“I love working as part of a global service provider – working with business Customers, the day-to-day challenges of being part of the operations team, and most of all the people I work with. With all that taken into account it is pretty easy to stay inspired”
Could you share some insights into your background and how you came to join GCX?
I left school at 16 to join BT as an apprentice. Having spent 13 years in various roles, I left BT to join a local Cable TV and Telephony company. This was my first management role looking after the Cable TV and Telephony network and exchanges. This company was eventually merged with Telewest, who then became part of the Virgin empire. After 13 years in the Cable industry, I decided it was time to move on to a new challenge and that is when I joined Vanco, now known as GCX.
What motivates you in your role at GCX, and how do you maintain your inspiration?
I love working as part of a global service provider – working with business Customers, the day-to-day challenges of being part of the operations team, and most of all the people I work with. With all that taken into account it is pretty easy to stay inspired.
Is there a specific project or achievement at GCX that you are particularly proud of?
When I first joined Vanco, it was to manage the UK based NOC for premium Customers, and shortly after I took over the management of the entire NOC operation. When Reliance Communications took ownership of Vanco, and we had to migrate services from the UK to the IN based operation, it was critical that we were able to do so in such a way that the level of Service our Customer had enjoyed was maintained. This was a massive undertaking, and I’m proud to say I was part of the team that made it a success.
How do you approach challenges and overcome obstacles in your work?
Surrounding myself with good people is a great way to overcome the challenges we face on a day to day basis. Fortunately, in GCX there are no shortage of those. Beyond that I consider myself to be a pragmatic person that has an eye for solutions, so I try and trust my instincts, and once I have a path in front of me, I commit 100% to that…sometimes to a fault.
What role do your colleagues and team members play in your success at GCX?
Having people around you, who you know are focused on the same goal as you, and you know can be relied upon, is critical. The saying that the whole is stronger than its parts is never truer than in business. I think you can tell from my responses above how I feel about the people at GCX!
Are there any mentors or individuals who have had a significant impact on your career here?
I’ve been lucky over the years to have peers and leaders who set great examples of how to lead…along with some that demonstrated how not to do it…a lot can be gained from both. In GCX, without a doubt my strongest relationship is with Alan Breeze, my Director. It’s not so much of a mentorship, as it is a marriage. Back in the day, Al and I solved a lot of problems over a lot of cigarettes. Now we don’t smoke, but we still rely heavily on each other to kick thoughts, ideas & solutions about mostly, but not always work related. I am most certainly a better person for that experience.
How has your role evolved since joining GCX, and how have you grown as a professional?
The first 26 years of my working life were all spent focussed in Service Assurance workstreams, with a sprinkling of Service Delivery along the way. I’ve been at GCX for over 16 years now. For the first few years that trend continued, but for the last 10 years I have become more and more involved in the Customer Service side of the business, ultimately leading to my current role as Head of Service Management. If you’d asked me 16 years ago if I’d have seen that coming, I would probably have dismissed the thought, but I can safely say I have loved every minute of it. The great thing when you are used to spending most of your life dealing with things that have broken, is that you learn to remain very balanced under pressure. That experience can serve you well in many different ways, and I feel like it’s helped me in my current role.
In addition, coming from two fairly long stints in companies where my customer and work relationships were only UK based, I have enjoyed, thrived and grown from the experience that you can only get working in a Global organisation. You have to look at most challenges differently, when you know the solution needs to work for Customers and colleagues from different countries and cultures. Just working with GCX Customers and colleagues from different countries on a day to day basis is something that is easy to take for granted, but is so enriching and inspiring.
What advice would you offer to new employees or those striving to excel in their careers at GCX?
To get the most out of working for a company like GCX you need to embrace all the experiences, frustrations, and chaos it will throw at you and turn it into positive energy. Learn to love and trust the people around you and want to make a difference.