Tim Chingos, senior director of business operations, is one of the most tenured employees of Branch. He started just 10 months after our founding. Tim has seen Branch grow from 20 employees to over 500, evolve from a scrappy startup to a well-founded enterprise, and blossom into a global company with a passion for innovation.
What does a typical week at Branch look like for you?
As director of business operations, I oversee our enterprise business systems, focusing on the end-to-end flow of revenue with a primary emphasis on Salesforce. My team and I ensure that our annual revenue is flowing among systems. We’re actually in the middle of overhauling and setting up our systems to scale more efficiently! That way, we can scale our revenue and our customer growth without needing linear headcount growth alongside it. This is essential work as we build our leadership team and prepare for a future exit.
I share all of that context just to say that a typical week can be extremely busy, especially with a global team.
I recently relocated to the UK, and my family and I are loving it. About half of my team is in North America, and the other half is primarily in India. A typical week for me means trying to keep traditional UK business hours on Mondays and Fridays and tackling more heads-down project work. This also gives me a lot of time to overlap with my colleagues in India. Then, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, I’m more focused on North American time zones, supporting my teams there and ensuring they’re successful.
How has Branch grown and changed during your seven-and-a-half year tenure?
We could spend the whole interview just talking about this.
When I started, Branch only had 20 employees, and every single one of those people were hired to be really smart generalists. Fast forward to today, and we are a company of over 500 people. Now, pretty much everyone we hire is an incredibly smart specialist.
What’s interesting is that many of the folks who were hired as generalists at Branch years ago have built their careers to be in management or leadership positions now. They continue to operate in a generalist way where they’re able to bring a lot of their institutional knowledge to bear. These team members, when paired with newer, more specialized colleagues, are force multipliers. They help us maintain the speed and agility that has allowed us to thrive as a business since our founding.
How have you grown and changed during your seven-and-a half-year tenure here?
On a personal note, I got an MBA and had a child while I’ve worked at Branch. In the past seven years, I’ve also developed professionally because I’ve had to rip up and redo work that I did myself in Branch’s early days. I’ve learned to really focus on the value of what I’m trying to accomplish and let go of the ego I might have had for any work I “owned” years ago. Worded differently, I’ve learned how to look at old processes, projects, and standards and get rid of the stuff that doesn’t work anymore.
As the organization I lead has grown, I’ve developed the skills to delegate and focus on work that helps us scale. Getting the right person within my organization to work on the right project is incredibly important, and hiring a team of people who really diversify the organization helps me accomplish that. I’ve been trying to look at skill gaps — either within myself or my leadership layer — and then make sure we are incredibly deliberate in finding diverse candidates who fill those gaps.
What makes you stay at Branch, and what do you love about your job?
I’ve said this over a hundred times, so this is going to sound rehearsed… but it’s true.
One of the really cool parts about Branch is that employees are given the opportunity to operate at the outer edges of their comfort zone.
Whether I’m tackling a new project or taking on a new initiative, it’s incredibly exciting because I’m pushed to do things that aren’t entirely familiar to me. Finding success and making mistakes along the way, but always learning from them, keeps people engaged in their work and is what makes Branch special to me.
What do you do outside of work?
I’m an electronic music producer! I took an online course in early 2021 and hustled through the rest of the year making music and learning along the way. Music has a strong community around it, and EDM is where all of my internet friends are. I’m amazed by the strong relationships I have with individuals living in Los Angeles, Orlando, Nashville, New York, Portugal, Berlin, the list goes on. Most of us have day jobs as well, but we have a lot of fun making music together.
I actually just released my first song at the end of December 2022! You can stream it on Spotify. If you enjoy dance music, consider following me on Instagram and Spotify.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
We have our professional, our familial, and our social/hobbyist lives. I strongly believe that it’s very difficult to do more than one of those exceptionally well at any given time. So to anybody who will listen, I encourage you to be incredibly deliberate in where you focus your time and energy.