How I got here

Manag­ing di­rec­tor, Mid­dle East, Turkey and East Africa, HP Inc.

Gulf Business - - CONTENTS - MATHEW THOMAS

Manag­ing di­rec­tor, Mid­dle East, Turkey and East Africa, HP Inc.

ED­U­CA­TION

Dur­ing my early years I was hes­i­tat­ing a lot be­tween study­ing en­gi­neer­ing and man­age­ment. I fi­nally de­cided on a com­pro­mise by tak­ing up a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in sci­ence and then pur­sued a post grad­u­ate de­gree in man­age­ment. Over the years, I made it a point to at­tend nu­mer­ous train­ing ses­sions to up­grade my pro­fes­sional skills – al­ways look­ing at rein­vent­ing my­self in the work­place.

MY START

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing with my MBA, I started my ca­reer in 1988 as a sales ex­ec­u­tive of a com­puter store. This was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and I learnt the im­por­tance of de­ter­mi­na­tion and per­sua­sion skills as I had to sell desk­top com­put­ers and dot ma­trix print­ers to cus­tomers who had not heard of the prod­ucts at all. I changed in­dus­tries to widen my ex­po­sure in op­er­a­tions and spent more than five years in lo­gis­tics with TNT and DHL be­fore re­turn­ing to the ICT in­dus­try. I was ap­pointed pres­i­dent of Red­ing­ton Gulf for MEA be­fore join­ing HP in 2010.

HIGHS AND LOWS

Our mar­kets are very dy­namic, and the world around us is chang­ing so fast that there is a new les­son to learn ev­ery day. Among my highs are the records we broke – per­sonal and pro­fes­sional – busi­ness achieve­ments, build­ing a great team, be­ing a part of this great com­pany, trav­el­ing the world, con­stantly be­ing forced to trans­form, work­ing with young lead­ers and see­ing them grow. And fi­nally, mak­ing cus­tomers happy – both in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal – and in­cul­cat­ing a healthy com­pe­ti­tion at the work­place.

MY AP­PROACH

I’ve had the priv­i­lege of be­ing ex­posed to very di­verse think­ing.

I started from hum­ble be­gin­nings – do­ing cold calls and hold­ing sales meet­ings with clients in var­i­ous places in­clud­ing the crowded Mum­bai rail­way sta­tions – and now help lead one of the big­gest re­gions in CEMA for HP Inc. Be­ing able to gain in­sight from dif­fer­ent facets of the in­dus­try through my work and the net­work, I have been priv­i­leged to lead, guide and learn new prac­tices un­der dif­fer­ent lead­ers.

This has all im­pacted my life and the way I man­age my busi­ness. I am not a per­fec­tion­ist by any means but prac­tice hard and re­peat­edly aim to achieve the best re­sults. I strive hard to achieve my goals and create a win­ning team that re­flect the mis­sion and vi­sion of my or­gan­i­sa­tion.

DOS AND DON’TS

When in doubt, just take the first step. Be in­no­va­tive and be pre­pared for what you want to do. Be gen­uine and let your value sys­tem dic­tate your ac­tions. Al­ways be as­sertive and per­sua­sive. Build your rep­u­ta­tion along with your ca­reer. Never ask the ques­tion ‘why’ alone; in­stead use all the other w’s – what, where, when – any time you are ask­ing ques­tions. Do not let oth­ers hold you back.

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