Q&A: Meet Upflex CPO Ginger Dhaliwal

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Ginger Dhaliwal is a seasoned entrepreneur with 15+ years of experience working successfully with startups in Asia and North America, as well as building international teams with talent from around the globe. She has led product and technology development from ideation to launch of several disruptive patented technologies in healthcare, e-commerce, and fashion industries in Asia, Canada, and the US.  

Ginger is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Upflex, leading the vision of the future work with her Co-Founder Christophe Garnier. Ginger hails from Toronto and has a wealth of wisdom to share with those aspiring to enter the entrepreneurial space. 

S: “You’ve had quite a career. Tell me about life before Upflex.”

G: “At my previous company, I helped launch an Innovation lab in Asia. I grew the core staff from zero to 100 with teams working in Malaysia, India, the US, and Ireland. It was wonderful to bring together an incredibly diverse set of talent from around the world to solve complex problems.” 

S: “What did your teams do?” 

G: “Our teams specialized in developing disruptive technologies in the embedded wireless space combining software, hardware, and telecommunications expertise. We incubated and commercialized many exciting technologies during my time including solutions for healthcare, digital distribution, micropayments, telephony & data solutions for remote villages.” 

S: “That’s incredible. You made a real impact on developing areas. How does this relate to your move to Upflex?” 

G: “Having the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of people showed me the power of being able to hire talent regardless of geographical barriers in order to solve any problem.” 

S: “Okay, I see; so you were exposed to the benefits of remote/flexible work, ‘regardless of geographical barriers.’ That makes sense.” 

G: “Yes. Upflex is providing that same benefit to other companies. It also provides access to where the interesting stuff happens: when people from different groups come together and work together, inspiring stories and innovations emerge. Co-working at large means the opportunity to collide with people from different industries; to learn and share and innovate.”

S: “Totally. So when you were managing projects before Upflex, how did you go about ensuring productivity with remote teams? I’m sure anyone now thinking about hiring remote workers or being a remote worker would also like to hear about what it takes.” 

G: “Definitely. Managing a global team — one that consists of members who live in numerous countries and in multiple time zones — requires huge discipline and planning.  The business runs on a 24-hour schedule, and work is deadline- and results-driven. You have to be very organized and be constantly looking ahead. A high degree of transparency is necessary across teams so everyone is focused on the same outcome.” 

S: “These are incredible tips for any modern manager. Let’s pivot a bit; what are some general tips for success in your career?” 

G: “All right, in general?”

S: “Yes; say, top 5.”

G: “All right. One, always do good, and be humble. Two, surround yourself with those that dream and create. Three, diversity — of both people and ideas — makes you stronger. Four, put yourself in uncomfortable situations so that you can evolve and grow. And five, be curious.”

S: “Really lovely and widely applicable stuff. Out of curiosity, what are your favorite quotes?”

G: “Haha, here we go: ‘spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.’ That one’s Mother Teresa. I also like Churchill’s: ‘Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.'”

S: “Love those. Thank you so much, Ginger!”