Exeleon Magazine

Paracosma: Built with Passion, Driven by a Collective Vision


What according to you makes a company the best place to work for?

It is a great honor for Paracosma to be recognized as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For in 2021”. Asking what makes a company the “best place” to work for really puts the recognition and question in the context of our time. At the start of 2020 a lot of what made a company a “best place” to work might have involved the place itself. What is the office space like? Does it have open design, bright colors, game tables, free meals, massages or dry cleaning. An entire design category arose in Silicon Valley and San Francisco about creating great places to work. The goal was to create a place an engineer would never have to leave, with the goal of keeping them there, coding all night.

By the end of the year, all the fancy offices were stripped away. Employees were working from home. And, as companies adapted and thrived or stumbled and failed, it became clear that what makes a company successful is not the office or the daily buffet or free snacks. What makes a company successful are the employees themselves, each dedicating themselves and their time and effort to making the company successful.

Paracosma has had a remote workforce, working primarily from home, in three countries around the world, since March 2020. Throughout the lockdowns and pandemic restrictions, we committed to not laying off, or firing any employees. We ended 2020 with a slight increase in employees as we adjusted for some departures for personal reasons and additions to replace them. Despite the challenges, our 2020 revenues hit record highs, because of the quality of our teams. We carry that lesson forward, that our employees and their experience is central to our success.

Besides a misplaced focus on office space, what are some of the important factors that make a company one of the best companies to work for?

Some people are just looking for a job. They care about their immediate paycheck, working hours, job description. At Paracosma, we want to provide careers not just jobs. Working at Paracosma should provide both personal opportunities and career opportunities. Because our areas of Augmented and Virtual Reality and 3D computing are relatively new fields, we are not seeking new employees with long experience in the field. Rather we are seeking brilliant recent graduates. Nepal has over 30 million people, so there are as many brilliant people as in Tokyo or California. These superstars could do virtually anything they want if they were born in California. But, in Nepal there have typically been fewer opportunities. We want to provide these amazing individuals with a local opportunity to realize their full potential and expand their latent capability as part of a team of similarly exceptional people. We can provide high-end workstations, multiple monitors, VR gear, whatever tools they need. From there, we provide a progression of opportunities to grow in capabilities and responsibilities over a long-term career.

It certainly sounds like Paracosma would be a great place to work in Nepal. What makes Paracosma a great global company to work for?

The success of Paracosma and the success of our employees is based on the opportunity to advance at the pace of the thriving Augmented and Virtual Reality technology sector. Every month, there are new innovations, new platforms, new devices and tools in AR and VR. So, there is a continual opportunity to learn new skills and develop deeper expertise.

Paracosma is also a fast-growing company. We are actually growing faster than the broader AR and VR sector. As we add employees and clients, we expand departments, and need to add or promote managers, sector experts, product specialists and project managers. Thus, there is a natural career progression and emergence of new opportunities based on our growth.

We are also a global company, so our employees have had opportunities to travel between the US, Japan and Nepal. From each location we add to our company culture. The US provides an unrelenting focus on innovation and advanced technology. Japan provides a dominant focus on customer service and quality of execution. Nepal provides brilliant engineers and talented artists with an opportunity to grow, thrive and be recognized and rewarded on a global scale.

100 Best Companies_Exeleon Magazine

Fast growing companies can have growing pains. What are some of the challenges you have faced?

As a global company, we have been greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Travel has been halted, shipments of equipment and supplies have been cut. Our meetings, team offsites, projects and routines have all been virtualized. This has enabled us to develop, experience and perfect virtual offices and auditoriums; to host and run multi-day, multi-venue film festivals; to push the limits of virtual collaboration and operations.

Initially, our primary focus was hiring based on capability and potential rather than experience. Thus, as we have grown we have thrust individuals into teams and elevated employees into managers. Managing delegation of responsibility, overseeing and reviewing performance, defining and guiding priorities have all had learning curves. On the one hand, studies show that providing employees with autonomy and self-motivation is important for satisfaction and personal growth. But, many people require some level of guiding and mentoring to reach their fullest potential. As a consequence, we have recently brought on additional senior executives who have themselves built and run companies, entrusted existing managers with greater responsibility, and also looked to hire experts in project management, quality assurance and other specialty areas to support our existing teams.

As the Founder and CEO of Paracosma what do you think you bring to the culture of the company that makes it a best place to work for?

I hope that all our employees can feel my sense of passion, awe and respect. I was driven to found Paracosma because I am passionate about the enormous potential for VR to transform our lives, from how we work, play, live, learn and travel. The impact has become even more profound and obvious as we encountered a global pandemic that introduced remote schooling, work from home and a broad migration of people from urban centers to places that they prefer to live. We have also seen a dramatic affirmation that the changes enabling VR are not specific to VR or AR, but are a widespread transition from 2D to 3D computing. Much of our business and opportunity at Paracosma have nothing directly to do with VR and AR, but result from this broader transition.

Beyond my excitement for the market potential for Paracosma, all that we do at Paracosma requires the blending of cutting-edge technology with spectacular artistry. No field more directly requires a mix of art and science. And, everyday looking at the creations of our artists and engineers I am in awe of their brilliance. For an artist to recreate by hand a complex 3D image that becomes indistinguishable from a real-life photograph, is nothing short of magical. For engineers to efnliven those artificial worlds with life and interactivity builds on the wonder.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for the talents and skills of our teams. But, beyond that, beyond the respect we should feel for each other because of our capabilities, I want our employees to recognize that it does not matter where someone was born, what gender they are, what caste or family they come from, what they look like or what language they speak, they are worthy or respect and appreciation as a human. This fundamental belief is central to Paracosma’s Mission, to make the Real World Better Through Augmented and Virtual Reality. Creating Virtual Worlds, is an act that can itself remind us of how special the Real World is.

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