Thanks for meeting with us today Patricia. I understand you started with Wrike in 2013 over in the United States and then came over here in 2015 to open up in Ireland. Tell us about your journey here in Ireland?
We just started with just two of us so a significant number of changes have happened since then. It was myself and another American who moved over here and our first hire was an Irish Recruiter. That was one of the best decisions we had made at that time. They had a massive advantage of knowing the people and the lay of the land.
As an American moving to Dublin there were some adjustments you need to make, the cultures are a little bit different, the working and buying culture are different for example.
What is your current role in Wrike?
I am the VP of Sales and the MD for the EMEA Operation. My role is to ensure Wrikes expansion and hopefully at a later date other regions as well.
What team did you assemble on arrival here in Ireland?
In December 2015 we brought on HR, Marketing, Recruitment, Customer Success and Sales teams all within the first few months of launching. It was mad chaos, it was kind of like a startup within a startup because the US had grown to a fairly significant size our other offices were already mature. This made us the “new-kid-on-the-block”.
I initially started in San Jose when there was just a handful of us and then to come here after I realised I the opportunity all over again. The nice part about that was I has seen and learnt from mistakes I had made in the past, so you can take those learnings and apply them here.
How did you find building up the business here in Ireland?
I found it to be more than I expected. We looked at Dublin, we looked at Amsterdam and looked in London and in all the normal places that companies look at to launch and we ultimately selected Dublin because we felt like there was a very diverse pool of talent and we felt like there was a lot of potential in it. That proved to be very much the case. There have been roles that we chose to fill here instead of San Jose because of the talent.
It’s been a great place to build, I love the “tech” community here because it’s welcoming. It’s far less aggressively competitive. It’s like “we are all in the same space, we’re all trying to do the same thing, let’s figure it out together”.
There are a lot of supports here as well like the IDA and the American Chamber of Commerce who help businesses like us to gain a foot in the door. It has been a fairly smooth – within reason process.
Have you been entirely funded by your own company or have you managed to obtain any funding from here in Ireland?
We have gone through an A round and a B round and all of our funding is publicly available online. We were “bootstrapped” for the first few years, so it was a very small company and it really changed when we received our A round and that was lead by Bain Big Capital Ventures and our B round was led by Scale Venture Partners.
Ireland is a fantastic leap-pad for Europe, was that a deciding factor also?
Yes, it is a fantastic leap-pad. Just thinking about the other businesses that have established here, the ones that have laid the groundwork for us smaller companies. They have built an eco-system that is really accessible to smaller companies looking for talent.
Can you tell what your talk was about today?
The panel this morning was around culture and how culture is far more than catered lunches and ping pong tables! I spoke about culture as it pertains to Wrike and a Wrike culture is built on a foundation of values. We have 3 core values, they are grow, execute and collaborate. A lot of the decisions we make are focused on those. It’s important to create an environment that fosters different thinking and diversity. Yet everyone in the team has a core set of those values.
Picking up from the diversity you mentioned. What would you say your gender balance would be like for Wrike?
In Dublin last year we were at 40% women and 60% men. This year we have grown quite a bit and I am happy to say we have increased that percentage to 44% females. Also to note 45% of the females working here are a part of our Leadership team.
It is a strong focus for us. We have a group called the “Women of Wrike” (cheekily referred to as WOW). That’s the new initiative that is being launched and led by our leadership team that allows us to enable women of all ranks to feel supported. We have sessions around diversity training as well as confidence and presentations.
What are your future plans for the year coming up?
About a year and a half ago we opened our official Dublin office. We had representatives from the Irish Government attend and almost a year and a half later we are almost completely out of space. We forecast at least another 20 more roles so we are now looking for a new home, so our next big event in Dublin will probably be opening another new office.
You have recently opened another new office in San Jose, can you tell us more about it?
It’s our new Headquarters, the space is brand new and only opened yesterday! It’s a really “hip” environment, I visited about 2 weeks ago. As our new headquarters, it holds all of our C levels and a lot of our functional leaders.
Anything else you want to tell us?
Yes, we are hiring! Even if you don’t see a role that meets your profile send us your CV, we want to hear from you.