Students get insights on Google

Students get insights on Google
Lino Cattaruzzi, Managing Director of MENA, Google spoke about perks of working at Google.

Google has 60,000 employees all around the world and is worth one of the top most valuable brand globally



By Sarwat Nasir

Published: Tue 2 May 2017, 11:17 AM

Last updated: Wed 10 May 2017, 9:25 PM

From dressing casually, showing up to work whenever you please, napping in the middle of the day and indulging in free food - these are just some of the perks of working at Google.
The general managing director of MENA at Google, Lino Cattaruzzi, gave students at the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai insights of what it's like to work at the firm that's worth the second highest globally. He also shared tips on how one can share a job at Google.

Online salary calculator Glassdoor.com estimates the salary of a software engineer at Google to be $126,788 (Dh465,655) per year. For a senior software engineer, the figure is at $163,158 (Dh599,279) per year.

Lino Cattaruzzi said he simply applied for a job at the firm's website 9 years ago and got a callback. Today, Google has 60,000 employees all around the world and is worth one of the top most valuable brand globally, second after Apple.

"90 per cent of the employees at Google would say the most thing they enjoy about working there is the people. There's a lot of inspiring people who work there. There a lot of perks, but the main reason we do this is because we really want to maximize the profits of each individual. To do that, we give them flexibility. They can dress as they want. You should be yourself when you come into the office. This makes the employees happy and helps maximize profits," he said.

"We are very careful when we chose Google employees. We look at four things. We look at how smart they are because smart people make smart things - that's a fair assumption. Second, how much they know about what they are going to do. Obviously, the more senior the person is, the more we expect them to know. The third is the leadership potential and fourth is 'Googliness' of people. In our culture, we work very openly and everyone can contribute ideas. We also believe in respecting diversity."

Cattaruzzi said Google gives its staff "freedom" in terms of showing up to work whenever they please, however, employees need to set the right framework to use that freedom effectively.

"We try to define what we need to achieve in a given period of time. So, if you come to the office for a while, that's great, we clap. And if you come for a number of hours, that's great too," he said.
Challenges for Google in UAE   

The various backgrounds of residents in the UAE and complexity of the Arab language is a challenge to Google in terms of what kinds of advertisements and search results they should offer to each individual, a senior Google official has said.

The general managing director of MENA, Lino Cattaruzzi, said that Google's main source of income is through advertising and it's "a challenge" for the firm to predict which ad would serve best to a consumer in the UAE as there are so many different nationalities and backgrounds.

The UAE has more than 200 different nationalities living in the country.

"Each region has its own challenges. In the gulf, it has a unique one. Let's talk about the UAE in particular. 90 per cent of people here are not UAE nationals. Typically, when we try to serve consumers, we try to understand how to best serve them and when you serve to homogeneous population, it's much easier because it's easier to predict how you serve them better," Cattaruzzi said, who was speaking to students at the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai.

"Let's say you make an enquiry in English, I expect the answer to be tailor-made. If a local person makes an enquiry in Arabic - here we have so many different backgrounds and are so diverse that it's really challenging for us to know how to serve them best. And it's not just about the search engine, it's on YouTube as well. You go and watch and a video, but what's the best video we should suggest to you? What are you looking for? When you say rose - are you talking about the colour or flower? Depending on who you are is the answer we give. So, this is the first challenge that is much more important here.

"There's one common language in the region and that's Arabic but the question is that really the common language? If you get the people from some of the countries in the region together, they can communicate. But for us, if we go into the details of the language and we try to understand, well a person from Oman will speak differently from a Saudi. So, understanding this is a challenge. Our main source of income is advertising and to make advertising relevant we need to understand what customers are looking for."
Beat Sommer, Head of Swiss International Scientific School, said: "Google is one of the most valuable companies in the world and we were honored to welcome Mr. Lino Cattaruzzi to our campus to inspire our students. SISD Talks is a great supplement and opportunity to go beyond of what is studied in the classroom, offering pupils the chance to meet the business professionals and leaders in an intimate and personal setting and help prepare students for the world of work."
sarwat@khaleejtimes.com


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