Evans Kaerezi headshot
Evans Kaerezi headshot

Say hello to Evans Kaerezi

Say hello to Evans Kaerezi

31 May 2024

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Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Evans Kaerezi. I'm 26 years old, married to a beautiful woman named Aisha and our son is nearly 1. We reside in Harare, Zimbabwe, where I work remotely from my home office.

How did you get to Cue?

Through Shingai, our Head of Operations. We met at church in Cape Town, and he mentioned that Cue was looking to add someone to their operations team. At the time, I wasn't entirely sure what operations entailed, as I was coming from a computer science background and was initially looking for something more programming-related. Despite my uncertainty, I applied for the position, and it turned out to be a great decision. Three years later, I'm thriving in the operations role and loving every aspect of it.

Where did the nickname "Shaw" come from?

I've had the nickname "Shaw" since high school. Back then, I was quite short, so everyone used to call me "Shorty." As I grew taller, the nickname "Shorty" no longer felt suitable. I decided to start calling myself "Shaw" as a play on the original nickname, and luckily, people quickly adjusted to the new name. It's stuck with me ever since.

Evans and Shingai (Head of Operations at Cue)

Evans and Shingai (Head of Operations at Cue)

What was it like having a priest and a headmistress as parents?

It was definitely a unique experience. It wasn't always easy because the expectations were high. However, school became my sanctuary, where I felt more freedom. Despite the challenges, I am incredibly grateful for the upbringing my parents provided. They instilled in me strong values, a solid work ethic, and the importance of love and respect. Their guidance helped shape me into a well-behaved and principled individual, which has greatly influenced my personal and professional life.

What do you do outside of work?

Outside of work, I'm a curious person who loves exploring new interests and hobbies. I enjoy trying out different courses and learning new skills. For instance, I've dabbled in graphic design and even tried my hand at creating anime videos. The downside is that I rarely finish the projects I start, but the process of learning and experimenting is what excites me the most.

What inspired you to study computer science in India?

Back in high school, I was passionate about accounting and was determined to become a chartered accountant. After graduating, I applied to Deloitte, confident that I would be accepted. Unfortunately, I was rejected because they felt I was too young and suggested I pursue a diploma first and reapply in a few years. This setback crushed my dream, and I lost my passion for accounting. Seeking a fresh start, I decided to pivot to programming. India seemed like the perfect place to pursue this new path, given its strong reputation in technology and computer science education. My experience studying in India was transformative, providing me with a solid foundation in computer applications and exposing me to a vibrant and diverse culture.

How did you get started in operations?

Shingai played a big role. He presented the vision of the team in such an exciting way, especially at a time when Cue was planning to introduce a new live chat system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything seemed so promising, and I was drawn to the potential for long-term growth. When I joined, the team was small, with only 12 members, but we were promised that we would double in size. Now, three years later, our team has grown to almost 60 members. Cue's dynamic environment and rapid growth have made it easy to fall in love with operations.

Who's the greatest Chelsea player of all time?

As a Chelsea fan, I know my opinion might be a bit biased since there have been so many great players at Chelsea, like Zola, Terry, Lampard, and Cole. However, for me, the greatest Chelsea player of all time is Eden Hazard. Perhaps it's because I was old enough to fully appreciate his time at the club, but the way he could change games was truly out of this world. His skill, creativity, and ability to deliver in crucial moments made watching him an unforgettable experience.

Can you tell us about your plans to complete a Masters in Business?

I plan to start my Master's in Business because I'm passionate about revisiting the commercial subjects I studied in high school—Economics, Accounting, Business Studies, and Mathematics. These areas have always intrigued me, and I want to reconnect with them. While I've realized that in the field of computers, one can learn a lot independently using online resources and tools like ChatGPT, I believe formal education in business will provide me with a structured and comprehensive understanding. This knowledge will complement my current role at Cue by enhancing my strategic thinking and management skills. Ultimately, I aim to pursue an MCA and work towards completing my PhD before I turn 35.

Has becoming a dad changed you?

Becoming a dad has been a transformative experience for me, both personally and professionally. Personally, it has instilled in me a deeper sense of responsibility and patience. Watching my son grow and learn to balance his needs with other aspects of life has taught me the importance of time management and prioritisation. Professionally, fatherhood has given me a renewed sense of purpose and motivation. I’m more focused on my career goals, as I want to provide the best possible future for my family. Overall, being a dad has enriched my life in countless ways and has made me more driven and attentive, both at home and at work.

What's the most rewarding part about your job?

The most rewarding part is the ability to directly impact the efficiency and success of our projects. I find great satisfaction in optimizing processes, solving complex problems, and seeing the tangible results of our team's efforts.

What does a day in the life of an Operations Manager look like?

Morning meeting, review calendar. Address important tasks. Schedule tasks for the day. Review outstanding tasks, complete some and delegate others to the team. Then go about my day.

What's one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to pursue a career in Operations?

Be eager to learn and develop strong problem-solving skills. Operations is a dynamic field that requires continuous learning and adaptation. Embrace challenges as opportunities to grow and improve processes.

What strategies have you come up with to streamline account setups?

Firstly, we standardised setups by identifying common elements across most accounts, allowing us to create and use templates for quick reference. For accounts with unique functionalities, we maintain detailed documentation and templates to guide the setup process.

What is like working between the sales and customer success teams?

Working between the sales and customer success teams at Cue is a dynamic and interesting experience. We assist the sales team by setting up demo flows, ensuring they have the technical support needed to showcase our product effectively to potential clients. On the other hand, we work very closely with the customer success crew. They submit tickets for various client tasks, and once we handle these requests, the customer success team tests the outcomes to ensure everything meets the client's needs.

Which superpower do you wish you had?

Ability to speak with animals, especially my dogs.

Describe the Cue culture in three words

Innovative, Collaborative, Superhumans.

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