Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 74 - Page 80

GET TO KNOW or one-on-one sessions , people or technology , clients or colleagues – I strive to look after my business partners and my fellow colleagues equally well . I believe in unlocking the hidden potential of my team by empowering them and equally be present as a guide when they need me .
What do you think is the current hot technology talking point ?
In my view , ethical AI , technology-led customer experience , the use of biometrics and ESG ( environmental , social and governance ) have gained a lot of prominence recently . Investments in these areas have quadrupled at least , during the past 12 to 18 months especially in Europe . ESG especially , when infused with an optimal splash of technology , has the potential to render our lives better and safeguard our planet for generations to come .
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office ?
Whenever I get a chance , I spend time with my family , listen to some soothing music and play badminton . I also relish driving around during weekends ( hoping COVID-19 restrictions will allow it again soon !), especially to hidden gems in small towns and countryside . Taking my mind away helps me recharge , refocus and come back to work revitalised .
If you could go back and change one career decision what would it be ?
Nothing , actually . I am humbly proud , happy and satisfied with all my career decisions to date . I am privileged to have found great people to work with . I have created fantastic relationships with seniors and juniors alike . I am equally fortunate to enjoy what I was and am doing now . More importantly , I continuously learn and what never ceases to surprise me are the outcomes delivered every day through engineering and technology , for the benefit of the entire ecosystem .
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry ?
End-to-End business transformation – encompassing end-user experience , technology transition and culture enhancement – is a major area of investment in the industries we , at Ciklum , operate in . This transformation stitches people , processes , IT and data together . Furthermore , with COVID-19 , the vast majority of clients in our industry are looking to undertake ( or have started ) the journey of business transformation , to stay relevant as well as to gain competitive advantage .
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in EMEA ?
Each client business and country dynamic is different in EMEA . What works in one country or for one business , may not exactly work for another business or country . EMEA indeed has a diverse operating model with specific culture and language nuances . What sets our business apart is the acceptance of these complexities and challenges , while finding ways to provide valueadded delivery at every step of organisational and transformational change . We love it when we are rewarded with smiles all around .
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months ?
Technology-led business enablement is very much mainstream now . In my view , technology is not just an enabler , it is now business itself . I expect technology to play a much more prominent role in the future , especially as economies in EMEA start to completely recover from the pandemic within the next six to18 months . I am excited by the art of possible , which technology and engineering promises to usher in .
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry ?
My four-pronged advice for anyone aspiring towards a C-suite position is : demonstrate true leadership everywhere you go , show empathy and gravitas in everything you do , communicate easy / difficult change messages with aplomb and be humble to accept and apply feedback . p
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