VezaTalks 013: Alina Vandenberghe


Mario Milanovic


Alina Vandenberghe

37:00 Min
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1. Let’s Meet Alina

Alina Vandenberghe is the co-founder and co-CEO of Chili Piper.

She co-founded Chili Piper in 2016 with her husband, Nicolas Vandenberghe, and the company has since grown to serve thousands of customers, including big names such as Spotify, Airbnb, Snapchat, and Shopify.

Chili Piper's platform enables businesses to automate and personalize their sales and marketing outreach, allowing them to connect with leads and customers more efficiently and effectively.

Alina is passionate about solving complex problems and building complex software. She finds joy in working on high-stakes projects and enjoys the challenges that come with building a business. 

She believes that aligning a person's passions with the company's mission is essential for people to do their best work and achieve their full potential.

2. This Business Of Things

Alina has had a fulfilling corporate experience across diverse industries such as finance, healthcare, education, and media. During this time, she developed the skills and confidence to create products that impacted millions of people, regardless of the sector. 

Despite this, she realized that she was not cut out for the corporate world due to her impatience and desire to move fast.

Alina explained, as human beings, we all aspire for a world where there is peace and harmony among cultures and tribes. While this may seem like an audacious goal, it all starts with the internal struggles that we face. 

By identifying and overcoming these struggles, we can help others thrive and work on complex problems that challenge them to grow their skillset.

Effective leadership is crucial in creating an environment where employees can thrive. However, measuring the effectiveness of a leader is not just about sales or profit. 

Alina said that at Chili Piper they use a "Thrive score" to measure how well we empower our employees to achieve their full potential.

Of course, external factors can impact an employee's ability to thrive, but they focus on providing the resources and support that we can control as a company. 

Alina says as a leader, it's important to balance these factors while also ensuring that the company is financially stable.

3. Effective Leadership

Alina believes that effective leadership is not just about the CEO making all the decisions. At Chili Piper, they have a culture of transparency and public decision-making. All decisions are made with input from everyone, and they only move forward when there is a rough consensus. 

This approach ensures that everyone's opinions are considered and that we are all working towards the same goal of thriving.

Alina spends a lot of time with marketers, having conversations with them. She has been to their offices to see how they work, and she feels like she has a good grasp of the industry and their roles.

“It is inspiring to see someone like me, who came from an engineering background, become a CEO, build a complex business, and manage the marketing side of it as well. I want to inspire women to aspire to be like me, especially those who are underrepresented in tech” -Alina

Alina explained that when it comes to building a great team, there are many factors to consider, but some stand out as particularly important. Of course, salary is a key component for most people, but for many employees, it's not the only driver.

Another critical component Alina spoke about was possibly the most important factor for getting the best work out of employees is understanding their motivations and drivers. 

She says everyone has a different "why'' that they are pursuing, and being able to align that with their work can be incredibly powerful. 

While some may worry that creativity and financial success are at odds, we believe that creativity can be a powerful tool for driving financial success. By cutting costs creatively and streamlining processes, companies can often achieve greater efficiencies and ultimately higher profits.

Final Thoughts

Alina believes that being authentic and transparent has been key to her success, both as an individual and as a leader. Alina left us off by saying that by embracing her own mistakes and being vulnerable, she’s been able to lead by example and create an environment where others feel safe to do the same. 

Alina leads Chili Piper with an open mind and respect for people.

VezaTalks aims to offer valuable insights and inspiration to help you navigate both the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship. Watch the Podcast now!

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