Meet Desi, our People Manager

👋 Hey Desi, nice to chat with you today! Can you introduce yourself and share a little bit about your background?

I’m Desislava Kocheva, and I joined Tide in November ’21 as part of the People Managers team. I’m responsible for Tideans across the Web, Mobile and Data teams in Sofia. At the moment I’m also an Interim People Manager for the Web team in India.

What were you doing before Tide? 

My previous experience is mainly in Human Resources (HR). I have dedicated more than 11 years to various roles in this field. I started in HR admin a long time ago and continued as a generalist and then progressed to Business Partner roles. But I think the People Manager role is quite different, so I’m still learning.

How did you cross paths with Tide?

I was actually invited to apply for the position by a trusted colleague, who is still at Tide and is a great leader (Thanks, Gery!). The role sounded great – something I would be a good fit for and an interesting career development opportunity. Plus, the Fintech sector was already grabbing my attention. So it was meant to be!

And what made you want to join the team?

I was told how good Tide’s internal culture was, how the team was amazing, and everyone was supportive. I literally trusted the hiring team and took the leap; everything turned out to be true. The team is one of the most important things to me when I’m looking for a new job, and I saw that right from the start during the hiring process. 

How would you explain your role to someone who isn’t familiar with your area? 

People Managers are crucial to tech-team management. We take care of a company’s number one asset – people. 😊 Our job is to make each feel seen and heard, put their interests into consideration and support them during challenges. Our colleagues are not just empowered to grow; they know how to do it, and how to navigate personal and professional waters. Emotional intelligence is key for the role because you should understand people, coach them, motivate them and recognise their effort. Their success automatically leads to the company’s success.

At Tide, thanks to my manager Alistair, I learned about Servant Leadership, “a leadership philosophy in which the goal of the leader is to serve” and how to apply it. It starts in your heart and who you are as a human being.  It teaches you how to move from “I” to “We” and show selflessness and humility.

What’s your favourite part of your role?

People, of course! My role is dedicated to them, and I really enjoy seeing them happy, calm, developing and growing at Tide. The connection we build and the mutual trust is something very significant to me. I manage some really impressive colleagues who are doing incredible things.

Let’s say you have a bad day⛅! How do you turn things around? ☀️

I’m a direct person, and I prefer to address the things that bother me immediately. Otherwise, I can’t sleep 😅 So I aim to clear the situation before it’s too late. If this is not possible, I just spend some time with my 2 kids; they can always heal my bad mood. Plan B – eat some chocolate.🍫

How do you stay ahead in your field?

It’s all about information and learning. It is important for me to understand the big picture and the company’s goals. Then it becomes clearer how we could bring value to individuals and teams. 

In my field, I stay up-to-date with the latest trends and how the market is changing. There are some courses related to management and even programming that I am taking. When I have time, I listen to podcasts and watch videos. 

What advice would you give someone looking for a role in Fintech? 

Don’t give up and be proactive. Fintech is one of the fastest-growing industries, full of innovations and development opportunities. So, you are on the right track. Research the companies very well and follow your interests. 

Personally, I’m considering studying programming and maybe becoming an engineer one day. The Tide experience taught me that this is absolutely possible and people will support me if I start this career change. So everything is possible in Fintech.

What’s your hidden talent? Tell us something that Tideans you work with don’t know about you.

I used to own the dance floor 💃 😄 I really love dancing, but this hasn’t happened a lot in the last few years.

One last question before you go! When you’re not at Tide, what’s your favourite thing to do?

My love for food is well-known to everyone who knows me. Travelling and food tourism are two of my favourite things. My heart always melts when I am in a beautiful restaurant in a foreign country. 

My kids are my favourite people in the whole world even though they can sometimes drain most of my energy and nerves. Having time with my family is very important to me, which is why I’m happy that Tide gives me the opportunity to balance my personal and professional lives.

Valentine Hutchings

Valentine Hutchings

Head of Community and small business enthusiast

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