Senior vice president, European sales, MTI Technology
What is your greatest career move to date?
Undoubtedly it would have to be joining MTI back in 2004. Since our early days as a storage VAR, we have made huge - and might I say successful - strides to transform our model to that of solutions, services, hosting and security.
What is top of your bucket list?
I'm right in the middle of working on that now. A fully fledged glider pilot.
What has changed most since you started working in the channel? When I started out receptionists recorded your telephone messages in little books which they then tore out and left on your desk, and secretaries typed out your quotes and proposals. Work finished at 5.30pm and tea was generally around 6.30pm. Work now seems to be a 15 hours-a-day thing. Up at 5am, flight, meetings, dinner with clients, bed around midnight. Communication and availability is almost expected to be 24/7. It is relentless but hugely rewarding.
How do you think Brexit is going to affect the channel?
Initial reaction in the markets has caused some challenges on pricing but that will right itself in time. New trade agreements will need to be negotiated and that could lead to some negative growth, which in turn could trigger possible recessions but I am a hugely optimistic person by nature and I believe in the UK to be agile and energised. We'll work it out, we always do.
What is your least favourite task during the working day?
The journey home. I am a very early riser to beat the traffic or make a flight. The return leg home can easily be a two-hour drive or another delayed flight.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
My daughter asked me the same question a couple weeks back. I replied our dog, Zaki. You see, I am a simple soul at heart and all I want to do is make people happy and be treated with a little bit of attention occasionally.
If you won the big one on EuroMillions, what would you do?
See-ya! Seriously though that kind of money would weigh heavy on me. I would have to set up some sort of charity or fund for those worse off than me.
What is your worst habit?
I do speak rather quickly which can frustrate my European colleagues but I suspect my worst trait is that I am a foul loser when it comes to the weekly golf that I play with my best mate. After some 400-plus games he is currently only two up. The banter and micky taking usually takes up most of my text allowance for the week.
How has 2016 been for you?
It has been a tough year, to be honest. Vendors and partners alike have fought hard to both retain and grow market share while new startups are trying to be as disruptive as possible and all of this has served to drive margins down. That said, our plans from a couple of years back are now starting to pay dividends and we see huge growth in our security and MS practices. I guess that's the point: fortune favours the agile and maybe the brave as well.
If you didn't work in the IT channel, what would be your dream career?
A professional golfer. The venues, the travel, the climate, the money... and paid to do something I love. Does it get any better?
What major issues will the channel face in 2017?
If partners don't have utility or consumption-type models or at least plans for one, they are really going to struggle in the coming years.
Your latest issue of CRN
Top VARs is back, with the top 100 firms logging collective revenues of £17.4bn in their latest financial years. The profiles can be viewed here, and we will be adding all the related content to this hub over the coming days.
Top VARs 2019 shows double digit growth and slight improvement in profit margins for 100 firms featured