The laughing man

GV Rao, general ICT manager at the Pearl Qatar, lets the readers of Network Middle East in on the secrets of his success.

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The laughing man (ITP Images)
By  Imthishan Giado Published  August 18, 2010

GV Rao, general ICT manager at the Pearl Qatar.

What is your career progression to date?

I started my career as a lecturer in a computer institute in Bombay which is now called Mumbai. When I moved to Saudi, I was forced to develop business application in the BASIC programming language and then slowly moved to Dbase, Clipper, FoxPro and so on and so forth.

When I joined AT&T (Lucent Technologies), I was heavily involved in the operations. Based on those successful results, I was directly moved into a management role.

Since then, I have had a great progression from helpdesk operations to network operations to business solutions operations to project management to IT manager to corporate IT director. Today, I have reached the position of GM ICT handling biggest the conglomerate company in Qatar.  In a nutshell, I am a fighter and have a “never give up attitude”, fighting till the end with a positive frame of mind.

What would you describe as your finest achievement so far?

Well, I have multiple projects that I can be really proud of.  Starting from my programmer days my applications were running for a long time – even after I left the company, a fact which I always feel proud about. ERP and sales automation is another achievement, as is network and datacentre establishment.

Greenfield projects are a great success in my profile. The ability to develop staff and empowering them to take the right decisions is another achievement, not to mention migrating 4,000 users from one OS to another, and so on and so forth.

What drives you towards excellence in IT?

Passion towards my job – I believe that we are far behind where we are supposed to be.

Given the option, what choice would you have made differently in your career?

From childhood I always wanted to become a doctor. But somehow, I ended up in IT.  So, given the option if I had an opportunity and given a choice, I would have surely gone for the medical field.

Who has been the biggest inspiration to you from the world of technlogy to date?

Actually, I set my own goals and to achieve that I look for that technology as my own inspiration for future success.

What emerging technology do you think will have the biggest impact in IT?

Business Intelligence with lots of predefined key performance indicators (KPIs) combined with AI. It’s also going to be about quick ROI business applications when compared to the big bulls such as Oracle, SAP and so on of this world.

Which enterprise professional do you most admire, and why?

Jack Welch from GE.  A very gutsy professional, he made GE a number one company, implemented many tough policies for the benefit of employees and for the company and increased the shareholder wealth. I hope to become a CEO one day and make the company grow in a positive direction using some of his principles.

Outside of the office, what is your foremost passion?

Honestly, I like to laugh and make people around laugh with jokes and create a good ambiance which I believe is the best therapy.  I entertain a lot with activities, including social and charity work if possible, watching cricket, and gym activities. These days I am doing my PhD, so there’s a lot of research involved.

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

Discipline and dedication is the key and one should develop the passion towards what they are doing. Keep a goal and look at it every day; work towards that goal with smaller steps one at a time. Remember to be good to your staff as it is the key to gain their confidence and make sure you empower them.

Be close to your staff and believe in an open door policy and welcoming ideas from one to the last. Make sure you have designed a growth plan to your staff – automatically you will grow one day to a CIO level.

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