Get to know: Gautam Srivastava

Gautam Srivastava was elected as the man to spearhead AMD's efforts in the region last year. With the chip vendor promising a 'sharpened focus' on markets such as Egypt and KSA we thought it was time to get to know all about him...

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By  Julian Pletts Published  May 24, 2008

Gautam Srivastava was elected as the man to spearhead AMD's efforts in the region last year. With the chip vendor promising a 'sharpened focus' on markets such as Egypt and KSA we thought it was time to get to know all about him...

What is your career history to date?

Going through my resume I have some interesting highlights. At AMD I worked for the chief sales and marketing officer as his chief of staff. AMD has been very good to me with internal development opportunities. I indicated a preference to move from within marketing and sales to a field role.

I felt that I could go and make a difference, and I was enabled to do that by our CEO.

How would you describe your management style?

You would have to ask my employees. I don't think I am very formal. A lot of it is Q and A. The main value add that I provide my staff is that before they make a decision they should come and talk to me because I will ask an endless amount of questions, make them think about what they are doing and play devil's advocate.

They'll know from that approach whether they feel comfortable doing what they are thinking of doing.

What is the proudest moment of your career to date?

My current position. I am one of nine people within AMD running a region and it is a tremendous responsibility. Establishing learning labs in Africa is also a highlight.

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

I come from a very multicultural environment and one of the things I love about working here is meeting many different people. I love the staff that I have, they are some of the most talented people in the industry.

I didn't know that before I got here - I thought this would just be another sales office. I find myself learning directly from staff and I think they are incredible people.

How do you relax outside of the work environment?

I'm not really relaxing that much out of work these days. We have two young kids. We will take some family vacations. I also run, and go to the gym. I love watching movies with my wife. We never agree though so we watch her choice; romantic love stories.

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

I have a large territory, everything from South Africa to Morocco to Pakistan. So personally the amount of travel is hard, especially with a young child. It's getting harder for ordinary people to live in Dubai with the traffic and cost of living. I welcome what I'm hearing from the government about making the city more green.

What is the most valuable business lesson you have learnt?

Having the authenticity to lead. Authenticity is a key factor in leadership. Also knowing what you need to do and not losing sight of it. You have to be very focused. There are a lot of distractions around. You have to have the will to see things through. But that doesn't mean you don't listen to people.

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

The top issue is how to add value in an environment where price competition is becoming more pronounced and companies can go directly to market. For instance, in Saudi the growth of notebooks is a challenge for the components market. How are you going to differentiate?

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