Ruan Pethiyagoda

Sr. Product Manager Natasa Trajkovic Builds on an Understanding of Client Business Initiatives

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Natasa Trajkovic is a Senior Product Manager at Kunai. She joined in 2021 and has worked on projects for some of our biggest clients. Here she shares more about her work delivering digital transformations.

The Product Manager Role at Kunai is Unique Because We Improve Products by Leveraging Insights from Previous Software Experiences

"At Kunai, we're different from traditional software development companies. We take responsibility for our clients' business initiatives. We strive to improve their products by leveraging our insights from previous software experiences. Additionally, we handle project management and Agile Scrum Master responsibilities, ensuring smooth team operations, clear priorities, and organized workflows. We track progress and ensure developers understand their tasks and expectations. Our unique approach and responsibilities make us valuable bridges between clients and successful product development."

Natasha Joined Kunai When She Saw How We Empower Team Members to Help Both the Company and the Clients Grow

"At Kunai, we are able to share knowledge with one another. The main reason I joined was being able to collaborate, share ideas, learn new things, and use my expertise to help the company grow. I feel like I am part of the growth, not just watching it happen from the sidelines. One of our co-founders, Neil Tolani, called it the Kunai Way. Our leadership wants to get everyone involved, and are interested to hear what people want to bring to the table. At the end of the day, it’s about how we can utilize teammates’ ideas to help Kunai and our clients grow."

Even During Fast Growth Natasa Stays Committed To Her Goal of Only Hiring Great People

"Things have only improved since I started. More clients and opportunities are coming into Kunai. I've conducted so many interviews recently and I tell candidates, the number one thing that I love about Kunai is the people. As we grow, we expand this group of wonderful individuals that bring in their own perspectives, their own knowledge, and we learn from one another. We give each other ideas on a regular basis, and now that we have more people, it's just more perspective that we get. I know growing this fast is difficult. Keeping the culture positive and making sure people are seen and feel seen is hard, but Kunai is doing a great job of that."

Natasa's First Kunai Project Was Empowering Pro Athletes With Financial Tools

"The cofounders of The Players Company (TPC) include a former NFL player who noticed a common problem among athletes—they often struggle to manage their income, money, and savings. They came to us with a great idea: to build an app that helps professional and collegiate athletes understand finances, manage their money, and make smart investments. They wanted us to handle the entire app development process, from the front end to the back end. So, we started by creating designs, getting their approval, and then jumping into development. Our responsibilities included onboarding users, linking bank accounts, and collaborating with third parties to establish bank accounts. We also implemented features for seamless money movement, from transferring funds between checking and savings accounts to even facilitating investments."

"One cool thing about this project was that we were one of the first to integrate crypto functionalities. At the time, it was a big deal since not many financial institutions were embracing crypto investments. Along with virtual cards, we built all of that for them. However, the project came with its fair share of challenges. We had to work with a limited budget and tight deadlines, but we were up for the challenge. We focused on moving fast and efficiently to deliver results. In the end, we successfully built the entire app, demoed it, and even reached the minimum viable product stage. The company was thrilled with what we achieved, and the experience was truly fascinating. Plus, we had the opportunity to work with both former and current NFL athletes, which added an extra level of excitement to the project."

Natasa is Currently Working for WEX – One of Kunai's Largest Clients, Revamping both the UI and the Backend of a Legacy System

"WEX came to us and said, 'Hey, we've got this project going on and these are the issues we are facing. Can you put together a team to help us out?' Of course, we jumped at the opportunity and said, 'Absolutely! We'll prepare a proposal for you.'"

"In the beginning, there were about six or seven of us in the team. They had this old virtual card program. Basically, their customers could create virtual cards, set spending limits, and use them for a specific period."

"The system needed a serious update. We're not just talking about a facelift here; we aimed to revamp the whole thing, both the user interface and the backend system. Our goal was to make the whole process faster, more secure, and user-friendly. When we joined, there were already a few teams working on the project internally. The cool thing about our team is that we're full-stack developers, which means we handle everything from the frontend to the backend and everything in between."

Natasa being interviewed at WEX Spark 2023

"Unlike other teams that specialize in specific areas, we are there to fill in any gaps and support the existing teams. As we get more involved, we have realized that we can contribute even more, so we have expanded our team. Now we're a team of around 13 all focused on making this project a success."

For Natasa, Golf is an Important Aspect of the Business World

"I believe golf is truly one of the most important aspects of the business world. I started playing when I was just six years old. Throughout school, I played golf and even played on the varsity golf team in high school. Nowadays, I play golf purely for fun. I play with friends. I play with family members."

"Little did I know this sport would have such an impact on my business life. Golf provides a unique opportunity to build connections and relationships. At WEXSpark, I had the chance to play golf with high-ranking executives. On the golf course, there's no formal acknowledgment of their status. We're all just playing, having fun, and bonding. We are making these connections in a way you can't do over a Zoom call or on a work meeting or through email."

"We get to know each other on a more personal level. I would say a lot of business connections are made on the golf course, and it opens up a lot of opportunities."

"I get to stay connected on LinkedIn. This allows me to reach out to them, share a joke, or establish a connection, knowing that they recognize me and trust me as an individual. This mutual connection can lead to business. Without a doubt, golf is a business sport."

As a Senior Product Manager at Kunai, Natasa Trajkovic’s insights and dedication are instrumental in shaping the future of businesses through digital transformation. From creating financial tools for professional athletes to modernizing systems for major clients, Natasa's work is at the heart of Kunai's innovation.