Road warrior

Indranil Guha, manager for IT infrastructure management at Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority gives us the inside line on his secrets to success.

Tags: IndiaInfrastructureNetwork optimisationRoads and Transport AuthorityUnited Arab Emirates
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Road warrior
By  Imthishan Giado Published  July 7, 2010 Network Middle East Logo

Indranil Guha, manager for IT infrastructure management at Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority.

What is your career progression to date?

I started my career after doing my Masters with Standard Chartered Bank in 1991 as technical services officer for a year. Then I moved on to become the IT service delivery manager, looking after the eastern region, working in Calcutta. Then I moved on to Bombay in 1996 as the IT services manager for operations. From there I moved to HSBC in Dubai in 1997 as the office automation department, which is actually IT service management.

Then I moved to a position with the government in Dubai Municipality (DM) as head of networking.  Gigabit networks were just launched back then by Nortel, and DM wanted to implement it so I was given the challenge. I worked with them for about seven years till March 2006, when I joined the RTA as the IT infrastructure manager.

What would you describe as your finest achievement so far?

I would say that it is the several organisational transformations [I have effected]. I like to change it if need be, to make it more efficient. My key contribution to the organisations that I’ve worked with is not just of technology or implementing infrastructure – I don’t consider those my biggest achievements, but simply the need of the hour.

What drives you towards excellence in IT?

Challenges – I am a person who strives for excellence. I am pretty much a perfectionist so I believe in process, wherever they could be put in. I believe in continuous improvement, error-free and consistent quality delivery and doing things right the first time.

Who has been the biggest inspiration to you in technology?

I do admire people with great leadership qualities like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. I like to try and understand how the human mind works and how some people like to get challenged to delivering their best – that is something that inspires me. Another thing that I really like to tell people is, do not hesitate to ask, ‘why not?’ Ask why you should do things differently.

What emerging technology will impact IT the most?

Overall, technology is a great driver for business today. CIOs actually have a large role to play in the boardroom and it will all be pervasive over time. In terms of specific technologies, it’s clearly mobility and collaboration. They are clearly interlinked.

It’s the whole mobility space, use of collaboration tools and the use of what today we call cloud computing or virtualisation, these are all going towards mobility at the end of the day. You want to have IT services delivered to you where you are.

Outside of the office, what is your foremost passion?

My hobbies keep changing over time. I like photography and love to travel. I don’t use travel services for planning my holidays, I do them myself.

I love the sport of shooting and visit the local shooting clubs. When I was a bit younger, I could have been termed as a shooter, I used to be very good at it, although I didn’t compete professionally. Also, on weekends I used to do a bit of motorcycling on my sportsbike, but I don’t do it any more these days. That was around 2000-2006. I would love to get back on the road one day.

What advice would you give to young professionals seeking to become the CIO one day?

Listen and observe a lot before you deliver an opinion. Don’t be afraid to ask and question to change and improve.

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