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November 29, 2021
The Power of Partnership: How MarginEdge and Tekarsh Win Together
WANT TO FIND
When MarginEdge first started in 2015, co-founder and CTO Brian Mills knew that building MarginEdge would require support and expertise from an offshore team. After first working together in 2012 at a previous startup called Starfish, Rakib Siddiqui reached out to Brian, and told him he was starting his own analyst and development company called Tekarsh, based out of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Brian knew that Rakib would provide the type of partnership MarginEdge was looking for in an offshore support and development team and was immediately onboard.
When they started in 2015, Tekarsh had a single quality assurance analyst, Nusha Farin Islam, based out of Dhaka. Today, they have over 120 analysts and developers, and are continuing their path of rapid growth. The Dhaka team is selected and employed by Tekarsh but works exclusively with MarginEdge. Both Tekarsh and MarginEdge foster this partnership by operating as one MarginEdge family, not like a typical project-based, vendor-client relationship. Rakib says, “Walking into the Dhaka office feels just like walking into another MarginEdge office.” We recently sat down with both Rakib and his colleague Rashed Hasan to discuss their secrets to success and what’s coming next for the Tekarsh team. Here’s what they had to say.
“Our deep partnership with MarginEdge allows us to gain and retain our talent, which in turn improves our work and creates a feedback loop. Because MarginEdge uses industry best practices, our developers and analysts find the work very intellectually stimulating. Even when people leave, they have gained the right skills to promote their growth personally.”
What’s in a Partnership
It goes without saying that not all offshore partnerships are created equal. Working conditions for many overseas developers and analysts involve long hours centered around US time zones, and an overall highly competitive market which often prioritizes the Western customers over home country employees. “Our deep partnership with MarginEdge allows us to gain and retain our talent, which in turn improves our work and creates a feedback loop. Because MarginEdge uses industry best practices, our developers and analysts find the work very intellectually stimulating. Even when people leave, they have gained the right skills to promote their growth personally,” Rakib tells us.
The Tekarsh team feels like an extended arm of MarginEdge from the moment they walk through the doors each day. When we say partnership, we actually mean it, and the feeling is mutual across offices. When issues arise as is normal with software development, both sides of the globe jump in to help as needed. “The relationship between the MarginEdge developers and the Bangladesh team is based on respect and cooperation. Both sides help when help is needed, and everyone jumps in to help with every problem without thinking twice,” Rashed explains. Brian Mills adds, “Tekarsh has been a valuable part of our technology operation from the beginning of MarginEdge. Working with them has not been your typical offshore contracting experience, as the team there operates like an extension of our team here. We get high-quality quality assurance and development talent who feel like part of our team — in fact, they are part of our team. In our daily process, we make no distinction between a Tekarsh developer and a MarginEdge developer. Our ability to quickly source high-quality tech talent has been instrumental in the success of MarginEdge.”
The Bangladesh team even share screenshots of positive feedback they receive from Anton Aurenius, our senior software developer, and Brian Skrab, our director of development. “Our team feels personal ownership over the platform,” Rashed also notes, which is part of what makes this partnership so important to the MarginEdge team.
Covid is No Match for Culture
When the global COVID-19 pandemic hit, nearly every industry that could adopted remote operations. For the Tekarsh team, they were wary of what being remote might mean for onboarding their new developers and analysts, and if that would impact their culture. Assistant QA manager Nusha doesn’t feel that it has, “I have never felt that I work 8,214 miles away, and the time difference has never been a barrier either.”
Rashed also shared that in April of 2021 he onboarded a new developer just as COVID cases started heavily rising in Bangladesh. He recalls, “I couldn’t meet him in person, and he had to be onboarded remotely. The new developer was coming from a great job and was nervous and confused about how his new role with MarginEdge would work.” Rashed made sure to check in on him every day and ask if there was anything he needed help with. Given the circumstance of never having onboarded remotely before, the developer was initially concerned about his performance, but thanks to one-on-one mentoring and the culture of mutual respect and trust between the Tekarsh and MarginEdge teams, “Today he’s one of our top developers,” Rashed tells us confidently. Stories like Rashed’s are what make it clear to MarginEdge that this partnership is truly one of a kind.
“Our goal is to expose the local talents we have in Bangladesh to international best practices, so that we can raise the standards of developers and analysis here and reduce the pay gap between local and global developers.”
Continuing to Grow and Win Together
As they look to the future, Rakib notes that the Tekarsh team is excited for growth and more partnerships like the kind that has developed with MarginEdge: “Our goal is to expose the local talents we have in Bangladesh to international best practices, so that we can raise the standards of developers and analysis here and reduce the pay gap between local and global developers.” That kind of partnership is a lot more than just a series of transactions through a ticket system, and junior SQA engineer Mohammed Arafat Uddin agrees, “Working with MarginEdge is a great boost for my professional life, as I get the chance to work with a multinational team. It’s a great opportunity to improve my communication with overseas people. In my personal life I am very happy as MarginEdge has a good work-life balance, so after finishing my work I get plenty of time to spend with my family.”
Thanks to the Tekarsh team, MarginEdge has also been able to help sponsor an education fund for children at local orphanages near the Dhaka office. With the money donated, both through individual contributions from the stateside MarginEdge team and corporate matching, team members from the Dhaka office dedicate time each week to provide educational tutoring and supplies for the underprivileged children. The Dhaka team sends updates and photos of the children to the stateside MarginEdge team, and it is just another part of what makes our partnership with Tekarsh so much more than just doing business together.
What this means for [me]
With this partnership, MarginEdge gets access to top talent and highly engaged partners who care about our product just as much as we do. Many times overseas partnerships are contract and project based, so when the projects are completed, the relationship ends. The only way that our deeply tied partnership with Tekarsh happens — and the only way it works — is if there are team members across the world that believe in our mission and culture as much as we do.
We have found that in the Tekarsh team and know that as our business scales, so will our partnership. CEO and co-founder Bo Davis comments, “From the founding of MarginEdge it has been vitally important to be sure we have the best people. Committed to our mission, building the best product for our customers. The dedication from the Tekarsh team and the quality of their work has reflected the same commitment we give to our customers from the day we started working together. They truly act as a powerful extension of our stateside team and therefore an extension of our mission, vision and culture.” We are excited to watch Tekarsh grow and achieve continued success. They are a large part of what has contributed to MarginEdge’s success over the last 6 years and we could not have done it without them. We truly do win together.