Get To Know: Rauf Baig, ATI

Rauf Baig, managing director Middle East operations at graphics cards behemoth ATI is a man on a mission. Baig has ambitious plans to grow ATI's business in the Middle East and channel relationships lie at the heart of his development strategy. What better time for Channel Middle East to 'Get To Know' Rauf Baig…

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  July 1, 2006

|~|rbaig200.jpg|~|Rauf Baig, managing director Middle East operations at ATI|~|Rauf Baig, managing director Middle East operations at graphics cards behemoth ATI is a man on a mission. Baig has ambitious plans to grow ATI's business in the Middle East and channel relationships lie at the heart of his development strategy. With interest in gaming accelerating across the region, what better time for Channel Middle East to 'Get To Know' Rauf Baig…

CME: What is your career history to date? How did you end up working in Dubai?

RB: I had actually been working in the information technology industry for some time when a business trip just happened to include a visit to Dubai. From the moment that I set foot in the city I was absolutely hooked. It was a few months after that business trip that I moved to Dubai. And that all happened about nine years ago.

CME: What do you enjoy most about working in the Middle East IT market?

RB: The culture is what I love the most about working here in Dubai. Business is at the top of everyone’s agenda but the hospitality is second to none. I also cherish the personal relationships I have developed over the years with our channel partners. The vibrancy of this city and being a part of its rapid growth over the years makes me feel very lucky to be here.

CME: What do you dislike most about working in the Middle East IT market?

RB: Well, to be totally honest, sometimes the internal politics that you encounter with certain partner organisations can become tiresome and distract one from the task at hand. However, having been here for some time now, I think that I have learnt to deal with this effectively and ensure that it does not really affect the overall business relationship.

CME: Which IT industry figure do you most admire and why?

RB: There is really no one person in particular. I do however believe that Steve Jobs is one of the most interesting characters of the digital age. He has really proven that change is good and that innovation isn’t always easy, but coupled with style, can often win the day. I admire this philosophy and try to follow it in my professional life.

CME: What’s the most valuable business lesson you’ve learnt?

RB: The most valuable business lesson is that hard work pays off in the long run. The harder you work the luckier you get, they say. More seriously, it is so important to surround yourself with the right people — people who think along the same lines and share your business acumen. Your colleagues must see your vision in order for it to materialise.

CME: What are your top channel tips for the next 12 months?

RB: My top tip would have to be that price is not everything. Do not be afraid to reinvent yourself if that is what you need to do. I would also say that it is very important for the channel to work for what it truly believes in. Create your own niche in the market and you will put yourself in a position to grow as fast as this city does during the next 12 months.

CME: How do you like to relax outside of the work environment?

RB: I spend a lot of time away from Dubai on business trips so I try and spend quality time with my family when I am here. The UAE and the GCC region have such a great climate for outdoor activities almost all year round. We enjoy going to the mountains, beaches and of course a personal favourite with the kids and me: water parks. Weekend BBQs are also popular.

CME: What is the proudest moment of your career to date?

RB: Joining ATI Technologies is one of the proudest moments of my career. ATI is the second largest fables semiconductor company in the world and we are always on the cutting edge of technology. We bring technology that is in almost every facet of our lives today. Our partners tell me, ‘Rauf, I believe in you blindly, whatever you say’. This for me is also a proud moment.
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