Voices of Nium with Karolis Urbonavičius, Lithuania Country Manager and Customer Experience at Nium

6 Minute read
3 months ago

Karolis Urbonavičius is Nium’s Country Manager in Lithuania and Customer Experience Manager. Based in Vilnius, but operating in a global role, Karolis begins his day with Australia and Singapore and signs off with San Francisco. An industry veteran in ensuring customers are continually top of mind, he additionally spearheads “internal buzz” for Nium’s ever-growing team in Lithuania, largely made up of compliance aficionados.   

This feature of “Voices of Nium” shines a spotlight on why Lithuania is not only a cool place to work, but also to live and, in an unexpected turn of events, Karolis reveals why Nium’s Chief Executive Officer, Prajit Nanu, would be his top pick if ever there was a Zombie Apocalypse.  

  1. What does a day in the life of Nium’s Country Manager in Lithuania look like?  

Every day is different! It’s one of the most exciting things about working at Nium. I’m lucky to be in a role where I interact with multiple nations a day and, usually, when I open my laptop, there’s plenty that’s already happened for the teams in Australia and Singapore. Typically, I catch up on Slack to kick off my day, check in with the team in Lithuania and then start tapping on my keyboard and making calls to ensure our customers are smiling. 

  1. Can you give us a fun fact about Lithuania that might not be widely known? 

I think most people would be surprised to learn that Lithuania is one of the basketball capitals of the world. The sport is somewhat of a “second religion” locally. In the period between the World Wars, many Lithuanians moved to the United States and the game was thriving at the time. When they returned home, they brought their passion for the sport back with them, and international athletes frequently visited to coach and pass along the game’s secrets. In 1937, Lithuania entered a team into the Eurobasket Championship, which Lithuania won, beating Italy by one point, and from there our love of basketball has skyrocketed into a way of life for many Lithuanians. 

  1. What makes you most proud to be from Lithuania? 

As a country with a relatively newly established independence (especially by modern standards), I am exceptionally proud that within 30 short years, Lithuania has become a great place to live and work. We are known for having a high education quality and excellent teaching standard. We also have low pollution, good healthcare and a way of living that is relatively low cost in comparison to some of our neighbouring countries in Europe. 

  1. What do you enjoy most about your broader role, not only as Nium’s Country Manager in Lithuania but also as a Customer Experience lead? 

I’m genuinely motivated by delighting our customers. I enjoy the holistic insight and view of the business it offers me; including into compliance, product, operations and technology. I don’t operate in isolation, I collaborate closely with various functions, across various regions, and I think that enables me to communicate better with our customers. Although I'm continually involved in day-to-day relationship management with our customers, I make it my mission to ensure that the new and exciting things we’re working on from a product perspective are also highlighted and given the spotlight they deserve. 

  1. Were you always pretty certain (even in growing up) that you’d end up in a career that was so people-focused?   

To be honest, I’m never certain of anything, except that we have 3,000,000 professional basketball players in Lithuania. Remember, as I said, it’s a “second religion”. Haha. I’m an open-minded person, I don’t like to box my thinking, which I think enables me to see things from different points of view, especially in terms of our team and our customers. 

  1. Imagine we wake up tomorrow and we’re in a Zombie Apocalypse! Which Nium team members do you want on your team to fight the zombies and why?  

Our CEO, Prajit Nanu, would be a valuable team member when faced with Zombies. He is so personable that I think he’d be able to find common ground (even with a Zombie) and I think he would find a way to strike a deal/mutually beneficial arrangement. “If you don’t try to eat our brains, we’ll live in harmony” kind of deal. Alongside Prajit, I’d want Margiris Gaudutis, one of our Compliance Operations Analysts, on my team purely because he is one of the biggest guys around, so we would have strength in numbers (and muscle). 

  1. What do you think makes Nium stand out as an employer, especially in Lithuania? 

This year we have plans to majorly grow our small (but mighty) team in Lithuania, especially within our compliance function. I’m looking forward to being part of this journey. We have a great product, we have exceptionally talented people, and we are in the process of looking for a new office in Vilnius with plenty of space for collaborative working. I’d also say that our #SimplyBetterTogether culture is growing each and every day. The sky is truly the limit for a global fintech organization like ours! 

  1. What’s your favourite way to spend a day when you’re not in the office?  

I like throwing myself into the unknown, trying something new and being adventurous. Sometimes exploring cool places with my children, traveling with friends or waking up in the morning, randomly picking a road and cruising with my motorcycle. Clears my head! 

  1. We all know that Nium is a high-energy environment. If you had to describe Nium as a caffeinated drink (tea, coffee, Coca-Cola, Red Bull, for example), which would you most liken us to and why?  

Can I say everything wrapped into one drink, in the best way possible? We are a pretty supercharged bunch, fearless in the pursuit of our North Star; to build the on-demand payments infrastructure of the future, to reach anyone, anywhere, anytime. 

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