After hours: Jean-Pierre Labry

Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick.

Tags: CableR&M Middle East
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After hours: Jean-Pierre Labry
By Staff Writer Published  March 21, 2013

Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick.

Jean-Pierre Labry, Executive VP, R&M Middle East, Turkey & Africa

Getting personal

Nationality: French
Number of years in the industry: 14 years
Favourite food: French, Italian and Arabic
Holiday destination: My last holiday was a motorbike trip in India, from Kerala to Goa with seven great friends
Dream car: Aston Martin Vintage
Gadget: My motorbike, a Harley Davidson Electra Glide
Movie: Avatar, because of the stunning visuals

How did you end up where you are now?

I came to Dubai in 1996 to work for French petrochemical company TotalFinaElf. I then joined Verger et Delporte UAE Ltd, the largest official franchiser and distributor for Schneider Electric in the region, where I started from scratch in the IT Infrastructure Division. In February 2009, I start working for the leading Swiss company Reichle & De Massari (R&M), which is one of the top three players in the region for the passive IT Infrastructure solutions. Under my management, the team has increased from 12 to more than 50 employees despite recession and Arab Spring in 2011.

What is your management philosophy?

In my opinion the most important goals for effective management are: to formulate a vision for the company that will serve as a strategic roadmap; select the right employees and build a strong team; foster team spirit; practice fair leadership; practice values such as true commitment, convincing leadership, connective cooperation, authentic openness and direct exposure; and ensure the application of mottos such as ‘Think out of the Box’ and ‘Think Ahead and Think Smarter’

What was your first computer, and when did you first use it?

My first computer was a VICTOR computer bought for me by my parents on my 16th birthday. At the time, it cost them about $2,700 but it was a very good investment given that I am today employed in the IT sector. This ‘top of the line computer’ offered a 5.25-inch floppy disk which had a capacity of less than 1 Mb!

What is your greatest achievement?

I have to say being able to help companies such as the large telecom operators in this region to build great IT networks for the future. The benefits of these high-performance networks filter down to enterprises and finally to consumers.

What is your biggest mistake?

Mistakes and failures are important as they give us the experience that makes us stronger for the future. While I do not deny having made my share of mistakes, I cannot single out a particular instance which I would call my ‘Biggest Mistake’.

What is your fondest memory of working in the Middle East IT industry?

Possibly the biggest achievement in my career took place just shortly after I had joined R&M. In just four months, I managed to establish our new regional headquarters in the Dubai Airport Freezone. This involved a transformation from a sales office to a fully equipped operational hub with training and assembly facilities.

What technology do you think will have the biggest impact on the market in 2013?

For R&M, one of the biggest trends driving the growth of our business has been the demand for increased internet connectivity. Unlike other markets, telcos in this region are not restrained by ageing legacy networks, which is why they are eager to deploy cutting edge solutions.

What’s the best way to deal with stress?

Stop just thinking only of yourself and focus on others. There is a lot to gain from being positive and I am the kind of person who always sees the glass half full rather than half empty.

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