Doug Ding’s career has taken him to Kansas City, Mo., Chicago and New York, but as a Hoosier Xpat who attended Carmel High School, Purdue University undergrad and the University of Notre Dame for his MBA, he was keenly aware of the growing tech scene in Indiana.
“To be honest, I wish I would’ve joined the Indy tech community sooner,” Doug admits. “I felt like if I didn’t join now that I would really be missing the boat.” Doug’s wife is also connected to the tech community working in electronic medical records at a health IT company.
As the practice director for the Kronos Incorporated Indianapolis Tech Center, Doug’s main responsibility is to grow and develop new talent into future consultants with the company, most of which are hired from Indiana universities like Purdue, IU, Ball State, Butler, and IUPUI, just to name a few.
Kronos is a workforce management software and services company headquartered in Massachusetts that employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. The Kronos Indianapolis Tech Center was announced in 2011, opened its doors in 2012, and quickly ramped up to more than 200 employees here.
Doug said he and his team of managers — he calls them the “Fab Four” — recently hired 23 new tech-skilled grads, 22 of which came from universities in the state of Indiana. Kronos is also a TechPointX talent initiatives employer hosting four Xterns for their ultimate tech internship experience this summer.
“Being from here, I’ve always been a strong believer in Indianapolis having some of the best and brightest minds,” Doug said. “Being presented the opportunity to work with such an exceptional team of managers, and to lead and develop local talent was a primary reason I made the decision to join Kronos. I was also looking for an organization that was expanding where I could fit in and help continue that momentum.”
Kronos, which started out as the inventor of the world’s first microprocessor-based time clock and has been the employment industry’s timekeeping innovator for 40 years, will celebrate its fifth anniversary in Indianapolis this summer with the Indianapolis Tech Center.
“Our goal is to make timekeeping and workforce management easier for our clients, so they can focus on what is core to their business,” Doug said. “We don’t want timekeeping to be cumbersome or difficult; our goal is to make it seamless and simplified so our clients’ day-to-day jobs are easier.”
Doug explained that Kronos has evolved far beyond timekeeping alone into workforce management tools and services as well as employee engagement. The company website includes a wonderful timeline with important historical milestones leading to Kronos’ evolution into a billion dollar global enterprise software company.
Doug’s favorite things about Indianapolis, besides being close to family and friends, is the quality of life in the city. “Everything in Indy is just very accessible,” says Doug. “You can go from the theatre to an NFL or NBA game to the grocery store and never have to worry that much about parking or traffic. It might take 30 minutes to get from one side of town to the other during rush hour in Indy, but in Chicago and a lot of other cities you might only travel two miles in 30 minutes.”
There’s a well-roundedness to Indianapolis that caught Doug by surprise when he was contemplating moving back to the area. He knew he and his wife were going to have a lot of room to grow professionally, but they both were concerned that there wouldn’t be enough to satisfy their love of trying new restaurants and discovering new places. Looking back now, their hesitations were just a matter of not knowing what Indy had to offer.
It helps that Indianapolis is in the middle of one of the greatest culinary booms the city has ever seen, and the cultural trail and districts have offered the couple seemingly endless opportunities to discover diverse new neighborhoods. Doug says his favorite dining spots are Bluebeard and Bru Burger downtown and Noah Grant’s Grill House & Oyster Bar in Zionsville.
“There is a special vibe and energy In Indianapolis, especially downtown and especially in the growing tech community,” Doug said. “Moving to Indianapolis is one of the best decisions my wife and I have ever made.”