GET TO KNOW...
On the lighter side of things, we ask the
industry experts what makes them tick. . . .
VP of Blackboard Middle East and Africa
wWhat would you describe as your
most memorable achievement?
I was fortunate to be given the opportunity
three years ago to lead the Middle East
and Africa (MEA) region for Blackboard to
bring back productivity and profitability
and it has been a memorable and exciting
journey to date. Re-establishing Blackboard
in the MEA region, fostering closer working
ties with customers and business partners
as well as to build and lead a team of
talented people in the education sector.
This transformation has only been able to
happen due to the leadership in place at
Blackboard who have worked hard together
to pivot the whole company to be focussed
on delivering innovation within existing
products and through new technologies
and simplifying our business as we move
towards being a fully SaaS business.
What first made you think of a
career in technology?
Timing is everything, I am a firm believer
in that. I was not at any point thinking
of a specific career in this sector but was
fortunate to get an opportunity in 2000
to join one of the world’s leading contract
manufacturing companies Solectron Global
Services. The technology manufactured for
clients such as Nokia, Ericsson, IBM and
Cisco enabled me to grow and understand
the various attributes of the business from
materials management, procurement,
software, kaizen productivity philosophy
– ‘constant, continuous improvement’
plant manufacturing and supply chain.
I was fortunate to end up leading key
customer accounts in this sector globally so
really came to appreciate the technology
business. This experience has given me
the grounding and adaptability to work
on various complex business challenges
and to lead teams. Education technology
was a step into a new sector within a UK
company Promethean and then a pivot into
education software with Blackboard.
What style of management
philosophy do you employ with your
I have seen and been a part of so many
management styles throughout my career
IS A REALLY
and have adopted the right ones that work.
Trust, empathy, assertiveness, constructive
dialogue, guiding and collaborating are
some of the key attributes I apply. This for
me creates the right environment for the
colleagues I lead to be empowered and to
be confident in their decision making. It
has proven to be very successful and helps
develop mutual respect between team
members and leaders to achieve the desired
business and personal goals.