Advi Bishnoi, Amity's Community Manager

👋 I’m Advi, Community Manager at Amity!

For this new episode of “Amity People”, please welcome to the stage Advi Bishnoi! Advi works at the Bangkok office as Community Manager, helping to nurture and grow the relationship with our customers, and spreading the knowledge about our community. To discover more about his role and journey so far, read the full interview👇.

Tell us a little about yourself: Where are you from, your interests, and what were you doing before joining Amity?

It’s complicated - that’s my standard response when someone asks me. Let’s see, I am Indian by origin, born in the Philippines and I’ve grown up moving from country to country every few years of my life. Till now I’ve lived in the Philippines, South Africa, India, Thailand, Ethiopia, and the US. 

Interests, hmm, this list can get long for someone like me who gets fascinated by any and everything but I’ll keep it to the main ones. I love music DEEPLY - I play a few instruments and used to DJ back in the day, I firmly believe that our lives can be soundtracked for different occasions like movies, and organize my music in vibe/mood-based playlists (I also keep playlists for each quarter of the year and what I'm liking at the moment so that I can travel back in time through music). Other interests of mine include dancing, reading, cooking, muay Thai, traveling, and most recently, golf. 

Before Amity, I was most recently working in growth at an Indian startup called Bizom which provides a B2B SaaS solution for FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies to easily digitize their sales and distribution processes. I really enjoyed my time there and developed a lot professionally but was fortunate to find my home and a product/mission that truly speaks to me, here at Amity.

Describe your journey with Amity so far: Your role and a typical day

Wow, can I say “it's complicated” for this one too? As you know, in startup life things are fluid and constantly changing, and the needs of the moment vary over time. Similarly, I’ve been in quite a few roles throughout my time here. I worked in Partnerships & Operations, handling our strategic accounts, then as a Solution specialist in our Strategy & Consulting department before we transitioned into the Community Department where I now function as our Community Manager.

One of my main responsibilities is to help grow our community of clients as well as their communities. A typical day for me involves aligning strategic accounts with our team, external meetings syncing with our clients, internal meetings to help support them, brainstorming, researching and creating different collaterals we use across our growth team, cultivating relationships, and sharing knowledge with our community. Yup, that sounds about right, this and a few other side projects/initiatives that we’ve been working on to help with our brand awareness and demand generation initiatives. 

What are some of the best things about your role? What are some challenges you face?

I’m a people person and, while being methodical and logical, I’d still characterize myself as an optimistic dreamer. My favorite things about my role at the moment include the ability to be customer-facing and deal directly with clients/leads. I also love the learning that comes with it (lots of frameworks and learnings from client implementations and growth as well as research) and I love that I get to help have an impact on multiple companies across geographies, directly impacting the way they interact with their end users. 

I thoroughly enjoy the degree of inter-departmental collaboration that my role requires, allowing me to work closely with colleagues from the product, professional services, bd, and marketing on a regular basis. 

Given how many clients we have and the plethora of learnings we want to be able to cross-share between them, and our other initiatives, the biggest challenge I face on a regular basis is time management and prioritization. I find that marking my workouts and other activities in my calendar helps me tackle this to an extent though I’m always trying to learn how to get even better at it. 

What are your favorite perks of hybrid working?

What isn't great about working hybrid? The benefits of the remote working part are clear enough, especially because I like to explore different parts of the city, if not other cities or countries. 

Earlier, I would have said I might prefer fully remote but after a few months of our hybrid work policy I’m all about having an office week. I love taking this time to catch up with colleagues (especially those I might not regularly work with), meet new colleagues, participate in games and activities and collaborate in person. I think it can be a highly effective, if slightly chaotic, week but I thoroughly enjoy it. 

How would you describe what Amity does to a friend Vs to a 5-year-old?

Okay, I have a lot of practice with this one because I have described it to all my friends and any new friends I make, haha. The most concise way I can get the idea across: While most apps have a transaction layer (ordering for e-commerce, financial transactions for banking, taking courses for education), it's the creation of interaction layers, which allow for users to interact with the company and each other, that really lead to increased user engagement, retention, and app growth. 

At Amity, we enable companies to add white-label interactive layers to their own platforms through social and chat features including feeds, profiles, groups, live video, 1-1 chats, group chats, and more! 

If I’m describing Amity to a 5-year-old today, I’m guessing it’ll be much easier than to a 5-year-old back in my kid days. These days, kids are familiar with apps and use phones/tablets for games, videos, and education. If I was talking to my 5-year-old niece about this, I’d probably ask her how she’d feel if while playing her game she could share her achievements with her friends and see theirs or while watching a movie how she’d feel about talking to her friends on a chat while they watch the same video at the same time. 

Allowing different apps to have easier sharing and communication with your friends and others is what we help others do. Hopefully, she’d understand this, though I may have to test it out….

Can you describe what “Community” means to you?

Community, to me, is a place where you can be your true self and share your thoughts, insights, opinions, fears, and concerns without judgment to others and provide the same for them, oftentimes with a common underlying interest or theme. Communities I love are those where you can share your wins and your losses, portraying a real and truly reflective image of oneself. My Muay Thai and Amity communities are my favorite. 

What made you decide to work in the tech industry? What advice would you give someone who is starting in the industry?

The funny thing is, when I was getting through high school, there wasn't a big focus on tech and the boom of the tech industry as a whole at the time (especially not in Ethiopia, where I graduated high school). As a kid, I’d always been fascinated by tech, putting together my first computer in 4th grade as a part of computer club (nerd alert!) and would be the go-to person for tech repair growing up, always fidgeting with things like my digital camera, taking them apart and putting them back together again. 

Because of this fascination with tech, I decided the only logical thing would be to get my degree in engineering and so I ended up doing my Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. My college afforded me the ability to have 3 internships directly related to my degree as a part of the program so I explored my options, working for 6 months each in the field of robotics, architecture, and automotive engineering while finishing my degree. The one thing I learnt through all of them, I did not want to actively pursue mechanical engineering as a profession!

I was still fascinated by tech but also had a mind for business, starting a few ventures with friends in college. After graduation, I eventually decided that I wanted to explore growth and business development roles, landing a job in a giant conglomerate. There, I saw a limit to the amount of impact I could have in a giant bureaucratic machine at the time. I realized at this time that I could marry my love for tech as well as interpersonal communication and business development and started working at a tech startup in India. 

This was a defining moment for me because I finally felt like I was in the industry that I wanted to be in, but focused on the roles that help me utilize my strengths to maximize my impact. The main piece of advice I would give someone joining the tech industry - cultivate an interest in constantly learning (tech is disruptive, constantly adapting and evolving and you need to do the same), Tech is no longer an industry in itself but more so a way of being that needs to be applied to all industries for them to not fall behind. 

Because of this, you can explore, find your space in this industry and make it your own, no matter what it is that inspires you. Stay up to date with the latest trends and news and you will always find good opportunities for your own or your company’s growth. 

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