After Hours: David Whitton
David Whitton, GM of Kodak Alaris - Eastern Cluster (Middle East, Africa, East Europe, Turkey & Russia)
How did you come to be in your current role?
I have been involved with the [Middle East and North African] region since 1999. While at my previous job at Fujitsu, I played a key role in growing the scanner market for the company in Saudi Arabia in particular. Even while working from the UK, the Middle East and Africa were always my favourite regions.
After Fujitsu, I worked as the Northern Cluster Manager for Kodak Alaris, responsible for UK, Scandinavia and Africa but the company then decided to create a new Eastern Cluster which was initially Middle East and Africa, but then extended to East Europe, Turkey and Russia as well. They offered me the job based in London, but I requested a move to Dubai, which was granted. The rest as they say is history!
What is your management philosophy?
Try and work with as many good people as you can and if people are better than you at certain aspects of the job, let them do it.
What was your first computer, and when did you use it?
I did my thesis on Apple Mac in 1987, but if I recall I was using ZX Spectrum back then.
What is your greatest achievement?
Spending four years as a student at Imperial College London and survived.
What is your biggest mistake?
Giving up my piano lessons too early. I would have loved to be a musician, but I lack talent!
What is your fondest memory of working in the Middle East?
I am a cricket enthusiast and while in the UK I played for the Leeds League. Discovering that many of the IT managers in the Middle East share my passion for cricket is indeed gratifying.
What technology will have the biggest impact on the market in 2016?
Mobile Capture technology. Mobile devices continue to change the way organisations conduct business – including how we capture and share critical business documents.
According to InfoTrends, 68% of IT decision makers within five scanning-rich vertical markets believe document capture using devices, such as smart phones will increase significantly over the next three years. Mobile Capture technology that allows users to capture and index information via smart phones or tablets will undoubtedly capture the imagination of enterprises in this region in 2016.
What’s the best way to handle with stress?
We play table tennis in the office. You have no idea how much smashing a ball across a table can do to release stress.
Number of years in the industry: 28
Favourite food: Anything from the Meat Co. (hint!)
Holiday destination: Newlands Cricket Ground Cape Town
Favourite David Bowie Album: Let’s Dance
Dream car: Ever since the age of 3 it has been a blue Mercedes AMG
Gadget: Cricket bat
Movie/book: Shawshank Redemption, The Feyman Lectures on Physics
Piece of advice: Treat people as you would want to be treated yourself