By Yusra Sarkar
As ZEDRA’s Global Head of IT, you’ve just overseen the shift of a 500-stong workforce move to homeworking. Can you tell us about the experience and how the company has managed?
My team has kept things simple with the motto: ‘keep calm to serve our clients so they can serve theirs’. I would suspect this is the motto of most IT leaders, especially in these testing times! When IT staff keep calm and act in a timely and helpful manner, we ensure that ZEDRA staff can work without issues, which helps them deliver a great service to our clients.
My team is built from passionate hardworking people, and we’re ‘Doing More’ so ZEDRA can ‘Achieve More.’ Each person is carrying out their role and adding value to ZEDRA, and in addition bringing some light banter to keep the working environment fun!
One great example of ZEDRA’s dedication to our #OneTeamOneCompany mindset is IT & Operations working in tandem across BCP plans and deployment of IT technologies, enabling homeworking in the quickest and most efficient way. Our technologies have enabled all 500 staff to work from home seamlessly, while keeping stringent security measures in place and productivity up.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I live in the Netherlands with my lovely fiancée and our 2-month-old daughter Emma. My roots take me back to the UK, but I moved to Jersey in my younger years and was schooled on the Island. Along with some amazing friends, I gained my interest in IT there. My first working role was as an IT trainee, where I learnt the basics. My next role was in a fast-growing company, where I met a great mentor (or two!).
I then started traveling all over the world for work, and eventually moved to Luxembourg where I lived for two years. With the same company, I had a chance to move to Amsterdam which I took with open arms as in the meantime I’d met my wife-to-be (although when I arrived in Amsterdam, she went to live in Abu Dhabi for 18 months!).
What piece of advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Don’t be afraid of being judged. I spent way too much time worrying about what other people think. You may never achieve the things you really want to if you’re afraid to put yourself out there. Think about the impact you want to make or that dream you really want to achieve, and go do it!
Tell us about what you do in your spare time.
I am an Englishman and I like a beer…and with beer there is normally Pool. I am an avid Pool player, playing in local leagues and competitions. I also like to keep fit by running, rowing and doing CrossFit. After a hard day’s work, a beer and a run helps clear the mind (but not at the same time, obviously!).
If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive) who would it be, and why?
Steve Jobs, without a doubt. What he created with Apple is inspiring and shows that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and work hard!
What is the last thing you think about at the end of the day?
At the moment I do the late feed for Emma, and then put her to bed, so there’s not too much time for thinking!
Tell us about your job
I am the Global Head of IT for ZEDRA, based out of our Amsterdam office. I lead a team of professionals who are based around the globe in strategic locations. I lead, develop and implement our IT strategy enabling the company to compete more vigorously and more profitably in a constantly changing and demanding marketplace.