Friday, 24/01/2014

Graduation Year: 2012 (PMBA 12)

Vice President CVM | Jakarda, Indonesia

LinkedIn Profile here

Could you update us on your latest professional developments?

I have been with Vodafone for the last 13 years, worked mainly in Greece & also spent some time on short-term assignments in Germany / UK. During the last 5 years, I helped in setting up our new company in Qatar. In my latest role, I’m managing a couple of Marketing functions; specifically Insights & Customer Value Management.

How did ALBA help you in your career?

Big time! 7 billion people see the world in 7 billion different ways. Learning how to integrate different thinking behind a common objective has been a great experience I took with me to Qatar.

Share with us your fondest memory while studying at ALBA

A period that was quite tough was when I had to catch a plane 1-2 times a week and fly from Doha to Athens & back to complete my studies. I can’t forget though the support I received by the entire ALBA family & my project team, especially during those 4 months.

You left Greece to relocate to Qatar and are currently building a strong international career. Care to share some advice with your fellow alumni on how to achieve corporate success outside of Greece?

Embrace the change, I think is the best advice. One of the best leadership trainings I attended last year included few tools on change management. One worthy to share is: E+R = O. “E” stands for Event, “R” for your Reaction to the event, & “O” for the final Outcome. The equation tries to enforce the message that any Event doesn’t equal the Outcome, the latter is dependent on our actions.

I can briefly share a funny story here. When I arrived in Qatar, the company was already extremely diverse in nationalities, including 4 Kiwis (New Zealanders). Kiwis have a strong accent; the ones that happened to join VF Qatar were at the extreme of that spectrum. The result was for me to capture 1/3rd of whatever was being said in individual conversations. When I joined Qatar, I managed Commercial Strategy. In the 1st week I arrived we had to launch a new Roaming offer. The 4 Kiwis where the Roaming product manager, the Finance Planner, the Tech expert & the Roaming partner. The first meeting was a catastrophe –Kiwis tried to understand me but the opposite wasn’t working at all!  Being my first week there this could of course have a devastating impact on my morale. I didn’t lose hope though; instead, I remembered the above equation & set up a new strategy!

In a nutshell, I set up separate meetings with each, captured in mails what had been said to reassure a common understanding, held another meeting during which I started with humor about my accent & asked everybody to speak slower. Ta da! The whole thing worked & after sometime my ear got used to this accent also. The best part is that people started talking about how I managed this & I found some colleagues who were also intimidated by not-being native speakers coming over to my office sharing that they have also adopted the same approach & how relieved they were since before they believed each one of them was the only one having this problem! Well, “E + R = O”!

 

PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE

  • Your most marked characteristic? ROI focused
  • The quality you most like in a man? Accountability
  • The quality you most like in a woman? Accountability
  • What do you most value in your friends? Their directness
  • What is your favorite occupation? Already doing it!
  • What is your dream of happiness? Help others explore their potential & unleash my own during the journey!
  • What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes? Lose my independence
  • What would you like to be? A useful manager / friend / partner
  • In what country would you like to live? New York or Hong Kong could be two next expatriation targets!
  • What is your favorite color? Definitely Red!
  • Who are your favorite poets? Kavafis & Shakespeare
  • Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Cheshire Cat
  • Who are your favorite composers? Many! Hatzidakis, Mozart, Miles Davis to name a few
  • Who are your favorite painters? Caravaggio would top my list.
  • Who are your heroes in real life? I admire different attributes from many people around me. The benefit of this approach is I discover my new “heroes” all the time & keep my antennas open!
  • What are your favorite names? Vassilios / Steve / Ismail for boys; Alexandra / Kiren for girls.
  • What is it you most dislike? Can’t do attitude
  • What historical figures do you most despise? Easy, A. Hitler apart from the crimes against humanity, he was also an example of someone who thought the world had space for his own views... only.
  • What natural gift would you most like to possess? Flying
  • How would you like to die? In my sleep & with most business finished
  • What is your motto? You will not find any monsters in your path, unless you already carry them within your soul