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Greenhouse OPEN Speaker Series: From Engineering to Ops - Kumud Kokal, Head of Business Systems at Airbnb Strives to Make the World More Inclusive

Airbnb is known for a lot of things. It’s a startup turned massive hospitality service company which disrupted the travel and hospitality industry. Big time. Airbnb is also known as a great employer brand, and has been recognized more than once for having an awesome careers page.

But did you know that Airbnb is striving to make the world a more inclusive place?

It’s no surprise Airbnb values its employees and thinks strategically about hiring given all we know about the innovative brand. When we sat down with OPEN 2018 speaker Kumud Kokal, Airbnb’s Head of Business Systems, he revealed something amazing.

Airbnb is striving to make the world a place where everyone can feel they truly belong.

The company’s inspirational mission is something we at Greenhouse can definitely support. Kumud gave us the lowdown on his career which started in engineering, how Airbnb inspires him in his role, and shared the new Airbnb offerings he’s most excited about in 2018.

Greenhouse: You have had such a diversified career journey and possess a unique set of skills. Can you tell us about how your career started?

Kumud Kokal: Thank you. The uniqueness of my career started even before I jumped into the job market. My undergrad is in finance and accounting while my masters program is in Computer Science. That was not a common combination 25 years ago. I started my career as a software engineer and had an opportunity to work across multiple industries for the first half of my career. This built the foundation for the second half and helped me understand how technology enables business innovation and automation irrespective of the industry.

For more than a decade now, I’ve been focused on helping HR and Finance organizations adapt and scale their technology needs. My education in accounting, finance, computer science and my foundational experience as an engineer has helped me shape my career over the last 20 years.

GH: What is one thing that Airbnb is focusing on in 2018 that you’re especially looking forward to?

KK: Recently, we announced new offerings that support our mission of creating belonging for everyone and building a host led world. We are offering more benefits to our super hosts, adding a super guest program, enabling categories and collections, announcing Airbnb Plus and going beyond in the luxury market. All of this contributes toward building an Airbnb for everyone. I’m looking forward to a world where Airbnb is the mainstream and not an alternative, a world where everyone belongs.

GH: What aspect of your role at Airbnb continues to surprise and inspire you?

KK: In a nutshell, the impact our work has on the people. We strive to build for the long term, enable and support our business processes with technology, increase adoption of tools and strive to design for delight. Over the last 5 years the consumerization of enterprise applications has helped bridge the gap between consumer and enterprise applications. It has been a pleasant surprise to see this and be part of it. Our workforce expects our enterprise solutions to be as easy to use, easy to adopt, and they also expect us to innovate continuously just as you would expect from other consumer apps. Delivering delight through our enterprise apps so that the lives of our workforce is easier continues to inspire me.

OPEN 2018 arrives in less than four weeks! Don’t have your ticket yet? Don’t worry, there are a few spots left. Register today to get inspired by Kumud and all of our amazing speakers April 2-4 in New York. Time may be running out, but you can still save your spot at OPEN here.

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Dinah Alobeid is Director of Communications at Greenhouse. She helps shape and share the Greenhouse brand story and keeps its audiences informed on company news and industry knowledge. Dinah has 10 years of communications experience in the technology field and prior to Greenhouse, she built and ran the communications team at Brandwatch. She's an avid writer, dancer, foodie and book nerd. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn

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