After Hours: Sebastian T Samuel, CIO, AW Rostamani Group

Sebastian T Samuel shares some insights regarding his past, personal successes, as well as his approach to the job.

Tags: AW Rostamani Group ( Arab Emirates
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After Hours: Sebastian T Samuel, CIO, AW Rostamani Group Sebastian T Samuel, CIO, AW Rostamani Group.
By  Alexander Sophoclis Pieri Published  June 14, 2017

How did you come to be in your current role?

I joined Rostamani Group in 2001 after a nine-year entrepreneurial stint in the computer industry in India. I joined as analyst programmer and gradually moved up and finally became CIO of the group. I've been leading the AW Rostamani Group IT since 2008.

What is your management philosophy?

My management philosophy is very simple and revolves around the following statements. Make IT happen - Working together with everyone towards achieving the common goal.

Just do IT - Once agreed on the common goal, no more excuses, just do it.

The 3C principle - When working with your team, always CHALLENGE them to get you the best out of them without compromising on the quality. Be a COMPLIMENTARY force to add value your team, serve them to make up for their areas of improvements etc. And finally CELEBRATE the success of your team in a simple manner whether it is small or big achievement.

Always look for solutions, not problems - Being in IT, it is obvious that we deal with a lot of issues on a daily basis. I believe that ‘problems becomes opportunities, when the right people join together'.

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

My first computer experience was on a RadioShack PC TRS 80 Model with TRDOS and built-in GW BASICS.

What is your greatest achievement?

From a professional point of view, I have many complex projects in multiple areas. But I have not reached there yet to talk about my greatest achievement. All what I have done are small things with integrity, commitment and passion. Keeping up with these core values in everything I do is my greatest achievement as of now.

What was the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge in my life was during the very early days of my career as an entrepreneur. In 1991, I setup a hardware and software business at the age of 22 in Kerala, India. During that time the computer industry was still emerging. It was bit of a struggle to initially convince customers to buy our products and services, but we succeeded by focusing on building awareness, positioning the value of IT, and keeping a customer first attitude.

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

In the Middle East, I have worked only in Dubai, UAE. This is an amazing country with a visionary and blessed leadership. A country with a lot of ambitions to make its citizen's life the best. The opportunity to see the growth of this country, seeing the creation of its many wonders, is my fondest memory.

What technology do you think will have the biggest impact on the market in 2017?

I don't think it will be right to say any one specific technology. But I can say a collective buzz word ‘digital', which is an amalgamation of Cloud, IoT, analytics, 3D printing, and cognitive intelligence. Investing in such technologies in a wise manner, based on specific use cases to create competitive advantage, will enable enterprises to sustain and grow in the future.

What's the best way to deal with stress?

When I am really stressed, I switch off completely from that issue and go do something totally different, unrelated and something which I really like.


Nationality: Indian

Number of years in the industry: 26 years.

Favourite food: Any grilled food

Holiday destination: Any place in the world where there is clean air, lush green and pure water

Music: Melodies of any genre

Dream car: My dream car is FF series concept car from Faraday Future with variable platform architecture (VPA).

Gadget: Mind Control gadgets. It is going to be amazing the way it is going how we interact in future with digital and physical world

Movie/book: Science fiction/favourite books are: The Alchemist, The monk sold his Ferrari, The magic of thinking big.

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