This Entrepreneur Started a Successful Start-Up by Putting Employees First

Chili Piper

Every entrepreneur needs to prioritize the needs of employees, especially in times of international volatility, says Alina Vandenberghe.

The Romanian native co-founded Chili Piper in 2016 with her husband, Nicolas Vandenberghe. The start-up's software helps companies like Spotify, Airbnb, Twilio and Shopify improve their scheduling and streamline their contact forms. The Vandenberghes decided to keep Chili Piper fully remote, and they now employ more 220 people across 40 countries, including some in Ukraine and Russia.

"I want to make sure that [the employees in Russia and Ukraine] are safe, that they have everything that they need to do their job," Vandenberghe said. "Even if my plans are delayed to launch certain products, if my financials are going to be delayed because we don't have those products to market, everything pales in comparison with what these people are going through."

Vandenberghe has found that putting employees first, offering flexible working hours so that they can work from desirable destinations, and traveling to every country where you plan to hire, to get attuned to cultural differences, are key to running a successful remote-only company.

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