Chief executive, OryxAlign
What was your dream career as a child?
To be a professional squash player. Squash was a major part of my early days and I have fond memories of going to the squash club with my dad, finding broken squash rackets, fixing them and playing with them until they broke again. I got very close to realising my childhood ambition and turned "semi-pro" with a sponsor, in the last few years in Namibia before I came to the UK to further my squash career.
What has been your personal highlight of 2019?
Spending [more] time with my three little kids and seeing them achieve, learn and get into the swing of life. A constant highlight. Another one is getting back on the squash court and playing county league after a 10-year break.
Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?
Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe, and it wouldn't be gentle. They were both appalling beings and the most corrupt "leaders" in Southern Africa who led to the demise of great countries, which are now broken.
What two things (apart from family) would you grab if your house was on fire?
A crystal wine decanter belonging to my late parents, and photos of them enjoying life back in the day.
Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?
I didn't make any predictions, so none.
What TV show have you binge watched this year?
Vikings and Peaky Blinders, both of which were superb.
How has 2019 been from a business perspective?
It's been our most successful year ever. We have comfortably exceeded our financial targets [FY2018-19] underpinned by a CAGR of 28%. Having set higher and very ambitions targets for FY2019-20, I'm delighted that we are tracking ahead at the end of H1.
We have continued to invest in our people, our infrastructure and our governance as this is essential for sustained and healthy growth. Two of our amazing women, who have been instrumental to our ongoing success, were finalists in CRN's Women in Channel Awards, and OryxAlign is a finalist for MSP of the Year 2019. All in all, it has been an excellent year!
What annoys you most about your commute?
My commute to work is great considering I travel into London from the home counties. However, on the very rare occasion I don't get a seat, I get annoyed. No seat means no laptop!
If you could witness one past event, what would it be?
There are so many obvious ones to choose (first flight, moon landing, discovery of fire, Live Aid and Woodstock), but something brutally different would have been watching a gladiator fight in the Coliseum. To have witnessed the intensity of mortal combat in an epic venue such as the Coliseum alongside 50,000 wild people, would have been unforgettable.
How do you explain the channel to people?
Is the channel that hard to explain? A series of organisations through which goods and services pass until it reaches the end user.
What have been your favourite and least favourite partner conference destinations?
My favourite is Amsterdam. My least favourite, Excel London.
What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020? Evolution. The previous [and current] vendor-dictated model that controls the channel needs to change in order to align to and drive a "business outcomes" model for the end user.
The channel therefore needs to adapt to the way partners and end users want to consume services and the preference is for a flexible, scalable pay-as-you-grow engagement.
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