Nakisa
2.4 of 5 34 reviews
www.nakisa.com Montreal, Canada 150 to 499 Employees

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2.4 34 reviews

                             

33% Approve of the CEO

Nakisa President and CEO Babak Varjavandi

Babak Varjavandi

(30 ratings)

30% of employees recommend this company to a friend
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1 person found this helpful  

Happy that I left the company before it breaks down

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Montreal, QC (Canada)

I worked at Nakisa full-time

ProsBreakfast is included, BUT always check the expiry dates!

You will find many fantastic co-workers there, BUT hurry up, on average every week one of them is leaving (Why? check the cons)

The company is in downtown and has access to underground level (It is important if you know Montreal's winters)

The chairs! I missed them a lot. Variety of perfect office chairs that you can choose!

ConsThe company is totally SAP dependent (partner), and since SAP acquired their competitor (SuccessFactor), they couldn't make enough money!

Almost all the key people in the company left in late 2012 and early 2013, including 4 VPs (Marketing, PS, Finance and Engineering Operations)! Plus more than 10 developers, five testers and more than 10 people from other departments (More than 20% of company's population!)

The culture is awful. There is no place for feedback and criticism. The head of HR is the sister of company owner and executive. And his brother is in charge of release, test, IT and finance departments! So, if you are not happy with what they do (which is common), leave the company before they let you go!

Advice to Senior ManagementYou don't need to give jobs to all your relatives if you want your company grow.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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to be or not to be at Nakisa. See below and make your own opinion

Professional Services Team (Former Employee)
Montreal, QC (Canada)

I worked at Nakisa full-time for more than a year

Pros- Breakfast is included. And the selection isn't bad.

- The office is downtown

- The office space is nice

- The people that I worked with are dedicated (the employees)

- The pay was good

Cons- Insurance plan is way too high for what you get

- The PS team, is overworked, not appreciated, told that you have to work nights and weekends and you have to push your team to reach unrealistic objectives.

- They had a compensation plan that was not at all taught through (frankly I think it’s even been abolished)

- Some of the people that are “connected” are just dead weight and choke you when you try to push a little too hard.

- Not sure that the CEO is the right person to lead the company to where it needs to be

- They don’t even use what they sell to clients internally on themselves to promote key people in the organization that could make a real impact.

- No work life balance

- There has been a huge turn over for the past year.

- Things are not getting better.

- The company is hurting cash wise.

- Empty promises

My advice to people trying to apply there; if you already have a job, don't quit to go there, you will regret it as I did. If however you don't have a job and need one until something better comes along; go for it, you will pass probation and get a nice salary while something better comes in. Don't waste your time long term at Nakisa, your career will stagnate.

Advice to Senior ManagementI'm not sure if you are at the point of no return yet; but chances are you're close. You can't expect people to feel comfortable sharing some frustrations with HR if the head of that department is the sister of the CEO (clear conflict of interest)

Start cleaning your house, look at what has happened to your PS team, they are all leaving and the remaining ones are not going to put up it with any longer (trust me we all talk amongst ourselves.

Your biggest problem is in the development team (product) you have people there that aren't team players and think that they are "God"; they aren't and someone needs to tell them that.

 Also, you lost a key player that was coaching your director of PS... that was a huge loss and frankly the director's short coming are starting to show... Hire a new coach for him or replace him all together; he is too ZEN to drive a team. There is someone in that team that could run it the way it should... promote that person before that person leaves too...

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

A Great CEO

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Nakisa

Prosgood location, nice group of people working here

Conseveryone is always complaining, and rightfully so ...but still... it can become a very negative environment to be in day in and day out

Advice to Senior ManagementQualities of a Great CEO

A great CEO leads. They lead the team by creating a strong culture among the troops and continually fueling a vibrant “esprit de corps.” The great ones are both cheerleaders and task masters, only most never use those terms to describe their function.

A great CEO is clear. They define and communicate the strategy and create buy-in for this strategy along the way among the team members. … and they provide employees with many chances to weigh in with their views. Employees are not left wondering about the strategy because they can repeat the strategy

A great CEO gets their hands dirty. … They are right there, balancing the priorities and inspiring their team to help win the next opportunity. … They are quick to sort out mistakes in a “blameless autopsy” so that success may be achieved the next time.

A great CEO is strategic. They know what to do and how to do it. He or she is able to look right, look left and look out over time to see the moves and countermoves of the competition and react accordingly.

A great CEO knows when they aren’t a great CEO. They know what they’re good at – and when it isn’t being a CEO. They’re willing to seek others more able than themselves to take the helm.

I’ll add a few more

A great CEO knows how to listen, rewards loyalty and hard work, knows how to listen, offers adequate benefits, knows how to listen…

Opposite of these Qualities - That is the Nakisa CEO

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Not all is perfect

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Nakisa

ProsInformal environment
Great group of people. Employees are from different backgrounds. People are fun.
Company is doing great right now, so they are hiring a lot of help.
Company tries to create a fun environment
Company seems more organized than it ever was and is trying to simplify the jobs in a few departments
Creative solutions
Good place to start your career

ConsOverworked people
Crazy deadlines
No thank yous for working late
Unpaid overtime
Ridiculous benefits (5% of your pay, 70% reimbursed). Keeps on getting lower with the time you spend in the company.
3 weeks vacations that include 2 weeks vacation (mandatory in Quebec) and 1 week of sick leave (mandatory in Quebec). There are no sick or personal days.
The more years you spend in the company, the less likely you are to get promoted.
Company does not know how to handle change.
Company does not use Performance review for anything.
Company always goes through a hiring spell, then fires most of the new people who were hired.
We are entering a new recession, so the highest earners will most likely go first
Company does not retain their knowledge, most veterans have either quit or have been let go.
Salaries in departments other than RnD are much lower than the market

Advice to Senior ManagementTry to retain your talent
Less micro-management

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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9 people found this helpful  

Visualize your employees walking out the door

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Montreal, QC (Canada)

I have been working at Nakisa

Pros-Ability to travel abroad
-There are a lot of opportunities to learn new technologies and new methodologies
-The experience here allows you to spruce up your resume for future employers
-You can leverage the SAP partnership to learn as much about SAP as possible
-An advantage to such a high turn-over of people is that you get to meet many new people, so there is the chance to make new friends and relationships.
-Another advantage to such a high turnover is that in about 1 or 2 years time you can easily get "Senior" attached as a prefix to whatever title you decide to give yourself.
-There are some very smart employees in the company, learn as much from them as you can before they walk out the door. (Edit: this may no longer be valid as they are almost all gone)

Cons-Where to start….
-Independent thought is only encouraged if it is in line of the flavor of that particular week
-Regardless of what is mentioned here, there is no “work at home” for everyone. This is kind of on the “per employee” basis which would work great if you could be rewarded with that, but if your particular manager doesn’t believe in it…tough luck.
-Management doesn’t seem to trust their employees no matter how long they’ve been there. There always seems to be a sort of attitude that you as the employee are going to screw over the company some how.
-If you travel on a week-end (which you may have to do because of cost or time) good luck trying to get compensated (either with money or a day off) for your missed personal day. If asked, you will be told that this is part of the job description and if you don’t like it, you can leave (this may no longer be relevant as it seems like no one else can get fired since there are hardly any employees left)
-If you somehow manage to get yourself into the “doghouse” with the CEO, your only hope is that someone else moves in and the focus switches to him or her.
-Management likes to act chummy with people, but sometimes they need to own up and be professional instead of walking around swearing and dumping on other departments behind their backs.
-PS and R&D employees seem to have no respect for one another and instead of senior management addressing the situation, they seem to encourage it with their remarks and innuendos.
-Since the latest CFO came in, the benefits plan has steadily decreased in its offering, the cost has gone up and any employee perks have been eroded away.
-If you're about to start a job there, negotiate everything from salary to vacation days. It seems like you can easily get more vacation time than an employee that's been there 5+ years just by asking for it.
-Nakisa likes to think of itself as a big company by putting in big company rules, but they still have small company benefits and salaries. It seems like Nakisa CAN have its cake and eat it too!

Advice to Senior ManagementManagement, we know that you are actually reading this now but the question is what will you do about it? Let me tell you a few things that your employees are afraid to tell you. First off, the Director of HR is the CEO’s sister….can you say “conflict of interest”? Do you think that your employees will actually go tell her the truth about anything knowing that whatever you say will be reported directly to the CEO with your name attached? Come on, wake up.

Respect your employees. You’ve gotten away with treating us like dirt for so long that you may not know how to treat us any differently but it looks like you have no choice. Get the message from the droves of talented people you’ve pushed to walk out the door. I’m not saying that they were pushed because they got fired, they were pushed because you left them no choice. People are not as dumb and blind as you think. Pastures are far greener outside of Nakisa and since the “culture” is now non- existent, everyone is leaving to pursue better career opportunities and to finally get a decent salary for the hard work they’ve put in. We've all known that as soon as the economy was going to pick up, people were going to take off. Did management try to do anything about it? No...why would you? You've gotten away with not really having to pay us what we deserve, so instead of thinking ahead and prying open the wallet, you continue to pass the message that we should be lucky to have a job with Nakisa.

You have no idea what kind of confusion and distrust you cause your employees with the endless changes in direction for everything from the next release to the platforms we support. You’re quick to point the blame at individuals but hardly ever point the blame at yourself. When you do point at yourself, it’s only to take someone else down further. Here’s a key piece of advice, get rid of the family and friends that are yes men around you who only tell you what you want to hear. This company will never move forward without some senior management with some experience outside of Nakisa. Anytime you brought some outside people in, you got rid of them in a hurry since they didn’t just forget everything they’ve learned and did what the CEO says. There is one or 2 there right now, we had high hopes but they’ve learned to become yes men like the rest of them.
Its almost too late, but start treating your employees like adults and you’ll be surprised at how they’ll react. You’d better go to the people who you cannot afford to lose and give them what they want because we all know that they’re probably already looking for work elsewhere.

You can start to implement change, but expect to still lose people. Your employees have been burned too many times that nothing will keep them, but you have to start sometime right? It’s too bad that your pride and your thick-headedness has lead your company to be the shell of what it once was and what it could have been. Don’t kid yourself and think that “culture” is enough to keep people anymore. Wake up and realize that money, benefits and working conditions are what people really want, so stop using the recession excuse and start to match the market value for salaries.
One more thing, enough with the useless company meetings where you tell the company how great everything is going. When you ask people if they have questions, the question they want to ask is "if the company is doing so great, what do I get out of it?". Everyone is afraid to ask for fear of being "blacklisted" or fired for some unknown reason shortly after. Try throwing your people a bonus every now and then, this will actually prove to them that the company is doing great and they can feel like they get something for all the hard work and time they've put in. Instead they're told, "you've been working hard, but we need to work harder". People cannot work at 100% 365 days a year and you need to recognize that.

Good luck, it looks like you need it.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Could have been better

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Montreal, QC (Canada)

I worked at Nakisa

ProsGood product
It uses good technologies.

ConsSalary very low compared to others.
Minimal benefits

Advice to Senior ManagementCare for ppl who are present. Dont take them for granted.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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5 people found this helpful  

Looks great from outside but is rotten from the core...

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Nakisa

Pros-good place for 1 year only when you're a fresh grad with no expectations
-good place to get a head start at consulting or a foot in the door at SAP
-flexible hours (if you don't mind catching up after hours)
-mandatory 8 hours per day that need to be justified, documented and approved by your manager (same as if you worked in a factory and had to clock in and out)
-interesting product (but hasn't changed much in years--the code at least, the look changes frequently)

Cons-no sick days (taken off your vacation)
-minimal vacations (2 weeks as per the labor laws)
-very minimal health benefits (expensive insurance when you think about it, with very limiting benefits)
-No chance of getting promoted or having a promising title unless you have coffee with the CEO frequently or go to the same church
-No quality assurance is done (always ends up being done by the consultants who are overwhelmed with everything else they need to do with the project)
-HR is not that bad, they are just completely powerless because the CEO overrules
-You can talk to the CEO but he is stubborn, so don't expect your words to stick in his head
-Lots of nepotism when it comes to hiring (HR and CEO as well as some senior VPs are all related either by blood or through their beliefs)
-Lots of unpaid overtime (try 60-80 hours a week)
-Everyone is underpaid (except for external Sr. Management and VPs)
-Senior management and VPs are all external; don't expect to get promoted internally even if you worked there 10+ years
-Don't expect to be heard as a Sr. manager unless you take credit for ideas that come from the CEO. Your creative ideas will be shut down.
-Once you are considered the hero in a domain, you will be called in every time as part of the clean up crew.
-Expect interrupted week-ends, holidays and evenings with your family due to desperate phone calls because of customer escalations
-Meetings everyday, so no time to finish your work

Advice to Senior ManagementGet your act together! Start listening to your employees, they are not beneath you. In the end, when you go through 5 rounds of lay offs and you still survive, some people can't help but try to survive longer to feed their family and pay their bills, so we all understand the survivor mode and we are not mad at you, we are just disappointed and underappreciated. When all you try to do is survive, it's hard to think of others or really listen. Try to be less selfish and see the big picture!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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7 people found this helpful  

Horrible company - Read the other reviews before applying

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Montreal, QC (Canada)

I worked at Nakisa

ProsThe few remaining employees are very competent, dedicated and respectful. They are still trying their best to save the company.
Possibility to travel.
Lenient/flexible working hours. people can come in late, or leave early. (could be a bad thing when your manager is working only 5 hours a day or works from home 4 days a week)
Some very good employees activities. BBQ, Halloween party...

ConsEmployee morales are all time low. Employees spend more time talking about how bad the company is instead of working. Very unethical company, company promote / lay off employee based on the CEO's preference. If your idea is against CEO's vision, you are the next on the lay off list. If you have enough lunch and coffee breaks with upper management, you get promoted like a rocket.
You are forced to work over time all the time due to short-vision of the management. and you will be told by the CEO that you should feel thankful to work overtime for free.
There's no career path, succession planning, or talent management, despite the fact that we build software to do that. Senior people are told to stay where they are because they are good at it. They only hire managers/directors/VPs from outside, and most of them don't even last longer than 1 year, because they may have better offers or they get dismissed because they don't share the same vision as the CEO.
Employees are always under stressed, because customer escalations happen every day.

Advice to Senior ManagementDo yourself a favor, sell the company or let someone with a better management skill to manage it. Having an unique partnership with SAP, the company was supposed to "hyper-growth" as you mentioned in your gazette interview, but it didn't happen. The company has been restructured /downsized twice in the past 2 years, and you were the reason. Your incompetences and your actions have given reasons to the best of your talents to leave your company and it's too late to save them.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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6 people found this helpful  

Nakisa treats people terribly

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Montreal, QC (Canada)

I have been working at Nakisa

ProsStill a few good people left

ConsI have never met so many incompetent high level managers in my entire life. Employess are terrified of their high level management and cater to them constantly (they say jump and they jump whether it makes sense or not) - it's almost as if we're living in a dictatorship. Meetings and phone calls take up most of our time so we can't be productive but we sure talk a lot. Objective feedback isn't heard by management because people are too scared to speak their mind and the ones that do aren't really heard or eventually fired. The business is losing money but It's much easier to just talk than do something to make things better. If you're in a company getting acquired, you'll know what I mean soon enough but if you're actually wanting to start a career, look elsewhere. This is an awful place to work. There's too much focus on making profit, cutting cost and no consideration on looking after employees. Employee moral is at all time low. Currently there is no direction or guidance from the Senior Leadership positions. The Senior management level is so removed from the customers and work being provided, that the company no longer has/or is following their own guidelines.

Advice to Senior ManagementFire yourselves.You have many highly talented employees who have worked hard to earn the education to make this company run. Treat those employees with respect. They are not commodities. They will leave you. I am interviewing right now. I hope I get the job. I'll have no problem leaving.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Don't include this company on your resume.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Montreal, QC (Canada)

I worked at Nakisa

ProsThose in the trenches were generally dedicated and talented
Travel Opportunities

ConsComplete incompetitence of Management.

Dictatorial attitude of CEO - actully tells employees they are required to work overtime without pay and should thank him for the oportunity to help his compnay grow.

Hires 25 people when he needs 5 knowing 23 will be dismissed within a year.

Newbies - this is NOT a good first job. You will be so depressed and jaded by the time you get fired or laid off, that you will probably want to change industires.

Recruiters seeing Nakisa on your resume count it against you.

Advice to Senior ManagementTry using your own software....... stop treating employees like slaves and have some respect for someone. There are people out their you could learn from.....

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Nakisa reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Nakisa CEO Babak Varjavandi. All 13 reviews posted anonymously by Nakisa employees.