The UK office is based in central London, surrounded by lots of fashion wholesale businesses which means you either bump into large card board boxes or fashion models depending on the luck of the draw.
The office is a large loft and is light and airy, you do need to be careful though climbing our stairs as one step's higher than the others, an initiative test designed to weed out the less dextrous.
We share the office with our sister company www.moonfruit.com They produce website building tools which enables anyone to build their own professional looking website quickly and easily. Like Gandi they believe in providing tools for people to own and manage their online presence: business, profile or project.
It is stereotypically English but we do drink a lot of tea from 'fake tan' builders to 'you've got to be kidding' redbush', at least we managed to get beyond the 'tea making mafia' that dominates most UK businesses, we each make our own and for the more adventurous we have a gem of a fresh coffee maker.
We spend a lot of time talking to the Gandi team in France. They're based in Paris and every two weeks we get on the Eurostar, arrive in Nation and grab a pain au raison from a boulangerie in Boulevard Voltaire (exceptional) which sets us up nicely to make good stuff happen on our joint projects.
The hot topic in the office at the moment is of course the 'credit crunch' and looming recession. Interestingly as both companies started in 1999, the majority of us survived, in one form or another, the tech market crash in 2001. Did we actually learn anything? Hindsight of course is a marvellous thing but in difficult times it's hard to see the woods from the trees. A humble summary of our thoughts: The belt tightening and re-establishing of discipline that happens in a down turn is good if painful. It is a chance to get real, re-think and re-build a business which is sustainable. A business is a long term prospect, it's about stewardship and growth, it's about real jobs, having a purpose you believe in and exceeding customers needs and expectations. Most importantly, it's about balancing this with the rest of your life, so you have the resources to play a long term game. This won't happen if we burn out at work, neglect those at home or never enjoy our other passions in life.
You'll be coming across some of the team in the Gandi blog from time to time, here's a little bit about them in case you want to say 'hello':
Manages group operations and finances, peacemaker and red Thai curry enthusiast. Sang in a band called ‚ 'Sexual Chocolate'.
Manages UK business and external communications, mostly interrupts people in the office to ask random questions. Dreams about being on 'Strictly Come Dancing'.
Oversee software development schedules, prioritisation and methodology as well as IT operations, was a mean ice hockey player.
Looks after computers, he get's more text messages from the servers than from his friends. Once abseiled from the top of Canary Warf tower to the look of utter shock from the people inside.
Gandi UK Team