scarce resources. We keep efficiency and optimization on top of mind while pushing to keep delivering innovative solutions for our stakeholders.
How do you collaborate and keep in touch with colleagues across the world? What are the challenges and opportunities of working on global projects?
We are continually exploring collaboration at Glovo, given the complicated set-up of our business. With operations in more than 20 countries and being part of the wider Delivery Hero group, we have to keep in touch and work on projects with colleagues worldwide. Our technology needs to be as diverse as the countries we operate in, which means we have to collaborate and develop synergies, helping us to become even more efficient and deliver value in the shortest possible way.
But there is also an opportunity to leverage existing global services to enhance our efforts. If the technology exists, we use it. It means we can refine and prioritize our resources, spending time building new products and technology.
What’s something that you’re excited to be working on right now?
At Glovo, we’ve set the bar high, so there are always exciting initiatives that we work on. However, I have been spending a lot of time building the most agile organization, which can respond rapidly to change, faster than our competitors.
This is why one of our core focuses in Data has been transforming to the paradigm of Data Mesh. As one of the earliest adopters of this approach worldwide, we aim to make it easier for anyone in the company to access high-quality, trustworthy data to maximize the experience for users, partners, and couriers alike.