Chief operating officer, Exclusive Group
Which tech figurehead do you admire the most?
I really admire those who follow their passion and stand by their ideas, contrary to logic and opinion. People like Terry Matthews, who inspired me to get into disruptive technologies in the first place. Mitel and Newbridge Networks are both companies that went against the grain and challenged legacy vendors.
What's the biggest challenge facing the industry no-one is talking about yet?
Block-chain technology. Its ability to bring people together digitally and cut out many of the ‘middle men' gives it the potential to replace the traditional ways of exchanging currency. In terms of the channel, block-chain technology could have huge potential; but only if we embrace it rather than fighting it.
If you could invite three famous people to dinner, who would they be?
Sir Winston Churchill - for his wit, knowledge and extensive experience; Queen Elizabeth I - to discover how she reigned for so long in such a male dominated society and after so much chaos; and George Best - to find out where it all went wrong.
How has 2017 been for you?
Interesting would be one word. Challenging, to keep up the growth targets we set ourselves. Intriguing, to experience other cultures and ways of working, especially in the Far East. Exciting, to have finally acquired in North America - this has opened up all sorts of possibilities for us. Going global, staying local while continuing to add value has certainly had its moments this year, but we wouldn't have it any other way.
What's the most extravagant business lunch you've ever had?
Of course large, long lunches in the UK are pretty much a thing of the past. Nowadays it's in Europe and the Far East where lunches get interesting. Last month, I went along to a very interesting long lunch with eight colleagues in a street food place in Jakarta. The food there was stunningly extravagant, although the bill was anything but. Probably around €20 all in and that's including the tip!
Which global city best matches your personality?
London. It's been around a long time, but is still having fun and adapting to the next thing, whatever that may be!
What would be your super-hero power?
Probably time travel.
Complete this sentence. The worst thing about our rivals is…selling on price, not value, and having structured rebate schemes.
What makes you nervous?
When people tell me we have nothing to worry about. It may be a cliché but seriously, the number of times that statement has come back to haunt us amazes me.
If you could eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It has to be lasagne.
Sum up the channel in three words
Committed, opportunistic, lucky.
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