Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 20 - Page 91

GET TO KNOW... On the lighter side of things, we ask the industry experts what makes them tick. . . . Gareth Hawkey, Group CEO, redPanda Software What would you describe as your most memorable achievement? It is quite difficult for me to pinpoint my most memorable achievement as there are two key achievements that have led me to where I am today. The first is having the opportunity to travel. It might not sound like an achievement in itself, but long term global travel was a new and exciting concept at the time. I spent three years traveling through Europe doing various low-entry jobs to make ends meet, occasionally sleeping on beaches and in phone booths. It was an incredible learning and growing experience for me and I returned home to South Africa confident that I could achieve anything. The second is climbing 6,500 metres to the bottom of North Cole on Mount Everest. It is without a doubt the most difficult thing I have ever done. Quitting is simply not an option and you are forced to carry on regardless. It changed the way I look at business and life – pushing through to the end despite all odds – and it changed me into the person who went on the establish redPanda Software. What first made you think of a career in technology? It was a very new and exciting field 25 years ago – this was before the glamour of the Internet era. There was a lot of opportunity because the market had not yet matured, and I knew that IT would eventually touch every facet of business. After all, every business needs to have an umbrella view of how the different departments fit together, and I knew that this is where I could truly make a difference. IoT feeds into the all-important customer experience within the retail industry. How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office? The easiest way for me to truly unwind is through travel. On a daily and weekly basis, I enjoy listening to music and playing touch rugby to take my mind of life’s pressures. What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position? At a high-level view, it is redPanda Software’s Way to Grow philosophy, which gives us the distinguishing advantage to grow curiosity, creativity and confidence and in turn benefit our customers, operations and people. I also believe in objective measurement of our employees and I like to provide ongoing feedback. It’s about making clear what every individual’s goal is and then helping them achieve the goal. As a company, we all have a unifying destination and it’s about supporting the different ways that people achieve that goal (putting the employee in power of their own career). What do you think is the current hot technology talking point? The Internet of Things (IoT) is the current hot topic. Consumers are again becoming the focal point, rather than just business – this trend is set to change the entire world. INTELLIGENTCIO 91