You may be familiar with commercial lending and finance, but if you don’t know much about the smaller niche industry of equipment leasing don’t feel bad – neither did many of Odessa’s employees when they first joined the company.
However, they quickly learned that today’s global leasing industry is the engine that drives so many market segments– think fleets of trucks, aviation, IT and medical equipment – and with its advanced ERP solution, LeaseWave, Philadelphia-based Odessa has poised itself as this niche industry’s disruptor.
With LeaseWave at its core, Odessa’s platform integrates lease and loan management, fleet administration, mobility, and detailed analytics into customer-friendly partner portals, garnering Odessa a coveted roster of clients and more Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) Operations and Technology Excellence Awards than any other company.
Perhaps that’s why Odessa employees stay so motivated and inspired – they proudly tout their tech as the premium technology solution to be beat in the industry. Odessa talent acquisition manager Ryan Amaya was fresh to the leasing industry himself when he joined the company’s headquarter office at Two Liberty Place less than a year ago.
“When we’re hiring we don’t necessarily put a huge emphasis on leasing experience because it’s such niche experience,” explains Amaya. “We instead focus on looking at our employee profiles – what are some of the factors that stood out, what are the companies they came from, and educational experience.”
While most of Odessa’s global teams work out of the company’s Bangalore, India offices, the company’s HQ is in Philadelphia and they are preparing to move into a new and bigger space (also at Two Liberty Place), one that will accommodate an anticipated doubling of staff within about two years.
“I think we’ve matured as an organization in the last five years; we’ve grown into our own. Five years ago our brand wasn’t as well known as it is today and now we’re more confident as an organization. We’ve signed name-brand clients and that in itself brings confidence.”Madhu Natarajan CEO and Co-Founder
“You hear a lot about company culture but it’s hard to say where that actually forms, and I think the talent acquisition is a big part of that here. Retaining people who promote that positive culture is very important as well. Everyone’s very, very easy to talk to and they’ll definitely help you if you have an issue with anything.”Colin Quinn Business Analyst
“When I have questions about what I’m working on, if I go to someone, more often than not they will drop what they’re working on and spend five minutes helping me figure out a solution. Work can get stressful, but if you have a supportive environment it makes it a lot easier.”Rachael Abraham Business Analyst
What’s the interview process like?
The interview process will likely vary from position to position, and will continue to evolve in order to reflect our efforts to use research-backed interview processes. That said, all interviews will consist of at least 3 major steps. The first step is a preliminary interview with someone in HR to get to know you and see if you’re a good fit for the company. For the second interview, you meet with the direct manager, who will test you in your core skills and technical knowledge. The final interview is with the company CEO and goes deeper (and the questions may catch you off guard, but that’s the point - to see how you react to challenges on the spot). Once all three interviews are complete, each of the interviewers has a final say in whether or not you get hired.
How would you describe the people at Odessa?
Ask anyone around their offices and they’ll tell you - one of the best things about Odessa is the people. They are very supportive and you know you can get the help that you need from the people around you, whether it’s here in the Philly office or in Bangalore. Everyone is incredibly friendly, incredibly helpful, and they’re always ready to jump in to help. There isn’t a member of the Philadelphia office that doesn’t have that sort of attitude.
Why do companies want to work with Odessa?
It’s really about being customer centric. Everything we do and the way we’ve grown organically has been to meet the need ahead of the customer, sometimes before they even realize that they have the need. But it is really about the journey, enjoying the process, and always searching for ways to enrich everything we’re doing as we grow.
What kinds of social events happen in and out of the office?
We do Phillies games every year, and if there are clients or prospects in town we invite them too, which is a ton of fun. We’ve always made it a point to do group lunches every Friday, from the time when there were just eight of us to today. Our people travel a lot, but we try to support teams being back in the office for Friday because it’s important we have that face time and get to sit and have lunch together. Then there’s a tradition which we now call our Fall Fest. Our CEO is an amazing cook and prepares a delicious meal for all of us – all 60+ people – for the fest. We bring our kids decked out in Halloween costumes and take them trick-or-treating around the office. We’re a very open office, and very family friendly - we want to celebrate our people for their whole selves, not just the jobs we do.
How does Odessa give back?
In 2018 Odessa joined the corporate philanthropy initiative Pledge 1% to give 1% of our time, 1% of our profit, and 1% of our product to charitable causes. We also launched the Odessa Foundation in parallel to reinforce our commitment to philanthropic giving and hopefully better connect into our communities. We just partnered with a group called Coded by Kids, and in our partner program with them this year our employees can volunteer and we’re going to support CTRL+SHIFT, their big event. We look forward to deepening our involvement in initiatives like these in Philadelphia and beyond.
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