Suki Is Exactly What I Was Looking for in a Startup

May 9, 2022 Kiran Natarajan

Picture of a small iridescent silver dragon on a wooden base

I hadn’t heard of Suki when I started looking at new roles. But after almost 15 years at a large global company, I knew I was ready for a change. I wanted a place where I could have more impact, more ownership, and where I could learn and grow. And, I wanted to be able to interact with other teams and learn about what they were doing and see the whole end-to-end process of how a company works. Now, having been at Suki for almost a year, I’ve gotten everything I was looking for and a team who really cares about each other. 

A Different Type of Interview

From the beginning of the interview process with Suki, I was struck by how different the experience was. Before I even started the technical interviews, I spent time discussing with the hiring manager not only his expectations, but also mine. We talked about mutual fit, not just whether they wanted me for the job. Each person I talked with was open and generous. My last interview was with the CEO, Punit, and it was a great conversation. He wanted to answer any questions I had, and it was clear he would make the time for as long as I had questions.

Trust

I’ve found the flat hierarchy I was looking for in a startup. Everyone is friendly and approachable, no matter their title. I’ve seen other companies where the leadership tells you what to do and how much time you have to do it. The engineering teams’ views aren’t considered. Suki doesn’t work that way. We talk about the UI design and the important features, and we have multiple discussions until the plan is clear to everyone. It makes a big difference that the leadership team trusts Engineering. They trust us to do the job the best way and schedule each sprint with work we can accomplish.

Projects with Impact

I'm responsible for leading the engineering effort for Suki’s Windows Assistant, our latest product offering. It lets doctors use their voice to dictate and use commands in any application on their Windows computer - easing the administrative burden by enabling them to complete patient notes, write emails, and compose patient letters by voice with industry-leading accuracy. It gives them more time for what they really want to focus on - patient care. 

When we hear from clinicians about the impact Suki has on their practice, I know my work has real impact. One example: one of our users recently told us, “For the first time ever, I left work on time last week with no notes to do, and my notes are so much more comprehensive that it blows my mind.” I’m proud that we’re helping lift some of that burden for administrative work, and I think my dad would be proud too. He worked for the government in India, and I always admired his dedication and work ethic. He brought great sincerity to everything he did at work and at home.

Staying Connected While Working Remotely

Like many companies, the team has been working remotely mostly and has a plan to come back in person a few days a week. We’ve stayed connected while working from home - getting together to hike, having a party with our families, and, when we have virtual meetings, people ask about how you are and talk about personal things. I can be myself, not just an employee, when we work together.

I like a clean desk in my office at home, but I keep a small silver dragon on it. It was my Dad’s and was on his desk until he retired in 2009. It reminds me of his incredible work ethic and dedication in case I’m ever tempted to slack off. It’s become even more meaningful to me since he passed away last year. When I look at it, I think of the good wishes and luck it carries while I do work I’m proud of. 

About the Author

Kiran Natarajan

Kiran Natarajan is a Staff Software Engineer at Suki. He has a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science from National Institute of Technology Karnataka and a masters degree in Computer Science from Manipal Institute of Technology. He has more than a decade of experience designing and developing desktop and web applications.

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