Managing director, Joskos Solutions
What is your greatest career move to date?
Recognising the opportunity to expand Joskos Training into the solutions area of the education market and creating Joskos Solutions. We started in a small office with three employees and have quickly grown into a national company supporting hundreds of schools and thousands of learners.
What is top of your bucket list?
I would love to climb Mount Everest. It is the ultimate physical, mental and spiritual challenge.
What has changed most since you started working in the channel?
The growth and the essentiality of cloud computing in education as well as service expectations. The UK market buyers now expect more than transactional relations; the competitive environment has developed a more service-focused channel. Having personally been schooled in the US on what great customer service looks like, Joskos is built on a strong service ethos. Our belief is if we develop and nurture longstanding customer relationships, profits will follow.
How do you think Brexit is going to affect the channel?
We've already experienced some of the effects - confusion. Beyond the obvious effect on price there has been a lot of speculation on what Article 50 actually means, which has resulted in caution and reluctance to invest for some. Brexit or no Brexit, we have a ‘crack-on' mentality here at Joskos; we have a service to deliver and that's what we are busy delivering.
What is your least favourite task during the working day?
Saying bye to the kids in the morning or saying goodnight as I often leave before they wake up, is my least favourite thing to do. On the other hand, I'm essentially leaving one family and going to another, be that in the office or one of our schools!
If you were an animal, what would you be?
I let the team answer this question and their response was "an elephant". They are great leaders that have very strong bonds often travelling long distances together. I've been also told that I have a pretty good memory, which has its benefits and I definitely have the ears.
If you won the big one on EuroMillions, what would you do?
I wouldn't do anything differently. Joskos isn't about monetary pursuit and frankly if you're doing this purely for the money, education wouldn't be the first place to start. When you know your organisation is making a difference to the lives of children like Max (an autistic child we recently supported with specialist training and support - which we funded), that's an opportunity money can't always buy.
What is your worst habit?
Procrastinating about booking holidays.
How has 2016 been for you?
Great. Another year of double-digit growth. It has also been a year of investment - we've invested in growing our team and Joskos' reach across the UK. We've also received a number of accolades along the way, including our shortlisting for the Public Sector Provider of the Year at the Channel Awards and Company of the Year at the BETT Awards.
If you didn't work in the IT channel, what would be your dream career?
Working with people that do not have the same opportunities as many others because of their social background or adversity. Once upon a time I was one of those people with the odds stacked against me. I had the potential but not the knowledge of how to leverage it. Once I figured that out, there was no stopping me.
What major issues will the channel face in 2017?
Brexit as a notion is crippling many companies. Companies may need to evolve their offerings in what is perceived as a negative post-Brexit market. Lack of agility will result in new leaders emerging, presenting the opportunity for companies with what I call ‘David' mindsets to establish themselves as the future ‘Goliaths'.
Congratulations to all those who made the shortlist - your entries now go through to the second stage of judging in October
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