Distributed Teams have always been the backbone of Roybi and Elnaz shares her journey with us at Gaper.io.
Elnaz is the founder and CEO of Roybi, an AI powered educational robot for kids aged 3-7 in language learning and basic STEM. Her approach to startups and distributed teams is very straightforward and honest. She faces her trials and challenges head-on and tackles them with an open and trusting approach. Her zest comes from the fact that Roybi has attracted some much deserved media attention. She acknowledges that “Building a startup is not easy.” Starting a little over 2.5 years ago, she built Roybi block by block.
The Journey Before
Elnaz started off setting up a company that sold baby monitors. Her hands-on approach towards everything she does, made her realize what was needed. She found a gap in the education sector, which kept coming up. Although a lot is being done for higher education not much is done for kids.
“It is a very critical time in their growth.”
Thus, Roybi was created making lanuage the first skill a child learns, through interaction with this exciting Bot.
Successful launch and Media Coverage
After a very successful soft launch in November, Roybi made it to the cover of Time Magazine; stated to be one of the best inventions of 2019! CNBC also termed them as being one of the world’s most promising startups.
“We are on the path to truly making an impact and transform education for children around the world.”
The Decision of Distributed Teams
Having about 18 years of remote work experience under her belt, Elnaz is extremely comfortable with remote settings. Roybi started off with facilities in China, and one remote team in India – all working together collaboratively to live up to Roybi’s status.
Even with the Covid19 scare, Elnaz shares that they were ok with it as they are pretty used to working remotely. Although, setting up the culture in the beginning was challenging in and of itself.
The only impact they saw, with the current lockdown, was on operations. Warehousing and inventory management needed people to be physically present, which is the only impact they are currently facing.
Life as being a part of a Distributed Team
“Personally I don’t have any time zone,” jokes Elnaz.
Even so, the startup has found ways to overcome all the challenges they face on a daily grind. To begin with, they merge work over various time zones. The distributed teams consciously adjust their work timings to collaborate and work with each other. Being flexible is sewn into this team’s fabric; because they are all in this together to get things done.
“Language” being a barrier
It is ironic that language is a barrier at this firm sometimes. However, being the savvy person that she is, Elnaz has put into motion the freedom of asking questions without the need to feel shy. Trust and confidence in the team is what takes any startup forward. She concludes by sharing that misunderstandings can be kept at bay if a structure is in place.
We are excited about Roybi and how it shapes itself into the future. Do have a listen to what Elnaz happily shared only at Gaper.io