Martin Hellawell

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Martin Hellawell

Chief executive, Softcat

Which tech figurehead do you admire the most?

It's a boring answer but without doubt, Bill Gates. He created the most successful IT company in my lifetime and is now using the gains to make a lasting, positive and significant difference to millions of lives across the world.

What's the biggest challenge facing the industry no-one is talking about yet?

Attracting enough good people into it and particularly females (not just on the tech side).

If you could invite three famous people to dinner, who would they be?

Jesus, Socrates and Tintin (he had some amazing adventures).

How has 2017 been for you?

Transitional.

What's the most extravagant business lunch you've ever had?

The tasting menu at Le Gavroche with Mike Norris, and Microsoft's Simon Witts and Chris Lewis in 1995 just after we got Bill Gates to do the Computacenter Windows 95 launch. 

Which global city best matches your personality?

Naples - run down, dull and increasingly smelly. 

What would be your super-hero power?

My memory for anything anyone has ever said to me in Softcat. Or at least my recollection of what they said which is always right.

Complete this sentence. The worst thing about our rivals is… they still exist. Only joking (sort of). Generally I have nothing but admiration for our key competitors and we need a healthy channel filled with outstanding companies. Phil Doye used to say to me Kelway would not have been so successful had it not been for Softcat (i.e. we pushed each other on). The same is definitely true in reverse.

What makes you nervous?

Pretty much everything; I'm scared of my own shadow. But being nervous has its advantages.

If you could eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Edible. As you can see I love my food.

Sum up the channel in three words

Better than ever.

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