Zühlke – Empowering Ideas

Project-Manager-Career-Journey
Insights

Redefine work-life balance in a rewarding culture

Discover how you can shape your career by working in dynamic projects and still maintain a life outside of work. Read about Kaushal's journey after joining the Zühlke team in Hong Kong.

Insight in brief

● Discover how Zühlke’s culture promotes work that really matters, providing opportunities for personal growth and advancement.

● Learn how the business recognises the importance of, and advocates a full life outside the office.

● Find out about the opportunities to collaborate with a diverse, global and high-calibre team.

Hong Kong-based Kaushal Silva joined Zühlke Hong Kong as a Project Manager six months ago. Though he started his career in highly technical roles, Kaushal is now an Engagement Manager, responsible for the delivery of projects from over 40 engineers, and works across a number of different projects for a very large account.

He said: ‘When I was being hired, I loved this one line from the Head of Competency Unit: ‘At Zühlke, we are hired into Zühlke, and not into a project’. It means we are all part of this organisation and its values, quality, and standards. New recruits are given the chance to express their interests, and there are great opportunities to move quickly and advance our careers. For example, one of our project managers—out in Singapore—still has a software engineering job title.’

Do work that matters

Zühlke does very specialised software development and engineering projects. Amazing and serious work by some amazing and serious people—not just transformations and front-end building. Kaushal believes that’s what makes it really exciting to come into the office every day. Indeed, the organisation is involved in a diverse array of projects—spanning trading platforms for banks to life-saving health apps, and everything in between.

He said: ‘In one of our projects where we were building the infrastructure to help a bank enter into a new market, it required us working with multiple stakeholders - from working with local vendors to working with their head office staff, all the way to their CIO's office. Our engineers needed to have detailed discussions with representatives of a regulatory authority to ensure the systems they build are fully compliant."

In addition to his Engagement Manager role, he’s also been able to work closely with Zühlke’s consultancy team, which is a small team of very experienced and specialised people. The four-month project, working for a bank, brought him closer to Zühlke’s high-calibre consultants. Kaushal has now been approved, and received training, to work on future consultancy projects.

Getting the work-life balance right

In an industry where long hours, sudden additional workload demands, and last-minute transfers onto new projects are common, the company’s culture has impressed Kaushal.

He said: ‘At Zühlke, I’ve actually started with far more responsibilities than in my last company, but the environment tells me it’s OK—and even expected—that I have a personal life outside of work.’

Enjoying a full and rewarding life

In his spare time, Kaushal had been co-running Urban Active, which has become the largest outdoor fitness boot camp in Hong Kong over the past five years.

He’s also now picking up the reins of his other start-up, Heightened Senses, as COVID-19 restrictions ease, which trains visually-impaired people to give 15-20-minute acupressure massages in an office setting. Along with helping the masseurs integrate into the fast-paced culture of Hong Kong, it also encourages office workers to take time out of their busy days for relaxation and self-care. 

A collaborative environment driven by diversity and inclusion

Sri Lankan-born Kaushal appreciates the diversity and ‘can-do’ attitude of its global workforce. Having moved to Zühlke from a much larger organisation, where he never met a single Sri Lankan, he now has three in his own ‘insanely diverse team’, as he puts it. That team includes people who work out of Bulgaria, Serbia, and Singapore, as well as those based in Hong Kong.

Being able to reach out to colleagues from other Zühlke locations for assistance and resources has helped Kaushal in many ways. He recently contacted colleagues in Germany, involved in projects within the pharmaceutical sector which is a highly regulated industry, and managed to understand and access their project frameworks.

He said: ‘Being able to just send a few messages and then, work closely with these colleagues is great! I remember reaching out to someone in Australia at my previous company, but it fell on deaf ears.’

Focus on intrinsic motivation

Zühlke operates a profit-sharing policy across the organisation, rather than awarding individual bonuses. That puts the focus on how well the overall team can deliver for the client so it can win more business and become more profitable—rather than focusing on the individual.

Yet, from a welfare perspective, Zühlke is highly focused on the individual, doing its best to look after and develop its employees. A business analyst from Kaushal’s team was recently swapped into another team because, while she was able to do her job well, she didn't enjoy working on the project. In another example, a developer who was considered ‘more soft-spoken than most’ was placed in a team that could help nurture his confidence.

Despite the many happenings from his life outside and at work, Kaushal takes it all in his stride: ‘Maybe it’s the people and the culture here at Zühlke, but it all just feels like a regular day at the office.’