Plivo Reviews

Updated June 3, 2015
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3.5
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Venky Balasubramanian
4 Ratings

7 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Growth is (almost always) painful yet valuable.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Marketing in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Technical Marketing in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Plivo full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Disclosure:
    I gave 5 stars to balance off some reviews that I think are unfairly skewing the overall review. I may have given 4 stars otherwise, acknowledging no startup is perfect and also that there's a reason only a fraction of newly-founded technology startups ever survives for years. One of the reviews mentions the core members who left the company on a bad note. The comment is largely gratuitous. (I am one of the members mentioned there and I had to leave to graduate from my university.)

    Among many, I want to drive home the two strengths of the company which would be very useful for the kind of people who are ambitious, intellectually curious and determined to create success. If your profile does not highly correlate in those three dimensions, you may not thrive in the company. And I doubt you will anywhere else in the world of startups.

    Meritocratic culture
    - Working at Plivo was challenging for me in the sense that I felt there was no upper bound on how much responsibility I could assume and in turn how large impact I can have on the company's performance. If you work hard and get things right, you will be graciously rewarded by both external and internal incentives. Admittedly I have made not a few mistakes along the way. However I have never been treated unfairly or unfavorably by the team for these mistakes. Of course, you will have to own your mistakes by being willing to hear negative feedback. Hey, honest feeback is certainly bitter to swallow but that's the only way for you to grow and get better at what you want to be excellent at.

    Growth of technical expertise
    - The technical front Plivo is interfacing with is not a joke. The company has a very strong technical backbone/culture which has sustained itself for years. Even if you're an engineer coming from strong network/signaling or back-end backgrounds, there will be enough non-trivial and interesting challenges for you to work on. Even if you're not an engineer, you will naturally grow your technical understanding, interacting with highly skilled engineers. Tip: I did not mind asking questions. None has given me the impression "why are you wasting our time by asking such silly questions?". Hint: after a year's worth of stint at the company, I decided to minor in CS in my university. Even though my major was Business, pulling the straight A's from the CS study was fairly straightforward. I even won an award from an app development competition organized by a global technology company. All thanks to the skills and experiences I had acquired at the company.

    Some minor things:

    No office politics or BS
    - the culture does not encourage office politics. The management team has made concious efforts to crowd out any political or simply unfair behaviors that may affect the moral of other members.

    Open culture
    - the culture well accomodates benign eccentricity of members. i.e. rarely have I been at "hey that's politically incorrect" situations.

    Brutal honesty and transparency
    - If taken emotionally and personally, honest feedback might hurt you. If taken professionally, which takes time and some getting used to, you will ever more appreciate it. I realized pretty soon it is in MY best interest to seek honest feedback whether it's negative or positive.

    Cons

    The company shares challenges other high growth companies, run by a team of ambitious, smart and relatively young people face. For anyone who knows at least a bit about how startups look deep inside, this fact should come as no surprise.

    high expectation/pressure for performance
    - for those who just want to work somehwere, this characteristic might be a no-no.

    Advice to Management

    continue promoting people determined to take the company forward.
    continue building on the company's strength.
    continue obsesssing over growth.


  2. Great people + great values.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Plivo

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I came to work at Plivo right after graduating from one of the top business schools in the world (hint: it has a 3 letter acronym). I was very specific about the experience I wanted to have post-MBA, so I had a long list of criteria similar to VC type due diligence. Here are a few things I looked for in a startup:

    a) Strong leadership with direct industry knowledge. Plivo's CEO's have a combined 16 years of telecom domain expertise. The team is stacked with talent, but they're also willing to admit what they don't know. This has been a critical aspect of positive decision making. The two co-founders Mike and Venky also have solid work ethics. They are always working 3x more than anyone else and to watch them build this company has been inspirational.

    b) Open-minded culture with clear transparency. I've worked at companies where the leadership would "listen" to suggestions, but never act on it. Even during my interview process, I had active and transparent discussions with the CEO about Plivo's marketing initiatives. Since I joined, those discussions have actually turned into real strategies that we've deployed. This transparency and openness has allowed us to make swift and informed decisions every day.

    c) Solving challenging problems. Plivo isn't the biggest fish in the sea and it's good that way. It means that we have a fresh perspective on tackling incumbent industries and seemingly unsolvable problems. Even in product marketing, I'm constantly finding new methods to hack our growth and improve our market position.

    d) Disruptive technology. On the surface, we may seem like another telecom API startup, but the team is extremely focused on delivering more than that. They have been focused on delivering uncompromising quality every single day. Can't really say any more about what we're working on, but it will be a game changer.

    e) Sustainable growth. Not only is Plivo's leadership focused on growth, but they're also focused on building a sustainable company with healthy revenue streams. Plivo has been strategically quiet in recent years, but we are set to making some huge impacts in the next little while.

    Cons

    A startup is hard work and this should not come as a surprise. It should also not be surprising that because of this, startups have a high turn over rate and Plivo is no exception. However, those who stay understand that in order to truly change the world, you have to work through the highs and the lows.

    For those considering working at Plivo or any other startup for that matter, know that the glory of growing company profits 5x year-on-year does not happen automatically. If you work at Plivo, you will face challenging and stimulating problems on a constant basis. Plivo is not the company for you if you just want to just hit the cruise button. But also know that you will be surrounded by smart and dedicated people who will inspire you to achieve more and help you when you need it.

    Plivo is also a place of transparency and it may take some getting used to. Most companies will leave their employees in the dark, but the co-founders take it upon themselves to go through the company's financial standing every 2 weeks and perform weekly 1-on-1s with your direct reports. This transparency aligns everyone's goals and helps us push the envelope and shoot for higher objectives. 1-on-1s are direct and constructive, which also means that if you're dropping the ball, then you're likely to get feedback about it during the review. Even though some feedback maybe hard to hear, it has always been constructive. Not only do we go through the positives and negatives of each week, we also work on actionable initiatives to help reduce negative outcomes and boost positives ones.

    Advice to Management

    We often get so focused on work, that we sometimes forget to have fun. Though that is starting to change. So far on our agenda this year is go carting, wine tasting, Napa Valley tour, and many more!


  3. Lead Generation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Plivo (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Small management structure, fast paced

    Cons

    Lacks Professionalism, high turnover of people.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Awesome place to work!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer
    Current Employee - Engineer

    I have been working at Plivo full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    One of the best company cultures I've experienced. Great communication between teams to get things done.

    Cons

    Engineering driven team with focus on the product.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Feels great when you start, hard to satisfy manager demands, you are a bad guy when you resign

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Bangalore (India)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Bangalore (India)

    I worked at Plivo full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    * Good exposure to technical expertise.
    * Startup work culture.
    * Good perks like reimburse your gold gym membership

    Cons

    * standard compensation. don't join for money, they follow a fire and hire policy. In past, they fired and made people resign to hire new guys
    * dictatorship. If the CEO is unhappy, he will make your manager give you negative feedback
    * do your paperwork, especially for equity. They cheated few employees with just verbal assurance of equity.
    * you are nobody if you resign or get fired. Next day is your last working day

    Advice to Management

    Sell Plivo. U dont know how to run the company.


  7. Helpful (4)

    Poor Work environment; In the hands of a wrong co-founder (Venkatesh B)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Plivo

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - A good understanding of how a startup would function
    - Good understanding from a lot of hits and misses

    Cons

    - Poor work culture
    - Very high attrition
    - A lot of top employees left in the recent past - 1st Engineer of Plivo, Head of Marketing, Head of Content, Head of HR, VP of Sales & a few other core employees
    - Calls itself a startup even after 4 yrs to make you adjust to the poor work conditions there
    - Everyone who has left Plivo has left with a feeling of hate

    Advice to Management

    - The founder in India should stop instigating fights between teams
    - Be mature in sorting issues
    - Stop lying
    - Stop being paranoid for the wrong things
    - The camera that has been installed in the pretext of security should be taken of immediately. It is there so that the founder can snoop in on its employees when he wants. Funny part is, he thinks all employees believe his story.
    - The French founder should take more responsibilities in what is going on with the teams in India and the issues they are facing and not be solely stuck behind the product


  8. It is a awesome startup workplace for young talents

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Infrastructure Engineer in Bangalore (India)
    Current Employee - Infrastructure Engineer in Bangalore (India)

    I have been working at Plivo full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Product Industry, Quality work, Well funded, Good revenue, Fast growing, Technology company, startup work culture

    Cons

    We are a small team dedicated to serve our customers well. This often requires to work for long hours

    Advice to Management

    Flat management.. Just Founders working with Team.. :)



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