Managing director, Utopia Computers
Which tech figurehead do you admire the most?
Sheryl Sandberg, self-made billionaire and one of the most influential women in the world. I have an eight-year-old daughter and I would love for there to be more women like this to show her anything is possible.
What's the biggest challenge facing the industry no-one is talking about yet?
AI taking over retail customer service/human jobs. A lot of the time we're already speaking to AI through live chat software for example, and we don't even know it. This could have a significant impact on retailers in the future, especially smaller firms who provide valuable work experience and skills.
If you could invite three famous people to dinner, who would they be?
Stephen Fry, Simon Sinek and Bill Gates.
How has 2017 been for you?
A little bit like a dream, with so many cool new clients, from leading-edge defence firms to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, to the creative minds behind the Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing on Ice opening sequences. Not to mention seeing our systems land in Dubai for the first time ever. I love thinking of Utopia's systems making all of this happen!
What's the most extravagant business lunch you've ever had?
I'm lucky enough to have some very kind vendors who have treated me to all sorts, however I have to give a shout out to my local restaurant based in Ayrshire College, the Salt & Barrel. The food is amazing and has the menu of a top-class restaurant in London. Best of all it's run by students, so it provides them with fantastic industry experience, and it doesn't hurt your wallet too much either!
Which global city best matches your personality?
While I've never been, I think it would have to be Sydney. With its mixed pace of life, the fact it doesn't take itself too seriously and it's happy to indulge in a beer at a moment's notice make it a good match for me.
What would be your super-hero power?
Living in Scotland, Atmokinesis (yeah, I Googled that too) would be pretty handy! Being able to control the weather would mean no more rained-off BBQs, something I have had a few too many of in 2017!
Complete this sentence. The worst thing about our rivals is… they are too nice, but I would not have it any other way! I love meeting up with the competition, chatting about what we are all up to and laughing about some of our adventures.
What makes you nervous?
Public speaking. I love doing it and do it often, but there is no denying the nerves that kick in every time I stand up in front of a crowd. I tell myself it's all part of growing!
If you could eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My wife's homemade curry. Nothing reminds me of home more!
Sum up the channel in three words
Excitement, fun, kaizen.
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