Nothing says ‘This is the life!’ than a retreat as we step into the last quarter of the year – especially ones organised here at Funding Societies | Modalku (FSMK)! On 20-24 September, our regional Engineering team gathered away from their usual work offices for a company offsite held at the Shangri-La hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A total of 90 engineers participated in this offsite. Aside from those based in Malaysia, many of them came from our regional teams in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, while others hailed from more distant countries. It was the first time since the pandemic that all our engineers from their various offices came together in one place for a large-scale event.

Team Motto

What made this offsite extra special this year was the launch of our Engineering motto, “Code Less, Engineer More”. The new team mission was formally announced at the event, setting a clear direction for the team: to engineer the most innovative solutions to customer and business problems that change small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) lives for the better. The motto was supplemented by five main ethe, where all engineers are called to be problem-driven, not solution driven; to be agile in everything they do; to build a great experience for who they serve; to take ownership of everything they do, and to leverage through platforms. 

Breaking the Ice

The official programme began on September 21st when everyone assembled at the hotel’s Lemon Garden Cafe. Here, the offsite was kickstarted with a welcome dinner buffet. It was a delightful opportunity for everyone to finally mingle with each other face to face. After dinner and having already been divided into small groups, the participants were given some time to explore the nearby places surrounding the hotel such as the iconic Petronas twin towers and Petaling Street. Little did they know that the subsequent conference meeting would include a special surprise.

A group exploring the streets of KL

True enough, everyone was pleasantly surprised as they were treated to a stand-up comedy performance by our Senior Engineering Manager, Rajesh Kumar Dharmalingam. It was an excellent icebreaker to kick off the offsite!

Our resident comedian – Rajesh!
The Sarawak conference room: the main venue for our engineers’ offsite

The performance was followed by a couple of keynote addresses from our company’s leadership. This included our Group Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Ishan Agrawal, and Co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kelvin Teo, among others. 

Our Group CTO, Ishan, giving the opening keynote address

Along the way, our engineers also took part in a few workshops, namely a gamified threat modelling activity hosted by our Vice President and Head of Information Security and IT, Shakthi Priya Kathirvelu, as well as a role-playing activity led by Lakshminarayana Jampal, Vice President of Engineering. On the latter, participants assumed the roles of our small business clients and investors, and through the various scenarios, were better able to understand the challenges and considerations faced by micro and small business owners in obtaining business financing.

Our Vice President and Head of Information Security and IT, Shakthi, conducting the threat modelling session

The eventful day concluded with the handing out of goodies and a team photo.

Our engineering team!

A Time to Team Bond

It would not be an offsite without some games! On September 23rd, the engineers travelled up to a nearby village called Kampung Janda Baik for a day of team bonding. In their respective groups, they took part in a series of team-building exercises, many of which encouraged them to apply the team’s motto and principles. Whether it was forming a human tower or having an inter-group paper plane contest, everyone was having fun. Have a look at some memorable moments!

Heading to Kampung Janda Baik
Kampung Janda Baik
This team is all ready to play!
Our engineers-turn-snipers
All smiles from the top! Can’t say the same for those at the bottom…
Our facilitators engaging the groups
An intense round of rock-paper-scissors
Participants doing a group dance
Engineers putting their skills to the test in a paper plane contest. Succeeding in this activity required the application of a Funding Societies Engineering principle: to understand the problem first, then figure out how to solve it and what to build.

And what is an offsite if there is no dancing? Check out our engineers busting out some moves as they jam to a mix of classic pop, Malaysian and Bollywood Punjabi music.

In Retrospect

This offsite was undoubtedly a fun-filled time to unwind and forge worthwhile friendships. Looking back on this offsite, one of our organisers Pooja Rausa reflects, “This offsite has helped us know each other better and forge new bonds. The overall experience has left me feeling a mixed bag of happiness and sadness, as the main bulk of activities happened over only two days! I’m looking forward to another one next year, at a new place and with new experiences to enjoy together as an FSMK engineering family!”

Pooja Rausa, our product security engineer

Echoing such sentiments is Juliani Sarah, our identity access management (IAM) engineer, who affirms, “This was a hugely successful event organised by the engineering team. I’m glad to see everyone in person and I believe this offsite has allowed us to build and strengthen our relationship between the teams.”

Juliani, our IAM engineer

When approached for a comment, our quality engineer based in Pakistan, Abdul Wahab Farooq, recounts, “Whenever we talk about travelling internationally, one would think of the huge pile of documentation and stress that would await us. This was however not the case with Funding Societies | Modalku. Thanks to the FSMK organisers who helped me at every step, I felt super relaxed with all this planning. I was the only one who was flying from Pakistan to Kuala Lumpur, but kudos to Rajesh and our People Experience (Px) team who were there for me at every second. From arranging all documents, flights, and visas, till I reached the hotel, everything was superbly well managed and actioned. My experience was smooth sailing and full of learning, and I am thankful to be a part of FSMK. Here’s to more physical engineer offsites to come and we look forward to seeing each other again in person!”

Our quality engineer, Farooq

Our new face, Harinee Sankaran, said, “As a fresher, I feel very fortunate for being included in such an offsite. Being a part of this offsite has indeed given me the opportunity to meet my team members face to face and also make a lot of friends within the organisation. Starting from the welcome dinner till the last day of playing games, attending this offsite has been a unique and thoroughly enjoyable experience. Thanks for having me.”

Harinee, an incoming software engineer

Finally to conclude, our CTO, Ishan, shares his sentiments, “I was ecstatic to see the team come down from over 30 cities across APAC and meet with everyone after 3 years of working through Google Meets. A strong team working together can achieve exponentially more than individual contributions, and an event like this has strengthened the team spirit. The possibilities are endless with this incredible group of some of the strongest Engineering talent out there.”

Our Group CTO, Ishan

Thank you everyone for attending this year’s Engineering offsite; we hope to see you again next year!

Want to build something meaningful and create a real positive impact with us? We’re hiring engineers across India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam!

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