After Hours: Kerry Koutsikos
Kerry Koutsikos, Regional Director, META, Qlik
Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick.
Number of years in the industry: 24 years
Favourite food: Spanish food
Holiday destination: Mediterranean Region
Dream car: BMW M6
Movie/book: The 10,000 day War by Michael MacLear
Piece of advice: There will never be another today in your life, take advantage of today.
How did you come to be in your current role?
Witnessing the growth and opportunities in the Middle East and Africa, Qlik was keen to tap into this region and given my experience and industry knowledge, I was appointed in my current role in 2012.
What is your management philosophy?
My philosophy is to allow our team to take their own initiatives, and never be afraid to try new things. I believe that teams are like a good Swiss watch — every component has a role and the watch will never work if one component is faulty. I also believe in core values that are achievable and real, Qlik also has very strong core values.
What was your first computer?
Now, you’re forcing me to disclose my age! My first PC was an APPLE IIE and I acquired it in 1984. I started working at Computer Associates in 1988 (studying part time) and in those days, I learnt to be a systems programmer on the IBM 3270 Mainframe running CICS. I also worked on a number of mainframes, such as IBM 3270, Digital VAX, and Data General AOSVS. I then began to transform to Open Systems on the Sun Unix and HP Unix. These were some of the most incredible computer platforms that we had back in the day.
What is your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement in my life is bringing an amazing little girl into this world. People quantify achievements in various different ways. An athlete may quantify his or her achievement by the number of medals they win, or a salesman by the number of sales, and some people by how much money they earn. Personally, my greatest achievement is my family.
What is your biggest mistake?
I think the biggest mistake I did was not learn from my mistakes I made at the beginning of my career. I do think now that the important thing is that we must learn from our mistakes and this is what I try to inculcate in my team as well.
What is your fondest memory of working in the Middle East IT industry?
I think my fondest memory was working on a project in the leading up to the launch of UAE’s second operator, du. The sheer importance, complexity and the various entities involved in the project made this one of my career highlights.
What technology do you think will have the biggest impact on the market in future?
This is a good question and my response may seem biased,however, I think that the most important technological impacts in our industry will be Analytics. In today’s world, everyone wants to analyse everything about their business and the rise of mobility provided this field a massive boost. Every company is looking at how they can provide true mobility to all their employees, and many to their clients.
What is the best way to deal with stress?
This is something that I have had to learn the hard way. I think having a balanced life between work and family is the key to reduce the impact of stress. I personally like to research. I become interested in a subject and read about it, search the Internet, and watch documentaries on that subject.