The worldwide COVID19 pandemic had and still has a significant impact on our lives. Taking the leap to switch jobs and move to the other side of the globe is not the first thing on most of our to-do lists. However, Simonas didn’t hesitate to move from The Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur to become part of the Lizard Family as one of our Product Owners. How did he experience becoming a part of the team in trying times like these? Continue reading to find out!
Can you start with an introduction of yourself?
“Hey all! My name is Simonas Baltenis. I am originally from Lithuania, however, I spent a considerably large amount of my adult life in the Netherlands. In general, I consider myself to be an enthusiast for innovation and startups. I love personal development, doing sports, and of course, travelling. And now I’m here, continuing to explore my passions in life in Kuala Lumpur, where I work as Product Owner at Lizard Global.”
What did you do before Lizard Global and how did you first get familiar with Lizard Global?
“Before joining Lizard Global, I lived in the Netherlands for almost 6 years. There I studied Economics and Business Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, launched my own startup, and worked at Venture Café which is a non-profit organization. At Venture Café, I contributed to the organization of the largest weekly networking events in the Netherlands, which connect startups, scale-ups, corporates, investors, and anything in between.”
“I got familiar with Lizard Global actually at my previous workplace - Venture Café. As mentioned, we organized huge networking events, and Lizard Global family were true ambassadors. I got the chance to meet the whole Lizard team there, and speak to everyone. I immediately fell in love with the mission of Lizard Global.”
Why/how did you choose to become a part of the Lizard Family, and even move to Kuala Lumpur for it?
“At the end of last year, I was looking for opportunities to move abroad, and live in a whole other continent. Since Lizard Global has an office in Kuala Lumpur, I started conversations about the possibility to join Lizard Global. From the very beginning, we felt mutual understanding, had a great connection, and not too long after, I got invited to join the team as a Product Owner. Living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia offers many opportunities to visit and explore interesting places and it’s positioned in such a convenient location for exploring the rest of South-East Asia once COVID-19 is out of the way.”
How did you experience taking such a big step/opportunity during these challenging times of the global COVID19 pandemic?
“Actually, I was supposed to move to Kuala Lumpur early in 2020. However, when the pandemic started my plans were postponed for an undefined amount of time. It's only 2 months ago that the Malaysian government allowed me to enter the country. Upon arrival, I had to undergo 2 weeks of mandatory quarantine - which was a rather interesting experience. After arriving in a new country and city, you have to stay in a hotel room without any opportunity to even open windows. There is no way for you to start exploring your new surroundings.”
“I'm super happy to finally be here in Kuala Lumpur, and even though somewhat limited by the current Conditional Movement Control Order, which does not allow for many fun things, I can still enjoy and explore the city.”
What are your functions as a product owner in the KL office?
“As a Product Owner, I am responsible for making sure that the idea of a project or product is turned into a purposeful concept which eventually leads to a realization of successfully delivering a digital solution. I fulfil the role of the intermediary between the client and the company itself, in which I make sure that I am offering the most up-to-date business information to the client while having our development team stay on top of their game during the creation of cutting-edge digital solutions.
What do you like best about working at Lizard Global so far?
“The company culture is amazing! I just love being around such a friendly and helpful team from the very first day. I am still very fresh to the team, but it already feels like I know the team so well. There is a great atmosphere here at the office, with people from all over the world, making it a very interesting and exciting experience.”
What are you looking forward to the most regarding your life in Kuala Lumpur?
“Here in Kuala Lumpur, as a true member of the Lizard Family, I am mostly looking forward to helping companies reach their goals, and help them formulate their visions. I can't wait to fully develop those new solutions, and bring people closer to their dreams. At the same time, while having the opportunity of living here in South East Asia. I can't wait to travel around and explore, to see new places and meet interesting people.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 or even 10 years?
“Nowadays, as we've got to see, it's rather difficult to plan even a month in advance. However, in 5 or even 10 years I see myself being happy, continuing to bring value to communities, and with my experience - helping others achieve their dreams, whether it's starting a new company or helping to find their missions.”
Meet more Lizards!
Want to know more about our different departments, offices, our individual Lizard Family members and their daily occupations? Check out our previous interviews with Commercial Director Markus, our software development team and Chathuri, our CEO and CO-founder Jeremy, our CTO and Co-founder Guido, our CEO Asia Terence, and our Senior Software Engineer Kenny. Or check our interview with our Lizards in our office in Rotterdam and Kuala Lumpur! Keep an eye out for more interviews and find out more about our unique and skilled Lizards!